Personal Finance Requirement Upsets Juniors’ Schedules

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Next year, the state of Iowa will be requiring personal finance as a graduation requirement. However, with this addition, many juniors are feeling the effects of a new course requirement being added before they start their senior year. 

“I am a little bit upset about it, honestly, just because I feel like as a junior, a lot of people our age have kind of planned out their high school career and the classes they were planning on taking,” Zoe Meaney ‘21 said. 

Currently, any junior who hasn’t taken personal finance yet will have to take it their senior year, as it is not being offered third trimester. 

“I think that personal finance is a good class to take, because they can definitely help you in the future,” Quinter Harvey ‘21 said. “However, throwing it on top of juniors and even sophomores who have already started to plan out their high school future and even into college, it gives them added stress to figuring out their future.”

Katherine Geerdes ‘21 is a junior who was able to fit personal finance into her schedule this trimester when she found out it was being made a requirement. 

“It worked for me just because I already had an open period [this year], so I got out of [it] pretty easily,” Geerdes said. “I purposely took it with [teacher AJ] Leman this trimester.”

While not every junior has to deal with the issue of adding the class into a busy schedule, there is still conflict surrounding the course.

“I think it’s a really important class we added, but I don’t necessarily agree with making the class of 2021…take it because it kind of messed up with a lot of students’ schedules that they had planned,” Geerdes said. 

This added requirement has resulted in an influx of inquiries to counselors regarding the matter . 

“I think the biggest concern is that some students have planned out their entire senior year and it is a full schedule, and they’re concerned about how they’re going to fit that in,” Mary Peterson, a school counselor, said. “We’re working on how to address that with those students. But most everyone’s like, ‘Oh, okay. We can do that.’”

There is also conversation regarding the fact that there is a personal finance aspect of economics. 

“A lot of us who are now required to take personal finance our senior year, have already taken economics, with the personal finance portion of it already in there, so it’s kind of like doubling up on stuff that we’ve already learned,” Meaney said. 

The added requirement will become an added stress for some students when planning out their senior years. 

“I had already planned out how my senior is going to look like before I knew about this change,” Harvey said. “Based on that, I will have to figure out what classes I will take…for my schedule to take…adding that class.”

Currently, juniors, and some sophomores who have their schedules planned out, are working with their counselors to figure out a solution as class registration season hits.