Finance 0002

Finance 0002 (Essentials of Personal Finance) is one of the Wharton online for-credit courses offered within the Pre-baccalaureate Program.


Course Description

FNCE 0002: Essentials of Personal Finance

This course introduces students to key financial concepts through the lens of personal financial decisions. Centered on financing one’s education, the course explores time value of money, tax and loans, basic money management skills such as: budgeting, saving, and investing; and culminates with a capstone project evaluating student loan offers. 

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, you will be able to: 

  • Define and calculate simple/compound interest and discounted cash flow.  
  • Acquire money-management skills such as budgeting, saving, and investing.  
  • Understand how the U.S. tax system works.  
  • Explore ways to fund higher education and learn to negotiate the best available aid package.

About the Wharton Pre-baccalaureate Program

The Wharton Pre-baccalaureate Program is an academically-intensive opportunity for exceptional high school juniors and seniors to enroll in Wharton online courses. Participants will learn from Wharton instructors, earn a Wharton transcript, and accrue college credit for each course completed. With six sessions to choose from and built-in academic support, students are encouraged to explore the depth and breadth of Wharton’s business education curriculum with maximum flexibility and the guidance and resources to succeed.


Course Details

This course is delivered via video lectures, synchronous class sessions, online assignments, discussions, and exercises. To be successful, you must actively engage with ideas presented in the course, and with those posed by your classmates.  

Assessment is based upon active course participation, individual assignments, discussion posts and responses, periodic quizzes, and a final assignment.

Course Content

Course Topics: 

  • Interest and time value of money 
  • Discounting 
  • Financial decision-making 
  • Taxation 
  • Investing 
  • Student Loans 

Synchronous Classes: 

Synchronous classes offer the opportunity to explore questions about the course and materials beyond the lectures through live interactions with your course instructor and your classmates. Live class sessions will meet twice weekly.

Course Materials Fee


See full tuition details here.



Course attendance and participation are expected on a regular basis.

Technical Requirements:

In order to fully participate in this course, you will need a computer that meets minimum system requirements for both Canvas LMS and Zoom Videoconferencing. Refer to the following links:

All programming originates from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania (Eastern Daylight Time).


Wharton Global Youth Meetup (GYM)

Wharton Global Youth Meetup (GYM) is a creative, co-curricular community open to summer students as a way to connect to one another — and Wharton — before, during, and after their programs. Featuring both live and independent programming, the GYM is designed to ensure virtual participants don’t miss out on valuable community building and networking. 

*The GYM is included in all online summer programs, except Understanding Your Money.