Syllabus for BUE-101



Personal Finance for 2000 and Beyond provides the information you need to make sound financial choices. This course will help you determine the best course of action as you gather, protect, and use your financial assets. Eight key elements of personal finance are emphasized throughout this course: obtaining, planning, saving, borrowing, spending, managing risk, investing, and retirement and estate planning.


After completing this course, you should be able to: 

  1. Explain how your financial decisions impact on your own life and the lives of your family or loved ones.
  2. Create a financial plan based on your own needs and the needs of others who will be affected by your plan.
  3. Set financial goals and implement an action plan that will meet these goals.
  4. Describe strategies for managing the stress that can result from conflicts over purchasing decisions and managing finances.
  5. Explain how to ensure the financial security of yourself and your family or loved ones.
  6. Identify strategies for managing investments.
  7. Describe the principles of retirement and estate planning.


You will need the following materials to do the work of the course. The required textbook is available from the College's textbook supplier, MBS Direct.

Required Textbook

Publisher's Web Site

The textbook publisher provides free access to the textbook's Online Learning Center Web site ( This site provides resources for additional learning and links to Web sites for the study of personal finance topics.

When you reach the site, click the down arrow in the "Choose one. . ." box in the navigational bar on the left of the screen, and click the chapter you are studying. For each chapter, you may find the following helpful:

Web Sites: By clicking "Creating a Financial Plan" in the navigational bar on the left of each chapter's screen, you will come to the same financial planning information that appears in your text in an end-of-chapter feature called "Your Personal Financial Planner in Action" (e.g., page 29 in Chapter 1). This feature of the site is helpful because in some cases it provides more up-to-date URLs for the Web sites that are listed.


A link to this Web site is provided in each study assignment page (see the Assignment Modules area of the course Web site).


Personal Finance for 2000 and Beyond is a three-credit online course, consisting of six (6) modules. Modules include study materials and activities. Module titles are listed below.


For your formal work in the course, you are required to participate in one ungraded "Introductions" forum at the beginning of the semester, participate in four graded online class discussions, complete six written assignments, and take two proctored online examinations—a midterm and a final. See below for more details.

Consult the Course Calendar for assignment due dates.

Discussion Forums

In addition to an ungraded Introductions Forum in Module 1, Personal Finance for 2000 and Beyond requires you to participate in four graded class discussions, each focusing on a personal finance topic.

Communication with the mentor and among fellow students is a critical component of online learning. Participation in online discussions involves two distinct assignments: an initial response to a posted question (discussion thread) and subsequent comments on classmates' responses.


You will be evaluated both on the quality of your responses (i.e., your understanding of readings, concepts, and practices as demonstrated by well-articulated, critical thinking) and quantity of your participation (i.e., the number of times you participate meaningfully in the assigned forums). Responses and comments should be properly proofread and edited, professional, and respectful. Discussions may require research from your course materials or other outside sources. You must give the sources of all information that you provide that is from such sources.


Meaningful participation in online discussions is relevant to the content, adds value, and advances the discussion. Comments such as "I agree" and "ditto" are not considered value-adding participation. Therefore, when you agree or disagree with a classmate, the reading, or your mentor, state and support your agreement or disagreement.

Your initial responses and subsequent comments on classmates' responses are due on the days specified by the Course Calendar.

Written Assignments

For Personal Finance for 2000 and Beyond you are required to complete six written assignments. Each assignment has two parts, and each part covers from one to three chapters. Each part (A and B) must be submitted separately to your mentor.

The questions on each chapter fall into two categories: Review Questions and Financial Planning Problems. Answer the Review Questions in brief, outline form, making sure all key points are clearly covered. No more than two paragraphs should be required for each question, and you can often answer a question in a single short paragraph. You are referred to the Personal Finance textbook for the Financial Planning Problems. Answer all problems assigned, making sure you cover all parts of each problem. When calculations are involved, you must show your work to receive full credit. Please leave space after your answers for your mentor to make corrections and comments.

The best way to proceed with the written assignments is to answer the questions and problems for each chapter just after you have read the chapter. This is especially true for assignments that contain a heavy workload of questions. If you do the questions as you read the chapters, you won't be overwhelmed when the written assignment is due.

You should, however, follow the schedule given in the Course Calendar for transmittal of assignments to your mentor, grouping them as prescribed.

Written assignments must be prepared electronically with a word processor, preferably with whatever equation editor comes with your word processing software. However, if your word processor is not compatible with your mentor's word processor, you will need to save your assignment as a rich-text file (.rtf) before submitting it. Check with your mentor first to determine file compatibility. Important: Use the equation editor to insert equations into your word-processed document, not to create the document itself.

Include your name at the top of the paper, as well as the course name and code and the semester and year in which you are enrolled.


You are required to take two proctored online examinations: a midterm exam and a final exam. Both exams require that you use the College's Online Proctor Service (OPS). Please refer to the "Examinations and Proctors" section of the Online Student Handbook (see General Information area of the course Web site) for further information about scheduling and taking online exams and for all exam policies and procedures. You are strongly advised to schedule your exam within the first week of the semester.

Each exam will consist of a combination of true/false, multiple choice, problem-solving, and brief essay questions. Both exams are closed-book. If tables are needed to solve particular problems, they will be furnished.

Note: Financial calculators are permitted during the exams.

Midterm Examination

The midterm exam is a closed-book, proctored online exam that is three hours long. It will cover subject matter assigned through Module 3 of the course.

Note: You are permitted to use a calculator (scientific, graphing, or financial) but may not use a calculator on a phone, PDA, or any similar device.

Final Examination

The final exam is a closed-book, proctored online exam. It is three hours long and covers material assigned in Modules 4–6. Note, however, that the optional reading and viewing you do at the end of the course will not be tested in the final examination.

Note: You are permitted to use a calculator (scientific, graphing, or financial) but may not use a calculator on a phone, PDA, or any similar device.

Online exams are administered through the course Web site. Consult the Course Calendar for the official dates of exam weeks.

Statement about Cheating

You are on your honor not to cheat during an exam. Cheating means:

If there is evidence that you have cheated or plagiarized in an exam, the exam will be declared invalid, and you will fail the course.


Your grade in the course will be determined as follows:

All activities will receive a numerical grade of 0–100. You will receive a score of 0 for any work not submitted. Your final grade in the course will be a letter grade. Letter grade equivalents for numerical grades are as follows:






























Below 60

To receive credit for the course, you must earn a letter grade of C or better (for an area of study course) or D or better (for a course not in your area of study), based on the weighted average of all assigned course work (e.g., exams, assignments, discussion postings, etc.).


First Steps to Success

To succeed in this course, take the following first steps:

Study Tips

Consider the following study tips for success:


Thomas Edison State College is committed to maintaining academic quality, excellence, and honesty. The College expects all members of its community to share the commitment to academic integrity, an essential component of a quality academic experience.

Students at Thomas Edison State College are expected to exhibit the highest level of academic citizenship. In particular, students are expected to read and follow all policies, procedures, and program information guidelines contained in publications; pursue their learning goals with honesty and integrity; demonstrate that they are progressing satisfactorily and in a timely fashion by meeting course deadlines and following outlined procedures; observe a code of mutual respect in dealing with mentors, staff, and other students; behave in a manner consistent with the standards and codes of the profession in which they are practicing; keep official records updated regarding changes in name, address, telephone number, or e-mail address; and meet financial obligations in a timely manner. Students not practicing good academic citizenship may be subject to disciplinary action including suspension, dismissal, or financial holds on records.

All members of the College community are responsible for reviewing the Academic Code of Conduct Policy in the College Catalog and online at

Academic Dishonesty

Thomas Edison State College expects all of its students to approach their education with academic integrity—the pursuit of scholarly activity free from fraud and deception. All mentors and administrative staff members at the College insist on strict standards of academic honesty in all courses. Academic dishonesty undermines this objective. Academic dishonesty can take the following forms:


Thomas Edison State College is committed to helping students understand the seriousness of plagiarism, which is defined as using the work and ideas of others without proper citation. The College takes a strong stance against plagiarism, and students found to be plagiarizing are subject to discipline under the academic code of conduct policy.

If you copy phrases, sentences, paragraphs, or whole documents word-for-word—or if you paraphrase by changing a word here and there—without identifying the author, or without identifying it as a direct quote, then you are plagiarizing. Please keep in mind that this type of identification applies to Internet sources as well as to print-based sources. Copying and pasting from the Internet, without using quotation marks and without acknowledging sources, constitutes plagiarism. (For information about how to cite Internet sources, see Online Student Handbook > Academic Standards > “Citing Sources.”)

Accidentally copying the words and ideas of another writer does not excuse the charge of plagiarism. It is easy to jot down notes and ideas from many sources and then write your own paper without knowing which words are your own and which are someone else’s. It is more difficult to keep track of each and every source. However, the conscientious writer who wishes to avoid plagiarizing never fails to keep careful track of sources.

Always be aware that if you write without acknowledging the sources of your ideas, you run the risk of being charged with plagiarism.

Clearly, plagiarism, no matter the degree of intent to deceive, defeats the purpose of education. If you plagiarize deliberately, you are not educating yourself, and you are wasting your time on courses meant to improve your skills. If you plagiarize through carelessness, you are deceiving yourself.

For examples of unintentional plagiarism, advice on when to quote and when to paraphrase, and information about writing assistance and originality report checking, click the links provided below.

Examples of Unintentional Plagiarism

When to Quote and When to Paraphrase

Writing Assistance at Smarthinking

Originality Report Checking at Turnitin

Disciplinary Process for Plagiarism

Acts of both intentional and unintentional plagiarism violate the Academic Code of Conduct.

If an incident of plagiarism is an isolated minor oversight or an obvious result of ignorance of proper citation requirements, the mentor may handle the matter as a learning exercise. Appropriate consequences may include the completion of tutorials, assignment rewrites, or any other reasonable learning tool in addition to a lower grade for the assignment or course. The mentor will notify the student and appropriate dean of the consequence by e-mail.

If the plagiarism appears intentional and/or is more than an isolated incident, the mentor will refer the matter to the appropriate dean, who will gather information about the violation(s) from the mentor and student, as necessary. The dean will review the matter and notify the student in writing of the specifics of the charge and the sanction to be imposed.

Possible sanctions include:

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