Baylor Students Teach Teens Basic Finances

Dec. 4, 2003

by Cynthia J. Jackson

Baylor University business student Jessie Fiske wants to keep high school teens from having to "learn the hard way" about personal finances. As a service to the community, Fiske and 29 other members of the Baylor Economists have decided to go into the classrooms of Waco high schools.

"We want to inform juniors and seniors about things we wished we had known before we left for college," said Fiske, a sophomore economics major from Midland. "Things that parents may not have discussed with their kids."

Topics include the basics of the banking system, how to deal with credit cards (and the benefits and dangers of having one), what loans are and how they work, and personal financial responsibility, which includes building good credit.

Fiske thinks that having a college student explaining the importance of these ideas will help the teens make wise decisions in college and be more informed about personal finance than the average freshman.

"An adult friend of mine once told me that she wished there had been a class that taught her how to do taxes, about interest rates, about credit cards, about debt and other 'small issues' that can, in fact, get you on the wrong track from the start with bad credit," Fiske said. "I'm really looking forward to educating these kids about basic economic factors that you have to deal with everyday."

Fiske visited seniors Dec. 2 at Texas Christian Academy to discuss personal finance basics, such as how to balance a check book, budgeting, credit and credit cards. On Dec. 4, she went back to teach about loans, financing a college education, investing and saving.

The Baylor Economists club is open to students of any major. Fiske said that they are expecting to increase their membership significantly next year and expand the high school teaching program.

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