Learning basic financial knowledge just makes sense. Parents and teachers often overlook these lessons when we are growing up.
But one university is trying to change all that. McGill University Financial Literacy Course is free and open to anyone. The courses are all online, and each one takes only 10 to 20 minutes to complete.
As a previous financial advisor, I think offering these free courses is a great way to learn useful skills that you’ll need your entire life.
Financial Literacy Education
McGill University offers free Financial Literacy Courses to help improve basic knowledge and give you tools to make confident and smart financial decisions.
- It’s free
- Taught by McGill professors
- Awarded a certificate when completed
- Only covers very basic topics
What Is the McGill University Financial Literacy Course?
Back in 2019, McGill University partnered with RBC Future Launch and The Globe and Mail to offer a free Personal Finance Essentials program available to everyone. The goal was to teach basic financial literacy to the public.
How does this program work? Is it easy to register, and do you get credit? Let’s take a look at the features associated with the personal finance course.
The biggest benefit to the course is that it’s entirely free. It’s also completely online, making it easy to fit into your busy schedule.
The program consists of eight different modules that introduce a different finance topic. Each module contains ten to twenty-minute video sessions followed by a quiz. To move on to the next module, you must pass the test.
The passing grade is an 80%, but if you don’t reach that the first time, don’t worry – you can take the test as many times as you need.
As it is a self-directed course, you have three months to complete all eight modules.
The course load looks like this:
- Module 1 – Introduction to Personal Finance
- Module 2 – Budgeting and Saving
- Module 3 – Your Money: Today and Tomorrow
- Module 4 – Understanding Debt and Borrowing
- Module 5 – The Art of Investing 1
- Module 6 – The Art of Investing 2
- Module 7 – The Realities of Real Estate
- Module 8 – Behavioural Finance
While the course is offered by McGill University, it is a non-credit course and does not count towards any degrees. The program hopes to equip its users with the knowledge and skills to navigate daily life.
When you’ve completed each module and successfully passed each test, you’ll receive the McGill Personal Finance Essential attestation certificate.
Money Mentors is a credit counselling agency located in Alberta. While one of their goals is to help those in financial peril recover, they found that educating their customers on basic financial principles helps them succeed.
They offer free financial education programs you can take online or in person. Similar to McGill University, there are a variety of finance topics covered.
However, Money Mentors have more courses than the eight modules McGill offers. In addition to providing tips on budgeting and debt service, Money Mentors offers courses on retirement, fraud detection, and how to survive a layoff.
Each course is a bit longer than McGill University’s – around an hour compared to the 10 or 20-minute videos you get with McGill. While Money Mentors might have more selection, the thing they don’t have is the name.
McGill University is a well-known learning institution. Their own professors from the Management Faculty teach the courses, which might be why McGill gets the edge.
A good number of customers on Reddit found the course to be easy and “dumbed down,” as another user put it. Others found it a good refresher to the knowledge they already had.
Many users agreed that the course material was very basic, but the wording of the test questions was hard to follow.
Overall, they agreed that it was a good course for beginners or those looking for a simple review. However, the course had a few kinks (test question wording) that caused a few complaints.
Taking the course is easy. You just need to register on the McGill website. You’ll have to enter your personal information and language preference. You can choose from English or French.
You can only register during certain times – as long as the current session is open. You also can’t enroll for future sessions ahead of time.
McGill University hopes its free course on financial literacy helps individuals improve their understanding of basic finance concepts.
With eight different modules, users can learn a bit about everything. Once completed, you can add the certificate to your LinkedIn profile.
If you’re looking to improve your finances, check out these top apps for your budgeting needs.