ECRU, Miss. (WTVA) - A group of four students recently competed in the Mississippi Online Personal Finance Challenge sponsored by Millsaps College.
They placed first in the state.
Their teacher sees that knowledge about money as a crucial part of learning and living.
Teacher Bob Wingo said, "Whether they're flipping burgers at McDonald's or CEO of the largest company in the world they'll deal with bills and money. You need to know."
The students take a finance class at North Pontotoc High School which, even as ninth graders, has sparked their interests in possible careers.
Student Dawson McCord said, "Business is something I really like and think I'll have a future in. This class has been helpful. We learn the basics like balancing a checkbook. It's real world stuff you're going to have to know."
Another student says the class helps her budget money that she earns as a part time babysitter.
Student Savannah Moore said, "You need to worry about what your necessities are and then what extras you want."
The teacher says he'd like to see more emphasis on economics in public schools.
Wingo said, "The focus today is on math, science, technology and advanced courses like that. I'm certainly not knocking those but everybody needs that basic personal finance understanding."
The team's first place state win sent them to nationals in St. Louis last week.
Although they didn't place, their goal is to make it back next year and get a win.