Upperclassman health should be replaced with home finance

Parikshith Hebbar, Contributing Writer

As juniors or seniors, Schreiber students take one semester of Health.  In many respects, this class is very similar to the one you take in seventh and ninth grade.  Recent events in the market, as well as broader trends in society, prove that many Americans graduate high school unprepared to manage their finances or plan their future.  Rather than retake a class whose core tenets students already know, they should take a class that focuses more on their financial future.  This may also help them in their life planning and search for college.  While avoiding destructive decisions is crucial to have stable finances, so is understanding the basics of those finances, from interest rates to tax rebates.

“Many students grow up knowing school material, however they are financially confused.  Many kids don’t even know how to do their taxes or purchase necessities like homes and cars later in life.  We are expected to learn this outside of school.  Therefore a class about our financial future would be a great and helpful course to prepare the youth,” said freshman Ragib Haque.

Most of the material in health gets repeated each year.  Having a class on learning financial literacy could help a lot of students.  This would prepare them for a time when understanding their personal finance becomes a necessity.  The class could decrease the amount of stress and confusion students have later in life, and truly prepare them for the real world. 

“We have been educated on the subject of health throughout middle school.  Classes like finance will really teach us things we will need to know in the future,” said freshman Jai Dhillon. 

In fact, many Americans avoid personal oversight of their accounts, and instead leave it to hired financial managers or tax preparation services.  This lack of knowledge and control can lead to poor financial decisions and even costly mistakes.  According to the American Institute of CPAs, a third of U.S. taxpayers paid a tax professional or national tax preparation company to do their taxes.  In fact, 45% of the people polled by the American Institute of CPAs said they don’t know when they last reviewed the amount of tax withheld from their paychecks.  These statistics show that a lot of Americans are uneducated on how to manage their home finances and end up paying professional tax payers to do their work.  This can all lead to confusion, stress, and can be a waste of money.  These can all be saved with a simple class that teaches these things.

“It teaches people skills they will need in the future and since they are near the end of high school, they will need to know how to balance finances soon,” said freshman Zayd Pattie.

Upperclassman health is the most obvious choice to be replaced or integrated with this new home finance class.  Both of these classes deal with the problem of making good choices after you graduate highschool, but one has already been thoroughly taught multiple times.  A class on home finance that can increase a student’s level of understanding around the fundamentals of budgeting, saving, debt and investing will impact every part of their life and can mean the difference between prosperity or poverty.  Furthermore, this will make them more educated voters and citizens when discussing American economic policy.

“I think a home finance class will help benefit us in the future and without it we might face a lot of problems,” said freshman Nicholas Bienenstein.

Managing  finances will inevitably become a  priority of every Schreiber graduate.  Finances all play a massive role in major life events: career decisions, buying a  house, getting married, and having children.   Finance is a part of our everyday life.  Whether it’s where you eat, what you buy, traveling, going out with friends or negotiating prices, every day we are faced with financial decisions.  Young adults lack the experience and education to make these decisions.  The consequences for not having prior knowledge on managing finances are severe.  Finances are understandably one of the major causes of stress for adults.  Everyone can relate to this stress; even the wealthiest people have felt financial pains at one time or another.  Debt and/or a lack of savings can cause considerable hardship on a person’s life.  And it doesn’t just cause daily stress, financial problems can lead to divorce, poor health, depression, and even poverty. 

In short, health is a helpful class, especially early in one’s life, where peer pressure and other risks run rampant, but in the long run financial literacy is also important.  Making poor decisions in either field can lead to severe setbacks for a Schreiber student, and a strong educational foundation will include both.