In an effort to better prepare New Jersey high school students for the future, all students in the state are now required to complete a half-year course in economics and financial literacy before graduation.

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"It's critical that students know about the financial aspects of credit of debt, of saving and of being smart consumers. Upon graduation, they'll be going to college and college costs money. They'll have to be looking very critically at student loans and other aspects of financing school," said Frank Belluscio, Deputy Executive Director of the New Jersey School Boards Association.

"They also need to know about the perils of credit card debt, about debit cards and about investing. This is a different world now than it used to be."

Learning how the financial process works is also important. That includes the role of banks, the role of investment houses and the like.

"If you listen to the news, you would think that Wall Street was the beginning and end of the economy in the United States. While the stock market is a factor or a barometer, it is certainly not the entire economic structure of this country. So, it's very important for students to have the very broad view and understanding of how economics works in this country," said Belluscio.

"We'll be looking at planning, saving, investment, civic financial responsibility which includes the non-profit and charitable communities along with indicators of the potential consequences of easy access to credit. It's also important for young adults to know about legal and ethical business behavior and understanding the impact of entrepreneurship," said Belluscio.

The idea is to infuse economics and financial literacy into the already existing curriculum.