Not every Auburn student will major in business, but every student will eventually have to deal with their personal finances at some point. All Auburn students now have the opportunity to take a course on how to do so.
The Student Government Association partnered with the Harbert College of Business to open the three credit hour personal finance course FINC 2400, to all students, regardless of college or major.
“I don’t want them [students] to see this as an added three hours that they have to take,” said SGA President Dane Block. “This is just another opportunity for them to better themselves and equip themselves with the knowledge and skills they need to apply in life.”
Block, who is majoring in finance, took the course as a sophomore and saw a lot of benefit in the experience.
The class is what you make of it, Block said.
“I would encourage students who decide to take it to dive into it and learn more because it will come up later in your life if it isn’t already coming up now,” Block said.
The actual content of the course consists of a general overview of things like household budgeting, insurance, housing, investments, loans, debt and credit.
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Block thinks all of the topic covered in the class are important. He hopes to see Auburn students take advantage of the opportunity to learn these important things.
SGA Treasurer Dixon Simmons made it a part of his campaign platform for the position, as did Block, to improve financial literacy among the student body.
“Any student that is enrolled at Auburn University can take this course, which is really awesome because, personally, I think the students that need to be taking this course are students that don’t really have business backgrounds,” Simmons said. “Everybody has to pay taxes."
Previously, the course was open to only students that are business majors or minors.
“We as SGA would love to see this course continue to grow in the future,” Simmons said. “We look forward to continuing to work with the College of Business and the department of finance to make this happen for students.”
Simmons said that if the course grows in popularity, SGA would like to expand the amount of sections and seats available to students.
“At first we were a little worried if this is something that students are going to want to spend those free electives on, but so far, it seems like there have been plenty of students who have jumped on this opportunity,” Simmons said.
As of July 17, when fall registration opened back up for students, only 54 of the 150 spots were filled in the sole section of the course. The enrollment for the course has risen and now sits at 111 students, Simmons said.
“It’s been really cool to see because most students already have their schedule finalized at this time of the year, but to see that many students sign up for this class during the summer, to me, shows how valuable the course is,” Simmons said.
Simmons and Block were SGA senators in the year prior to being elected into their current positions. They already had relationships with many of the partners they needed to work with to get the change approved.
“It was a team effort,” Simmons said. “It wasn’t just SGA. It wasn’t just the College of Business. It was SGA, the College of Business, student affairs, communication and marketing, the office of the provost and even the advisers. It was a team effort. We couldn’t have done this without all the help of our campus partners.”
Block believes SGA will have many more programs rolled out that will help to improve financial literacy for Auburn students.
“We've got big things in store,” Block said.
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