Course teaches DeSoto students about finances

Everyone can probably easily name the main courses that students take such as math, science and reading. Over the years, these subjects have remained the core courses throughout students' elementary and high school educations.

In Southaven, a new course has been added to students' curriculum, which is one educating them about finances, including issues like credit card debt. DeSoto schools and the Community Foundation of Northwest Mississippi have decided to sponsor and advocate for this course. The class is titled "Everfi." It is a nine-hour, computer-learning course that teaches students financial life skills. It covers a range of financial topics, including paying for college, renting versus owning, credit cards and financing.

One high school honors student already claims to have significantly benefitted from the course. Before the class, she did not understand that a mortgage is a loan for a house. Now, she has a real grasp finances moving into the future. She plans to work, save and pay off her credit cards to be debt free.

Understanding finances at an earlier age can have significant positive impacts on many Mississippians' lives. As the high school honors student's story reveals, it can help young adults appreciate credit cards and tackle any corresponding credit card debt.

One way this occurs is by learning about the interest rates that a credit card company can charge. Under Mississippi law, there is actually a legal maximum rate of interest. If creditors exceed this maximum, it can be subject to penalties under the law. With financial education, individuals wanting a credit card can not only identify good rates, but can also challenge their credit card company in the event that it engages in unlawful interest practices.

DeSoto schools' decision to incorporate a life financial course into students' curriculum is a great development in the education system. Courses like "Everfi" can have a great impact on students' lives and teach them about all of the legal repercussions associated with finances.

Source: Wreg.com, "Life Skills Course Prepares DeSoto Students," Dennis Turner, May 7, 2013

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