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The Prudent Scholar explores the topic of money and higher education. We look at at big picture and small: both the latest news and the nitty-gritty details of college life that might help you save money and get more value from your educational experience.

March 7, 2011

Personal Finance: A Rewarding Elective

No matter your major in college, prudent scholars, I recommend one class more than any other: Personal Finance.  Your high school might have required a similar class, but investigate your college's version. It might cover more or give you an important review.  I took the version at Indiana University-Bloomington as an adult with years of financial decisions behind me, but still found the class rewarding.

Most Personal Finance courses will look at the following:
  • budgeting
  • figuring net worth
  • understanding interest rates
  • comparing mortgages and car loans
  • choosing insurance
  • investing for retirement
It's never too early to learn budgeting skills, but some of the other topics might seem abstract your first year or two in college. Don't worry if you have to put it off until your last year of college when the "real world" beckons. This not-too-difficult life skills class is perfect counterpoint to some of the more mentally challenging classes you'll take at that time.

You can usually find Personal Finance in the business course listings, but if you can't, ask your academic advisor or do a search of your university's website.

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