Originally created 03/06/03

Bill requires high school personal finance classes



COLUMBIA, S.C. -- Legislators want to help students avoid falling into credit card debt during their first year of college by requiring them to complete a personal finance class to graduate from high school.

James Bryan, social studies coordinator for the state Education Department, told the Senate Education Committee that college freshmen are pounded with offers and can "accumulate 12 credit cards in less than an hour" at campus-sponsored fairs.

The personal finance program would teach students about borrowing money and managing a home budget. The two-week program would be part of the economics class required for graduation. Bryan said the program has been available for the past three years, but not all schools have taken advantage of it.

The committee approved the bill pending a report on how much the program will cost.

Sen. John Matthews, D-Bowman, said that the program would not cost anything because the materials already are available.

On the Net:

Personal finance bill: http://www.scstatehouse.net/sess115-2003-2004/bills/258.htm