Course Description

Discover the core personal finance topics that college-bound students need to know in order to prepare them for the important money decisions they'll need to make in college and beyond. This includes credit and debit cards (and responsible usage), student loans, basic budgeting, personal banking (including savings and checking accounts) and saving toward a financial goal.

This course is ideal for college-bound 11th and 12th grade students who need to learn the core principles of personal finance before going on to college.

Please note times are in Central Standard Time (CST).

Learner Outcomes

  • Understand and apply the concept of compound interest and the number of ways that interest can affect us (bank accounts, credit cards, student loans)
  • Understand the difference between a debit card and a credit card and practical tips for how and when to use these tools. Review APR and calculate total cost of borrowing when using a credit card.
  • Understand the different ways that college can be paid for, including student loans. Review the different types of student loans (federal vs. private) and the total cost of borrowing as well as responsibilities around paying back loans.
  • Learn the core concepts around budgeting and how to save money toward short- and long-term goals. Review different tools, technologies and apps that can be used to budget.
  • Learn the difference between a savings and checking account and how to put money in and take money out of these accounts as well as check the balance.
  • Learn how to set a financial goal and take actions on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to work toward that goal.


  • Online registration closes at noon 4 days prior to the start of the class.
  • For late registration options, please contact SMU College Prep at 214-768-2267 for assistance.
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