By Ryan Laspina
Senior Specialist, Red Flags and External Reviews at American Public University System
This article originally appeared on our fellow APUS blog, Online Learning Tips.
If you are going to get a degree at an accredited university, you are going to have to take some general education classes to make sure that you receive a well-rounded education. At nearly every university, students have to take some level of math, science, history, and English classes. Unfortunately, not many schools require all students to take a personal financial planning course. While the above subjects are all very important, financial planning is a skill that you will have to use for the rest of your life if you aspire to be successful. If you have the option to take electives, a financial management, financial planning, or similar class is an excellent option.
What exactly will you learn in a financial planning class? You will learn money management tips that will benefit you for the rest of your life. Some of the things you will learn in a course like this include, but are not limited to:
- How to make/read financial statements
- How to prepare for retirement
- How to balance your income and expenses
- Investment options
- How to create and follow a budget
Essentially, financial planning classes provide you with all the information you need to maintain financial responsibility.
In addition to benefiting your financial intelligence for the rest of your life, financial planning classes will help you understand your rights and responsibilities as an FSA (federal student aid) recipient. Understanding interest rates might aid you in picking the best type of loan. Understanding your financial outlook through a budget might help you determine what kind of aid you are eligible for, and exactly how much aid you need to cover your educational costs. Even if you are well versed in financial management, rehashing and sharpening those skills through a financial planning course is a recommended option.
Managing your finances is not an easy endeavor. As you get older, you have more and more variables to think about. Things like retirement, pensions, paying for your child’s college expenses, and so on are just some of the situations you need to plan for. Being equipped with those tools as early as possible is a great way to ensure you handle these situations the right way. If your school offers them, and you can fit it in your schedule, you should look into taking a financial planning class. It is a no-risk, high-reward class that will benefit you well beyond your college years.