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Unlocking Educational Horizons: Navigating Financial Aid for a Bright College Future / By: Shreya Rajesh

Unlocking Educational Horizons: Navigating Financial Aid for a Bright College Future / By: Shreya Rajesh

Many U.S. students lack awareness of available financial aid resources and the application process. An observational study revealed that 85% of the surveyed college students were unaware that the FAFSA determines eligibility for gift aid and not just loans (Safier, 2021). This highlights the need for a clear explanation to bridge the gap and to ensure that students collectively understand financial aid. A fellow high school student stated that "the financial aid application process seems overwhelming due to the number of steps I’m unsure about”. However, understanding financial aid significantly simplifies this process. This article provides a brief overview of financial aid applications and resources. Navigating the application process requires a foundational grasp of financial aid, with many students encountering obstacles due to unclear comprehension. Federal Student Aid defines financial aid as "money to help pay for college or career school," encompassing various financial aid types such as scholarships, grants, loans, and work-study programs (StudentAid.gov, 2023). To understand these options fully, it is crucial to establish a fundamental understanding of financial aid. Grants and scholarships are categorized as gift aid, whereas student loans require repayment, says Laura Villagomez, a Chicago Regional Coordinator for the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC), the state’s college access and financial aid agency. It’s helpful for students to understand the distinctions between these different types of aid, since they will want to make sure they are accessing all the grants and scholarships (money they don’t have to pay back) for which they are eligible , before taking out student loans. A study found that 49% of surveyed students were unaware that the FAFSA determines eligibility for federal grants (Safier, 2021). The FAFSA is also the application for many state grants and is often used in determining eligibility for aid that comes directly from colleges and universities. Early FAFSA submission is crucial for accessing limited financial aid, particularly when some state grants are awarded on a first-come, first-serve basis. Missing priority deadlines at some universities could mean losing eligibility for some grants and scholarships. The 2024-25 FAFSA is now available (www.fafsa.gov) so if you are planning to attend college next fall, don’t delay completing this important step in securing funding for your college journey. Students must overcome confusion to progress. Many students struggle with finding a mentor, finding resources, or understanding aid types. Villagomez advises, “Reach out to (your) high school counselor or college and career advisor at (your) specific school. I would also encourage students to connect with mentors or trusted individuals.” Connecting with knowledgeable mentors helps eliminate confusion, ensures clarity of requirements, and boosts confidence in the application process. This is more than simply paperwork. It is your opportunity to receive the funding necessary to achieve your goals in the next step of your educational journey. Citations: “Types of Financial Aid.” Federal Student Aid, 5 July 2019, Kitchen, Xiomara Martinez-White Michael. “85% of College Students Don’t Know FAFSA Determines Free Aid.” LendingTree,

Age vs experience - What drives investing behavior? / By: Siddhanta Singh

Age vs experience - What drives investing behavior? / By: Siddhanta Singh

Generally, as people get older they become more risk-averse due to their need for retirement funds. Senior citizens, having been through the 1970s, the bubble of the 2000s, and the 2008 crisis tend to be skeptical of stocks. The newer generation, however, having grown up in a zero-interest rate environment, tends to be more risk-tolerant and chase above-market returns.  Experience plays a greater role than age itself. Morgan Housel describes this as, “ Your personal experiences with money make up 0.000001% of what’s happened in the world, but maybe 80% of how you think the world works” ( Housel, 2020 ).   Having been scarred by the inflationary and recessionary period in the 80s and the 2000s stock market crash, millennials' pessimistic view of stocks can come from their negative exposure to such equities.  According to Finra Foundation , 36% of investors under 35 years old report trading options, compared to 21% of investors who are 35 to 54 years old and 8% of investors 55 or older. In addition, 23%of investors under 35 report making purchases on margin ( Ramos, 2022 ) .   This confidence in the stock market to deliver returns, even with very risky trading methods, is due to the more recent zero interest rate environment after the 2008 crisis.   However, this risk-driven approach of trading on margin is coming to an end and investors are starting to gain a sense of reality.  Ryan Wisniewski, a 29 year old consultant describes his experience as, “ After seeing the crash in 2020 and  in 2022, I just went all cash.,“It's safe to say I will not be touching stocks any time soon. ”  On the other end, Dharam Pal, a 75-year-old business owner, found himself quite optimistic on the market even after the two crashes. Pal cites past market growth as signs of a future one, “ In my lifetime I have seen the S&P go from a few hundred to four thousand dollars today.I am not worried about short fluctuations, I have seen them come and go. ” Age leads to one being more risk averse, however, it is experience that influences the way in which one evaluates risk. As the tides of the markets turn from greed to fear, it is up to individuals to make of it what they may.  Sources:  https://www.zippia.com/day-trader-jobs/demographics/   https://www.cnbc.com/2015/06/10/age-and-risk-tolerance-key-to-mastering-asset-allo   cation.html  The Psychology of Money by Morgan Housel  https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA365890576&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&   it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=09718907&p=AONE&sw=w#:~:text=Correspondence%2 0analysis%20Figure%20confirmed%20that,their%20investments%20in%20equity%2 0market .  https://finrafoundation.org/sites/finrafoundation/files/NFCS-investor-Report-Changin g-Landscape.pdf  Interviews: Ryan Wisniewski, Consultant Dharam Pal, Business Owner Statistics: investors 26-35: Have invested 50 to 75 percent in the equity market. investors 36-50: Have invested 25 to 50 percent in the equity market.  investors over 50: Have less than 25 percent of their investments in the equity market.  https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA365890576&sid=googleScholar&v =2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=09718907&p=AONE&sw=w#:~:text=Correspo ndence%20analysis%20Figure%20confirmed%20that,their%20investments%20 in%20equity%20market .

The Crucial Role of Early Investing and Challenges Faced by Students / By: Kavin Ramasamy

The Crucial Role of Early Investing and Challenges Faced by Students / By: Kavin Ramasamy

Investing is a powerful tool allowing individuals to grow wealth and achieve long-term financial goals. At its core, investing involves allocating your money to various assets, such as stocks, bonds, real estate, or mutual funds, expecting to generate a return on your initial investment over time. As of 2023, 61% of adults in the US invest money in the stock market ( Statista , 2023).  Generally, starting early in the investing process can yield higher returns and open doors to financial freedom. Still, for many, especially students, the path to investing can seem daunting, as many lack the confidence and resources to start investing early.  Investing early often sets people up for success in the long term. A  chart from Business Insider shows that investing at 25 versus 35 can lead to a 180% increase in revenue. ( Loudenback , 2019). According to Myles Gage, COO and co-founder of Rapunzl Investments, “If you begin allocating your income to saving and investing early on, it’ll be easier to continue that habit or routine into adulthood.” Additionally, the losses caused by inflation or crashes can be mitigated with more robust portfolios by investing over time.  Though many benefits are associated with early investing, many teenagers lack the confidence and resources to start. According to Forbes, 75% of teens don’t feel confident about their financial education ( Curcio , 2023) .  Though many schools offer electives such as business, they are not effective. “I don’t believe schools prepare anyone well enough to be financially stable. There isn’t much of an incentive to do well or pay attention in financial education” , says Alejandro Reagan, a Senior at Whitney Young Magnet High School. As a result, “ 86% of teens are interested in investing, but nearly half (45%) haven't invested because they don't feel confident or their parents don't know how to help them get started” ( Cision PR Newswire , 2021). Investing is a powerful instrument offering a multitude of advantages. In today's world, more individuals are embarking on investment journeys in stocks, real estate, or bonds. It is crucial to note that commencing the investment journey earlier in life enhances the potential for higher returns. Yet, the younger generation needs more resources and self-assurance to initiate investments. Change can happen by strengthening financial education and promoting more peer, mentor, and family support. Sources: https://www.statista.com/statistics/270034/percentage-of-us-adults-to-have-money-invested-in-the-stock-market/#:~:text=In%202023%2C%2061%20percent%20of,in%202007%20at%2065%20percent . https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/retirement-savings-start-at-25-vs-35-2019-4 https://www.forbes.com/sites/yassprize/2023/04/12/the-perils-of-not-investing-in-financial-literacy/?sh=647b44605ab5 https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/survey-finds-gen-z-lacks-knowledge-and-confidence-in-personal-finance-and-investing-301260281.html#:~:text=Investing%20is%20top%20of%20mind,them%20more%20interested%20in%20investing . Alejandro Reagan- Senior, 17, Whitney Young Magnet High School Chicago, Illinois Myles Gage, CMO + Co-Founder Rapunzl Investments

Understanding Financial Stress & Your Future / By: Tara Mirkov

Understanding Financial Stress & Your Future / By: Tara Mirkov

Psychological distress caused by trouble meeting financial commitments is something a lot of people experience. According to a survey from Forbes Advisor, “54% of U.S. adults with debt say they always or often feel stressed because of their debt”  ( Horton, 2023 ). Beyond debt, there are various reasons financial stress can occur. Bills, unemployment, groceries, and even just worrying about the future can take a toll on an individual. Young people tend to have higher rates of financial stress. According to a survey from Bankrate, millennials and Gen Zers worry more than 10% more (on average) than Gen Xers and Boomers. In general, financial stress is up significantly from a year ago  ( Gailey, 2023 ). Perhaps this imbalance is due to the growing price of education. Low-income high school senior Liliana Rodriguez is concerned about the hunt for scholarship and grant money for college. “ Not qualifying could mean that I will have to settle for a college experience that is less than what I want for myself. ” Financing college in today's world takes a toll on Millennials and Gen Z’ers alike. Whatever the case may be, it's important to remember that no one is alone in their stress and there are resources out there to help, from counseling to financial management aid. Bridget Nelson, a Chicago AP Psychology teacher, says that “ school counselors are aware of a TON of outside agencies and resources that offer a variety of support to students to meet whatever need they are having (mental health, financial need, etc).”   At some schools, there are also licensed clinical social workers or a school psychologist who can offer help to students when needed. Financial awareness courses are also becoming more common in schools. Teaching kids about money management at a young age is an excellent preventative measure for financial hardship and the stress that comes with it. Education is always a great first step. Unfortunately, so many people live with the burden of financial stress. Statistics show that rates across the country are growing and it's our young people who suffer the most. However, with proper educational infrastructure and the right resources, the problem can be diminished. “54% of U.S. adults with debt say they always or often feel stressed because of their debt.” ( The Silent Strain: How Debt Takes A Toll On Mental Health ) "Younger generations are more likely to say they’re stressing about money more often. More than 3 in 10 millennials (38 percent) and Gen Zers (32 percent) who believe money has a negative impact on their mental health say they worry about money daily, compared to 26 percent of Gen Xers and 22 percent of baby boomers." ( More than half of Americans say money negatively impacts their mental health, up sharply from a year ago ) Interviewees: Liliana Roriguez (local senior), Bridget Nelson (local AP Psychology teacher)

The Ultimate Guide To Funding Your Education / By: Shanel Brown

The Ultimate Guide To Funding Your Education / By: Shanel Brown

H ave you reached that exciting moment in your life when you walked across that graduation stage and got your high school diploma? Think about where you are now, you are probably wondering if this is the end or just the beginning of something amazing.  For many young adults, going to college is the next big step they want to take. But the question for many is, can the average student actually afford to go to college? The cost of college has increased over the years and continues to climb. The Education Dates Initiative states, “ The average annual cost of attending college in the United States is $35,551. A public 4-year university in-state student pays $25,707 for one academic year .” ( Hanson, 2023) .  Additionally, the National Center for Education Statistics reported that every academic year, usually the average private, nonprofit university student pays $54,501 overall, $37,641 of which goes toward tuition and fees. ( Fast Facts, 2023 ) .          It's understandable to worry about how you will afford it all. But here is the good news: there are plenty of options out there to help you finance your education. Do not let the fear of finances hold you back from your dreams! For instance, Gregory Mason,  who is now a lawyer after graduating from Syracuse University says, “ My parents and the BLM Foundation scholarships played a huge role in helping me pay for school ”, and he advises starting the process early, like during your sophomore year. Mica Saddler, a 23-year-old college student at Malcolm X Community College, says to “ focus on your educational goal and reach out to different people. Networking is very important .” There are lots of funding options based on income that include scholarships and grants such as the Jackie Robinson Foundation, Thurgood Marshall, United Negro Funding and more. Several local unions are also known for helping out young people in school. Instead of being discouraged, remember that there are many organizations and programs around that can help. You should not be afraid to explore them and pursue your next big adventure in life. List of sources and interviews: Gregory Mason, Lawyer,  Gregorymason@gmail.com Mica Saddler, a college student, Micasaddler@gmail.com  ( Fast Facts: Tuition costs of colleges and universities Education Board 2023 ) .          ( Average Cost of College [2022]: Yearly Tuition + Expenses Melanie Hanson 2023) .

Decoding Entrepreneurial Education: The Importance of a College Degree for an Entrepreneur / By: Sanaa Taqvi

Decoding Entrepreneurial Education: The Importance of a College Degree for an Entrepreneur / By: Sanaa Taqvi

America has always held a special allure for entrepreneurs, given its rich entrepreneurial history, featuring notable figures like John Rockefeller and Bill Gates. This fascination has only grown. “According to the U.S. Census Bureau, applications for starting a business spiked to an all-time high of over 550,000 in July 2020” ( Teza, 2022 ) . The percentage of US young adults (aged 18-29) who consider having a college education to be ‘very important’ has dropped from 74% (2013) to 41% (2019)  ( Marken, 2019 ). In exploring the evolving dynamics of entrepreneurship and education, it becomes important to consider if a college degree is an essential prerequisite for entrepreneurial success. According to Dr. Maija Renko, Coleman Chair and Professor of Entrepreneurship at DePaul, “Smart, passionate and kind entrepreneurs will find their way to success, be it with or without a formal degree. However, most entrepreneurs work in a variety of businesses before they start on their own, and learn from others’ successes and mistakes.”   This is borne out by a Harvard study which found that the median age of a successful entrepreneur was 44 years, with one of the critical drivers being work experience in the field of business ( Azoulay, Jones, Kim, Miranda 2018 ). On the other hand, Ioannis Paranikas, an entrepreneur who started a retail business during high school and later attempted to hone his business acumen at the Ross School of Business, held a differing opinion. “While academic pursuits offer valuable (networking) connections, self-learning, practical insights, and an internal drive are paramount, rendering traditional business degrees less important than real-world experience in the dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship.”     Evidence shows that college is a place that can provide beneficial mentoring networking opportunities and can aid in building foundational knowledge, such as strategy, finance, and market research. Dr. Renko underscores the unique advantages that college provides for aspiring entrepreneurs, emphasizing that “College offers formal education, practical application of lessons in real-world business cases, and valuable mentorship opportunities through competitions, and mentorship programs."  For instance, if a young aspiring entrepreneur has a fully developed idea or an already successful business, they could expedite the college process and significantly lessen the financial burden by taking specialized courses or courses online. However, if you’re just getting into entrepreneurship, college may be the right path for you. Sources: https://onlinedegrees.sandiego.edu/entrepreneurship-degree-worth-it/#2 https://jausa.ja.org/news/press-releases/survey-60-of-teens-would-prefer-to-start-a-business-over-having-a-traditional-job   https://www.gallup.com/education/272228/half-consider-college-education-important.aspx   https://hbr.org/2018/07/research-the-average-age-of-a-successful-startup-founder-is-45   Ioannis Paranikas an entrepreneur who started a retail business during high school ioannis@paranikas.com Dr. Maija Renko  Coleman chair and professor of entrepreneurship at DePaul maija.renko@depaul.edu

What is the Difference Between Good Debt and Bad Debt? / By: Samantha Loies

What is the Difference Between Good Debt and Bad Debt? / By: Samantha Loies

Generally, when people hear the word “debt,” they automatically think of how damaging it may be to their finances. In personal finance, "good debt" and "bad debt" often emerge as crucial distinctions for individuals seeking financial stability. Good debt refers to debt incurred to purchase investments that have the potential to increase in value over time or provide long-term benefits. A prime example is a mortgage, which allows individuals to purchase a home—a valuable asset that typically appreciates over the years. Similarly, student loans are considered good debt when they contribute to acquiring education and skills that enhance earning potential. (Capital One, 2023)  Conversely, bad debt involves borrowing for non-appreciating assets. High-interest credit card debt is an example, as the interest rates can accumulate rapidly, leading to financial strain. Taking out loans for assets, like luxury items, may also fall into the bad debt category, as these purchases don't typically appreciate, and taking on too much “bad debt” may result in long-term financial consequences  (Smith, 2023) . The distinction lies in the potential return on investment. Good debt can be seen as an investment in one's future, contributing to financial well-being. Bad debt can hinder long-term financial goals. A student at Walter Payton said to stay away from credit card debt, most importantly. “ The myth is you need to carry debt on a credit card to build credit. I think the best way to manage your credit card is to pay it in full every month.” According to Matt Schulz, Americans’ total credit card balance is $1.079 trillion in the third quarter of 2023, according to the latest consumer debt data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York . That’s up from a record $1.031 trillion in the second quarter of 2023, leaving the balance the highest since the New York Fed began tracking in 1999 ( Schulz, 2023 ).  Individuals should prioritize managing bad debt while utilizing good debt to build wealth. Take little steps to get your finances under control. Derison Puntier, a financial coach with Working Credit, believes there is an easy first step to managing all kinds of debt. “Create a budget. Do not let that budget be restrictive. A budget is supposed to be empowering.”  Making conscious choices about borrowing and understanding the potential returns are critical elements in achieving financial stability. By embracing good debt and minimizing bad debt, individuals can pave the way for a more secure financial future. Sources: https://www.capitalone.com/learn-grow/money-management/good-debt-vs-bad-debt/ https://www.investopedia.com/articles/pf/12/good-debt-bad-debt.asp#:~:text=Good%20debt%20has%20the%20potential,they%20can%20afford%20to%20lose https://www.lendingtree.com/credit-cards/study/credit-card-debt-statistics/#:~:text=How%20much%20credit%20card%20debt,Reserve%20Bank%20of%20New%20York

Swiftonomics / By: Sadie Barash

Swiftonomics / By: Sadie Barash

Most people know Taylor Swift as a worldwide pop star; however, the impact of Ms. Swift goes far beyond that of catchy tunes for teenagers.  Swift’s most recent tour, The Eras Tour, generated an estimated five billion in economic impact ( QuestionPro, 2023 ). Although tickets to the concert certainly weren’t cheap, Swift’s hefty economic impact came from more than just ticket sales. Devoted fans, also called “Swifties”, traveled across the country to see their favorite singer live. While this may seem like an extreme decision for some, these super fans’ spending benefitted the American economy through their rather expensive travels, averaging $1,300 spent per show ( QuestionPro, 2023 ) . One of these super fans, 16-year-old Sarah Portnoy, road-tripped from Chicago to Detroit to see Swift live. Portnoy acknowledged that she “ would not have visited Detroit if it wasn’t for Swift ,” highlighting that the singer’s shows almost serves as a “ tourist attraction ” for those cities. Although other entertainment events similarly bring attention to local economies, Portnoy argues that no other artist rivals the widespread appeal of Taylor Swift.  Between hotels, restaurants, and public transportation, the economies of various US cities prospered when Swift paid them a visit. Chicago itself experienced an economic boom when Swift spent three nights at Soldier Field. CBS News reports that with over 44,000 rooms booked, Chicago hotels held their highest occupancy in the history of the city during Swift’s Chicago shows from June 1st to June 3rd ( CBSNews, 2023 ) . Though guests stayed in these hotels to see the show, the vast majority of their time in Chicago was spent exploring the city. Stefan Gruvberger, former General Manager at the LaSalle Chicago Autograph, notes that Swift’s impact came “ not only from a hotel standpoint, but also restaurants, bars, transportation, retail, etc. ” For example, CTA reported a significant increase in ridership at downtown locations during the Chicago Eras tour. Local shops and restaurants also received a boost in customers for the three days.  Whether a fan or not, it is impossible to deny the unequivocal impact Taylor Swift has had on local economies across the country.    Works Cited  QuestionPro 2023 CBS News 2023 Sarah Portnoy - Jones College Prep student Stefan Gruvberger - General Manager at The Lasalle Chicago

The Cyber Security of Your Finances / By: Oliver Krzeczowski

The Cyber Security of Your Finances / By: Oliver Krzeczowski

Cyber attacks are dangerous disruptions to all business and personal digital infrastructure. Through ransomware attacks, distributed denial of service attacks, and identity theft, threats to financial institutions and consumers are always present. In the first half of 2022, “Around 236.1 million ransomware attacks occurred globally” ( AAG, 2023 ).  This figure shows just how constant and relentless bad actors in the cyber industry are. Although this can spark fear, the cyber security systems implemented in the financial industry are described to be “only second to the Department of Defense” , according to an anonymous executive of a major US bank IT department. While cyber risks can never be taken lightly, the risk of mass system bank insolvency is minimal so consumers should be more concerned about identity theft. The financial cyber system has been experiencing mass digitization that was accelerated by the Covid-19 pandemic, creating more opportunities for bad actors to reach victims through online banking systems. Along with having a dependence on digital systems, financial institutions are heavily interconnected with transactions constantly taking place. When attacks disrupt a bank's transactions, other banks and people are affected, with smaller bystander banks potentially experiencing issues of insolvency. A report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York suggests that "a cyberattack on any of the five most active U.S. banks could affect 38% of the network" ( Kuepper, 2023 ). Cyber incidents within the financial industry can cause consumers to lose confidence in the safety of their money, which could trigger bank runs, potentially leading to issues of insolvency. Though the possibility of these extreme circumstances is real, it’s very low, as loss of confidence is described to be rarely a long-term issue, and that most cases get resolved shortly.  The protections implemented for the consumer within the financial industry are very strong. For instance, banks are required by law to return stolen money. A bigger concern is identity theft. Identity theft can wreak havoc on daily life, from ruined credit scores to stolen money, taking years to resolve. Senior citizens are most vulnerable to identity theft. New technological innovations open up new avenues for phone and internet theft, further closing the gap between real and fake. Professor Zhang of Washington University shares that, “ With the latest development of generative AI, it is becoming more difficult for folks to tell the difference.”  It’s important for people to stay informed on issues surrounding their financial institutions and to learn about ways to protect themselves from identity theft. Sources: https://aag-it.com/the-latest-cyber-crime-statistics/ https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/012117/cyber-attacks-and-bank-failures-risks-you-should-know.asp   - Anonymous Major US bank IT executive -Ning Zhang, associate professor of computer science at Washington University.

The Reemergence of Economic Conservatism in America / By: Lucia Duffy

The Reemergence of Economic Conservatism in America / By: Lucia Duffy

“ Entrepreneurship is the foundation of what America is all about, ” says Vivek Ramaswamy, an up-and-coming politician gaining support in the Republican party. However, Ramaswamy’s prominence signals a changing tide in national politics, a shift back towards conservative economics. Conservative economic policy in the United States is typically classified as a set of policies or beliefs that “ emphasize limited government intervention in the economy, lower taxes, reduced regulation, and free market principles ” ( Fiveable, 2023 ) . While wildly popular over time in America, voters in the past year seem to be leaning away from liberal economic policies at an alarming rate. Despite its recent exhibit into mainstream politics, booms of economic conservatism have been seen before, notably in the post-Great Society, Nixonian and Reagan eras where the “Silent Majority” took hold. Similarly to this era of economic policy, the recent wave of economic conservatism seems to correlate with dissatisfaction and lack of trust in the American economy. According to Pew Research, the trust that conservatives have in the American economy has diminished by 10% in the 2022-2023 fiscal year ( Pew Research, 2023 ).  However, Professor Joshua Jackson of the University of Chicago, when asked about why people with decreasing incomes turn toward private healthcare and services, argues that Republicans are turning more towards conservative economics because of  “subjective wealth” . This means that people compare themselves to others around them, and when they see themselves as better off than the people around them, they will want to keep the policy. So, especially in an era of increased communication in social media and polarization in politics, many people will want to turn away from more liberal, redistribution-based economics.  So, whether the phenomena of larger demographics aligning with conservative economics is caused by economic apathy or the valuing of subjective wealth, the United States is indubitably going through political changes, which manifest themselves in economic policy. As Walter Payton College Preparatory student Deana Fedulova aptly stated, “More and more people are complaining to me about taxes. The way they talk about [taxes], I understand some conservative votes.” Sources: https://www.pewresearch.org/politics/2023/04/07/evaluations-of-the-economy-and-the-state-of-the-nation/ https://library.fiveable.me/key-terms/conservative-economic-policies/65526fba291719e5b0d01c68

The Importance of Including Economics & Financial Literacy Courses in High School Curriculum / By: Hailan Yu

The Importance of Including Economics & Financial Literacy Courses in High School Curriculum / By: Hailan Yu

With the ever-changing economy, equipping high school students with a solid understanding of economic principles and financial literacy is more important than ever. However, the number of economic and financial literacy courses offered at the high school level throughout the United States remains consistently low, with some high schools continuing to offer no courses. “Only 22 states require high school students to take an economics course”  ( Iasevoli, 2018 ).  More recently, there has been a slight push so “as of March 2023, about 24% of students go to schools that uphold the “gold standard” of personal finance education, according to NGPF, where it’s both required and comprehensive”  ( McNair, 2023 ). Economics and financial literacy courses in high school play an important role in preparing students to understand the economy and their place in affecting the economy. These courses provide students with an understanding of topics applicable to the real world, such as supply and demand, inflation, and the global market, so that students can later be responsible participants in the economy. AP Microeconomics teacher, Bryan Williams, suggests, “It is important to get students to start thinking about how their choices will affect them from an economic standpoint, especially with them leaving for college and being out there on their own” .  High school is supposed to prepare students to become adults and enter their post-secondary lives. Economics and financial literacy courses equip students with the skills to make informed financial decisions, such as budgeting, investing, and credit management. In some cases, if students are interested in pursuing a career in business or economics, financial literacy courses might provide a headstart before college. Lindsey Prochot, an 11th grader taking AP Microeconomics this year, is interested in a business-related career and “[thinks] that AP Microeconomics should be offered at every school as an elective” as it is  “a fun class that allows for a better grasp of how we interact with the economy”. Economics and financial literacy courses in the high school curriculum are essential in creating informed, accountable, and capable citizens who are prepared to take on the economic challenges in today’s society. As educators and policymakers consider the components of a well-rounded education, the inclusion of economics and financial literacy courses should be prioritized.  List Sources: 2- Statistic Links to both article sources Name of 2 people you interviewed, title/position, email if possible https://www.edweek.org/teaching-learning/why-arent-more-states-taking-on-economics-and-personal-finance-education/2018/02   https://www.cnbc.com/2023/04/13/how-personal-finance-is-taught-in-us-schools.html Bryan Williams, AP Microeconomics Teacher at Walter Payton College Prep, bmwilliams27@cps.edu   Lindsey Prochot, Junior at Walter Payton College Prep, lgprochot@cps.edu

Juggling a Job and School: How to Find a Balance / By: Giselle De Leon

Juggling a Job and School: How to Find a Balance / By: Giselle De Leon

There are many reasons why students want to work. Some help support their families and others want to achieve a short-term goal, like buying a car. And with many companies hiring youth as young as age 14 (with limitations) to help teens get work experience, there are lots of opportunities out there. Although working as a teen has many positive aspects, it can take a toll, not just on your schedule, but also on your school and personal life. Having a job is a lot of responsibility and the hours put into working on top of school obligations can be very exhausting for young people.   In July 2023 of this year, 55.0% of young people from 16-24 years old were employed in the U.S.  ( Bureau of Labor Statistics ,  2023 ). Students in college who need to work because they have to pay for school and the expenses that come with school are also faced with the fear of being financially independent as an adult in college. “ One study showed that 70% of college students are stressed about finances” ( Mental Health America, 2024 ). This stress can be burdensome on students who have to work a lot of hours, come home late, and still have to fulfill the expectations of their classes and school. There can be effects on your mental health if you are pulled between school or a job and deciding which one to prioritize can be stressful. Charlene Ashley, an AP Psychology teacher at Walter Payton College Prep, states that “the tricky balance between school work and a job can be a negative stressor for many students. This can trigger our body's stress response system and lead to increased levels of stress hormones. ”  Michale Boyles, a writer for Harvard Business School, says, "School and work require a lot of time and energy, but balancing them is possible. Effective scheduling  is vital.”  ( Boyles, 2023 ).  Adalberto Simental, a restaurant worker at East Bank Club, adds that “ teens that have school and work responsibilities benefit from developing solid time management strategies; creating a calendar and making sure they use their time effectively, both in and out of school. ”  Neither a job nor your school commitments should affect you negatively or create issues for your mental health or school performance. You may occasionally have to sacrifice one for the other but, in general, by managing your time and emotional well-being, you should be able to balance both. Stats  Charlene Ashley  https://mhanational.org/balancing-work-and-school Adalberto Simental  https://online.hbs.edu/blog/post/how-to-balance-work-and-school https://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/youth.pdf

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