This September throughout New Jersey, students go back to school after a summer of fun and sun. Everyone will excitedly settle in and receive their first assignments, but since 2010, the requirements have changed for public high school students. Now, in order to graduate, they must take a required half-year course in personal finance, as mandated by the New Jersey Department of Education. The requirement was implemented shortly after the 2008 financial crisis.
92% of Mercer County teachers, school administrators, students and community leaders surveyed by the Mercadien Foundation in 2013 agreed that the 21st Century Life and Career Standards curriculum, the requirements that include personal finance and entrepreneurship, is helpful for students, whether they’re going to college, other post-secondary schooling or immediately entering the workforce. With a solid grasp on their own personal finances, high school graduates are far more likely to succeed, save money, and make better financial decisions. This year, there’s even more reason to get excited for the start of school.
The Mercadien Foundation and Rider University have teamed up with TD Bank, New Jersey Manufacturers Insurance Company, and Fulton Bank to bring Mercer County high schools an exciting addition to their personal finance curriculum. The program, called Money$peak, is a co- and extra-curricular program launching this fall that encourages teams of students to get more engaged with their personal finance course by offering the opportunity to create innovative presentations and compete on a county-wide level for bragging rights and prizes at Rider University in the spring of 2015.