Madison County high schoolers are getting a "Reality Check"; learning about financial planning. Ninth graders say they're happy they are learning to budget now, so they don't have to learn the hard way later on.
The dose of reality at Rosa Scott school in Madison County is part of a financial literacy course.
"I learn how to write checks, and we get to spend money, which is the best part," said Hannah Duran, a 9th grader at Germantown High School who was at Wednesday's "Reality Fair".
This year, all 1,067 9th grade students in Madison County are learning about budgeting, choosing insurance and housing, how to balance their checkbooks, and much more.
Erin McInnis is in 9th grade at Germantown High School and wants to study business in college.
"It's been hard," she said. "I've learned that you have to have money to pay for bills, and if you don't have it, you have fees you have to pay for."
During the "Reality Fair", the students are assigned a monthly salary based on their GPA, so they learn that their actions now really can affect them later in life.
"Some of them are like, 'Why do I only get that amount of money?' said Germantown High School Principal Wesley Quick. "A lot of times, grades and your salary are correlated in your profession."
The students have spent the past two weeks taking lessons on financial literacy on a website called Everfi.net.
"It shows you how to protect your money, and how you use a check, and how to use deposits, and the stuff the government stuff," explained Duran.
Each session at the fair hosts about 100 students, so they can have hands-on, interactive lessons with the companies hosting the event.
"It's a lesson," said McInnis. "I get to learn what it's like to be out in the real world."
Ninth-graders have been learning these Real world lessons for 6 years at this event.
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