SC students will soon have to take a personal finance course before graduating

COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — South Carolina has joined a growing list of states requiring students to take a personal finance course to graduate from high school.

State lawmakers made the first move in this year’s state budget. A budget provision directs the State Board of Education to update state graduation requirements.

It is said:

Clause 1.101: (SDE: Graduation Requirements) Of funds appropriated or authorized hereby, and pursuant to Section 59-39-100 of the 1976 Code, the Department of Education, through of the State Board of Education, is responsible for enacting regulations to update current graduation requirements to include in existing credits a required half credit in personal finance. The regulations must be submitted to the National Board of Education for first reading by September 30.

It is unclear how long the courses will be required and what exactly they will entail.

We spoke with Next Gen Personal Finance, a nonprofit organization that works with schools across the country to offer free personal finance courses.

Co-founder Tim Ranzetta said you can expect your student to learn how to invest, save and manage credit cards. Classes will be suitable for teenagers.

“Think of all the things high school kids do for the first time. They drive a car, so they need to understand car insurance better,” Ranzetta continued. “They get jobs, so they need to better understand how to fill out forms. They open a bank account, so they need to understand how the fees work.

According to Ranzetta, research shows that personal finance education improves credit behavior and savings habits. He also said graduates had a better understanding of payday loans and student loans after taking a course.

Ranzetta said the classes have an impact beyond the classroom.

He said: “There’s a ripple effect where students take those lessons home and it’s really powerful where you know not only are the students benefiting, but the families as well.”

Officials said 14 other states require a personal finance course before graduation.