Even these Wharton business school students lack a basic personal finance education

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Signage for the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School stands outside of the new campus in San Francisco, California.

David Paul Morris | Bloomberg | Getty Images

When it comes to money, most people lack the know-how to make smart moves on their own. Even at Wharton, one of the nation’s top business schools, financial illiteracy is widespread.

To address the problem, a few MBA students in 2016 founded Wharton Common Cents to shed some light on personal finance topics that aren’t often taught in the classroom.

“There are a ton of financial circumstances you have to deal with as a graduate student that you’re not fully prepared for,” said Laura Gentile, 29, incoming co-president of the student-run club. Without the know-how, “you are at a huge disadvantage.”

The club’s mission is to provide fundamental skills and resources to create a secure financial future, Gentile said.

Students attending a Wharton Common Cents event.

Source: Wharton Common Cents

Surprisingly, it’s the first-ever club of its kind at a business school, according to current President Anuj Khandelwal, 28. The club hosts nearly weekly programs for graduate students on topics such as the difference between credit and debit cards, saving now versus later and how to talk about money with a significant other.

They are also bringing these lessons to members of the greater community, just outside the ivy-covered walls, including Jane Addams Place, a homeless shelter for women and children, and Say Yes to Education, an after-school program for public school students. “We acknowledge that Philly is one of the poorest cities in the nation,” Khandelwal said.

Two Wharton Common Cents board members, Alrene Wang and Hugh Palmer, leading an event at Jane Addams Place

Source: Wharton Common Cents

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