Starting with the class of 2024, students in NC must successfully complete an economics and personal finance course for graduation. This course includes budgeting, saving, investing, and managing debt. These foundational financial literacy skills can help students develop the ability to make informed financial decisions and maintain control of their future financial well-being.
One area included in this requirement is planning and paying for postsecondary education, which has the potential to help students understand the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), which serves as a gateway to accessing federal, state, and institutional financial aid for postsecondary opportunities. While the FAFSA can be complex to complete, this course and organizations such as myFutureNC, Fidelity, and CFNC offer online resources and events including the upcoming Financial Aid Summit for students filling out or preparing to fill out the FAFSA.
Combined, financial literacy programs and continually improving access to the FAFSA can be great assets to young people in North Carolina. Beyond just helping students get to college, completing the FAFSA with a strong financial literacy foundation can oftentimes help students stay in college and complete their degree by reducing the financial barriers that students face. This leads to improved job prospects, higher earning potential and increased economic mobility.
By creating and promoting programs that foster the financial well-being of its students, North Carolina benefits from a more educated workforce which contributes to economic growth, attracts businesses and promotes innovation in the state.