Ohio high schools to include personal finance courses

BOWLING GREEN -- The three R's of education are reading writing and arithmetic. But another course is about to be added to the list here in Ohio, reports News 11's Dick Berry.

It's a fact of life for many students at Bowling Green State University and other schools. They're in debt.

Last year alone, BGSU students borrowed $129 million to attend school. Their debt worries don't end here. Many are piling up bills they can't pay on credit cards.

The solution: mandatory personal finance classes in high school. That's going to happen in 2010, the result of a bill sponsored by Ohio Treasurer Richard Cordray.

"Every one of us knows we don't know as much as we'd like to know about managing our finances. If we don't make good financial decisions, we're in trouble all of our lives," Cordray says.

Cordray is the keynote speaker at a Smart Money workshop for high school educators learning about the personal finance mandate. The need is there.

BGSU even has a Student Money Management Services office. Students get advice on how to develop a budget, something educators believe should start in high school.

"I personally don't see a problem with starting financial education at the youngest age possible. The more they learn, the better role model they have at a young age. Better off financially they'll be down the road," says Duane Whitmire, with BGSU Student Money Management Services.

Mike Guilfoyle has been teaching a personal finance course for 15 years at Solon High School high, where it's an elective course.

"I think it's one of the most beneficial things they'll take because the topics that we teach they're going to use for the rest of their life," Guilfoyle says.

Students we talked to agree.

"It would have helped me learn what to do so I can take out the right loans that aren't going to kill me," says BGSU student Chris Greggila.

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