AUGUSTA — The COVID-19 pandemic has introduced many modifications to on a regular basis life, together with the necessity for younger folks to be taught monetary literacy as they deal more and more with monetary considerations and burdens, in response to native educators.
In response, UMA is introducing a three-credit, on-line course on monetary literacy for highschool college students.
The course, spearheaded by Rachael Magill, director of the Workplace of Early Faculty at UMA, and David Leach, a UMA lecturer in enterprise and monetary providers, is to be provided this summer season. Many matters will likely be addressed, together with understanding credit score, getting ready for school, pupil loans and borrowing.
On the finish of the course, college students will work collectively to handle bills primarily based on sure salaries, together with balancing wants and desires.
“The timing was proper,” Magill mentioned. “It may possibly have a huge effect past proper now.”
Magill mentioned highschool is usually the primary time many college students should make monetary selections. Leach and Magill mentioned they hope the course will assist college students make higher selections about funds, spending and debt.
The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated the variety of Maine highschool college students taking faculty programs at UMA. Jonathan Henry, vp of enrollment administration and advertising at UMA, mentioned 483 Early Faculty college students had been enrolled this spring versus 412 a yr in the past, a 17.2% improve.
“College students and their college counselors had been drawn to Early Faculty programs in bigger numbers as a result of college students had been largely distant to start with, and it was simpler than working by way of hybridized common programs in the highschool,” Henry mentioned. “If you’re going to be distant, you may as properly take a web based faculty course.”
Jessica Schneckloth, vp of service and operations at Trademark Federal Credit score Union in Augusta, agreed with Leach and Magill on the necessity to train monetary literacy at a younger age.
“I do suppose we’re missing in introduction,” she mentioned. “Educating languages younger is wise. Why not cash?”
Schneckloth mentioned monetary literacy isn’t normally taught at public colleges. As a substitute, mother and father or guardians usually train youngsters about cash and funds.
She mentioned youngsters and younger adults ought to have their very own experiences with cash, the place they make their very own selections and be taught from their successes or errors.
“There are sturdy opinions about credit score and misinformation and bias,” Schneckloth mentioned. “Some folks will say, ‘You don’t want a bank card,’ and, to some extent, you don’t want one. However there’s a stability between understanding your self.”
Earlier than the pandemic, staff from space credit score unions would go to colleges to assist train college students about cash and the way to save. Schneckloth mentioned the youthful a baby learns, the higher. In reality, she mentioned she did a read-along on Fb Stay final yr for elementary college college students to show them about “desires” and “wants.”
Schneckloth mentioned the pandemic has pressured many individuals and households to vary how they spend and save their cash. She mentioned Trademark Federal Credit score Union’s name line is usually inundated with folks in search of data on stimulus checks or the way to fill out unemployment kinds.
Schneckloth mentioned the pandemic has spotlighted the significance of understanding monetary recourses and the way to put together for sudden conditions.
Leach mentioned he may also incorporate current or ongoing occasions into the category, together with the potential for President Joe Biden to cancel some pupil mortgage debt or points associated to unemployment insurance coverage, on which many extra Mainers are actually relying.
“There are plenty of shifting components with pupil loans,” Leach mentioned. “College students do typically lead with their coronary heart, however the entire course will likely be grounded in actuality, so they’re situationally conscious of all prospects.”
Leach mentioned the net class ought to present highschool college students scheduling flexibility, permitting them to take part in cocurricular actions or maintain jobs.
College students who haven’t met the 12-credit yearly cap by way of the Aspirations program can take this course tuition free, in response to organizers. Those that have already used the 12 credit awarded for the yr can decide to pay a reduced fee of $138.25 per credit score, in response to Magill.
The course has 75 slots and will likely be provided from Could 10 by way of July 12. College students can join by way of the UMA website — www.uma.edu/admission/early-college.