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10 Finance Courses for High School Students

Exploring finance as a high school student helps gain a foundational understanding of financial principles that will serve you well beyond the classroom. These courses offer insights into managing personal finances, understanding investment strategies, and comprehending the intricate workings of financial markets. From essential concepts in introductory Finance to specialized areas like Corporate Finance and Risk Management, there’s a diverse range of courses to consider. 

Taking finance courses as a high school student reflects a focused interest in a specific field, setting you apart from other college applicants. It highlights your commitment to self-improvement and readiness to embrace challenging academic pursuits, signaling to colleges your capacity for academic rigor. Strong performance in these courses demonstrates your aptitude for quantitative reasoning, critical analysis, and problem-solving — highly sought-after skills in college-level coursework and beyond. In this article, we’ve curated a list of 10 finance courses for high school students that are available both in-person and online. 

Offered by the University of Pennsylvania, ‘Essentials of Finance introduces theories, methodologies, and crucial considerations within both personal and corporate finance. Fundamental topics like the time value of money, risk-return dynamics, equities, and corporate accounting are explored in this comprehensive course. Lectures and presentations are conducted by esteemed Wharton faculty, lecturers, and PhD students, providing valuable insights into the complexities of finance. The innovative curriculum, developed by Wharton Professor Michael Roberts, seamlessly integrates personal and corporate finance concepts for exploration in real-life scenarios.

Location: University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, USA (on campus)

Cost: $7,599 including meals, board, and trips.

Eligibility: High school students from grades 9–12

Application Deadline: Apr 3, 2024

Course Dates: 2 weeks from June — August

Delve into Economics, Finance, and Public Policy subjects at Harvard this summer, where students can select two courses that align with their interests. These courses, running throughout the 7-week term, offer a deep dive into various aspects of these fields, allowing participants to tailor their summer studies. Upon completion, students can request an official transcript detailing your coursework, grades, and the credits earned. Students get to choose from diverse formats for the 7-week program:

  • Immerse yourself in campus life with the 7-Week SSP Residential option. For those in the 7-Week Residential program, 8 credit hours are offered, achievable through two 4-credit courses or one 8-credit course.

  • Opt for complete online access through SSP Online for a flexible learning experience. 

  • Experience a summer studying at Harvard while still living at home and commuting to campus for classes and activities. SSP Online or Commuting students have the flexibility to opt for 4 or 8 credit hours, allowing customization.

Location: Cambridge, MA (on campus)

Cost: Online or Commuting: $3,900 (4 credits) or $7,600 (8 credits) | Residential: $14,250 (8 credits)

Eligibility: Students who will graduate from high school and enter college in 2024 — 26, are at least 16 years old by June 22, 2024, and will not turn 19 years old before July 31, 2024, may apply. International students may also apply. 

Application Deadline: Jan 10, 2024 (early), Feb 14, 2024 (regular) Apr 10, 2024 (late)

Course Dates: 7 weeks, Jun 22 — Aug 10, 2024

Understanding Your Money is a self-paced online program exclusively curated for high school students. This program serves as an introduction to fundamental economic concepts, focusing on critical areas such as investing and basic money management skills. Its primary objective is to empower students with the knowledge to make informed and astute financial decisions. The program, guided by Wharton faculty, delivers comprehensive online video lessons complemented by supplementary readings, interactive activities, glossary terms, and quizzes.

Throughout the program, participants learn to define and apply essential economic concepts and principles in the context of financial decision-making. Additionally, students gain insights into the intricate dynamics of money, exploring its varied interactions and implications. The curriculum also covers crucial aspects such as earning, budgeting skills, and the significant impact financial challenges can have on an individual’s overall well-being.

Location: Online

Cost: $329 (2–4 weeks)

Eligibility: 16–18-year-old high school sophomore or junior

Application Deadline: January

Course Dates: 2 weeks or 4 weeks in July

Learn more about this program in our article here

Columbia University’s ‘Introduction to Business, Finance, and Economics’ navigates through the intricacies of a firm’s financial behavior, investigating investment models, cash sources, and the dynamics of financial markets. Students explore the market valuation of firms, securities, and investments, delving into stocks, bonds, and various valuation models. The curriculum encompasses optimal investment strategies, deciphering accounting statements, understanding risk sources, and comprehending the mechanics and historical context of financial markets. Case studies and independent projects enrich the learning experience.

Location: In-person or Online

Cost: $12,449 per session or $6,300 per session (for commuters)

Eligibility: High school students from grades 9–12

Application Deadline: March 4, 2024

Course Dates: 2 sessions spanning 3-weeks from June — August, 2024

The ‘Foundations of Finance’ course on edX offered by the University of Cambridge is a comprehensive yet accessible exploration of fundamental financial concepts. It offers a clear understanding of crucial topics such as cash flow, financial reporting, interest, return, risk management, and more. It particularly benefits individuals aiming to engage more effectively with financial specialists or those considering a career or transition into finance. However, no prerequisites are required for this course, making it accessible to all. Whether you’re interested in corporate finance, financial management, or business finance, this program equips you with the foundational understanding necessary for success in these domains.

Location: Online

Cost: Free 

Eligibility: Everyone is eligible to enroll in this course.

Application Deadline: Rolling Basis

Course Dates: Self-Paced

The Georgetown Pre College Online Program in Investing helps students learn how investors grow their money. This course covers how things like fintech and cryptocurrencies affect investments, and what happens after you buy a stock. You’ll explore how finance works, including how companies are valued and how that affects stock prices. Plus, you’ll create your own investment plan that fits your goals. If you’re interested in managing money for yourself or others in the future, this course is a great starting point.

Location: Online

Cost: Up to $1795

Eligibility: Students aged 13 and up

Application Deadline: Rolling

Course Dates: 1, 2, and 4 Week Sessions

Enroll in UCLA’s three-week summer program dedicated to exploring the dynamic realm of investments and associated career trajectories. Engage in insightful lectures and discussions led by esteemed UCLA faculty and students, covering diverse topics like financial markets, stock ownership, valuation methodologies, private equity, and financial crises. The curriculum incorporates practical case studies, and your performance will be assessed through class participation, assignments, and exams, culminating in transferable college credit.

Location: California, Los Angeles (on-campus)

Cost: $461 with limited full and partial scholarships available.

Eligibility: All high school students aged 14–18, international students can apply as well

Application Deadline: June 1, 2024

Course Dates: Three weeks in June and July (tentatively, based on previous years)

Delve into the fundamentals of strategic financial management with the Financial Management Specialization, encompassing financial accounting, investments, and corporate finance. Part of the University of Illinois iMBA Program, each course within this Specialization contributes toward fulfilling the University of Illinois course requirements and earning college credits. Throughout this program, students will learn to assess crucial corporate and investment decisions, view financial markets through a strategic lens, and construct an integrated framework for value-centric financial management and personal decision-making.

Location: Online

Cost: $98 for a 3-month completion timeline

Eligibility: Students aged 13 and up

Application Deadline: Open enrollment

Course Dates: Self-paced, 3 months at 10 hours a week

Experience the vibrant campus life while delving into the world of finance with this no-cost financial empowerment program by the University of Houston tailored for aspiring finance majors. Discover the intricacies of personal finance management, including budgeting, goal setting, and more. This program is crafted to furnish you with a comprehensive toolkit for mapping out your financial journey. Designed for those seeking a concise yet enriching summer opportunity, it offers a valuable experience without the need for significant time or financial investment.

Location: University of Houston, Houston, TX

Cost: Free. Information about whether the program offers room, meals, and covers travel has not been provided.

Eligibility: Rising sophomores, juniors and seniors

Application deadline: April 2024 (exact date TBA)

Course Dates: 4–5 days in June (tentatively, based on previous years)

Columbia University’s Introduction to Corporate Finance course provides participants with a comprehensive understanding of fundamental financial principles and their practical application in assessing firm valuation, bonds, and stocks. Through in-depth coverage of concepts like the time value of money, cost of capital, and capital budgeting, students will utilize Excel extensively to analyze bonds, and stocks, compute NPV, and determine IRR. As a mandatory introductory finance course for first-year MBA students at Columbia Business School, it is delivered by esteemed instructor Daniel Wolfenzon.

Location: Online

Cost: Free or $226 for certification

Eligibility: Open to all, but students must be familiar with basic concepts of Accounting and possess basic skills in Microsoft Excel (or equivalent.)

Application Deadline: Open enrollment

Course Dates: Self-paced, 4 weeks at 3–4 hours per week

If you’re looking for an incubator program that helps you establish a developed startup in high school, consider the Young Founders Lab! 

The Young Founder’s Lab is a real-world start-up bootcamp founded and run by Harvard entrepreneurs. In this program, you will work towards building a revenue-generating start-up that addresses a real-world problem. You will also have the opportunity to be mentored by established entrepreneurs and professionals from Google, Microsoft, and X. 

You can access the application link here!

Bonus — the Lumiere Research Scholar Program

For students interested in delving deeper into finance research to bolster their applications and resumes, consider applying to the Lumiere Research Scholar Program. This selective online high school program, developed in collaboration with leading researchers from Harvard and Oxford, provides an exceptional opportunity to explore finance-related topics.

The program caters to students passionate about finance research, attracting a significant applicant pool — last year, over 4000 students competed for just 500 program spots! To explore and engage in finance-centric research, find the application form here. 

Trisha Malhotra, an Ashoka University alumna, has 5 years of experience being a freelance writer and currently writes for Lumiere Education. She is passionate about music, reading, and Brazilian jiu-jitsu, as well as a devoted cat parent.

Image Source: UPenn logo



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