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Charting a Course to Student Success: Perspectives and Approaches on Financial Education.

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Presentation on theme: "Charting a Course to Student Success: Perspectives and Approaches on Financial Education."— Presentation transcript:

1 Charting a Course to Student Success: Perspectives and Approaches on Financial Education

2  About USA Funds Life Skills.  Successful school implementations.  Evaluating the effectiveness of our efforts. Agenda

3  Initiative launched in 1999.  Five modules for undergraduate students introduced in 2002.  Four modules and three CD-based minimodules for graduate students introduced in 2005. About USA Funds Life Skills

4  Web-based curriculum introduced in 2009. –Currently 34 online lessons available.

5 About USA Funds Life Skills  Topics include: –Financial aid and paying for college. –School and personal life management. –Credit and money management. –Graduating students.  The program: –Provides measurable and successful financial literacy training. –Teaches students to avoid debt problems. –Reinforces the importance of repaying student loans. –Helps students stay enrolled through graduation.

6 Successful School Implementations  Biggest lesson learned: If you build it, they probably won't come.  Suggest implementing as part of: –Admissions process. –Freshman/transfer student orientation programs. –Supplemental entrance and exit counseling. –SAP appeal process. –Academic programs/course curriculum. –TRIO programs. –Student success programs.

7  Four-year university in Hawaii: –Uses the USA Funds Life Skills interactive budgeting exercise as part of its FroshCamp, a freshman orientation program. New-Student Orientation

8  Technical college in Texas: –Students taking out subsidized loans complete lessons about managing their academic, personal and financial lives while in school, and students borrowing unsubsidized loans take additional lessons about managing credit and debt, establishing savings and avoiding identity theft. Counseling Student Loan Borrowers

9  Community college in Arizona: –If a student fails to make the satisfactory academic progress that is federally required to qualify for future financial aid, that student must take five USA Funds Life Skills lessons and must answer at least 75 percent of the course assessment questions correctly to qualify for additional financial aid. Satisfactory Academic Progress

10 Academic Programs  Tribal college in North Dakota: –Rather than canceling a class when the instructor is not available, financial aid staff members use the class time to talk about personal finance issues and introduce lessons from the USA Funds Life Skills curriculum.  Private career college in Florida: –As students progress through their program of study online lesson assignments, they encounter USA Funds Life Skills lessons as part of those assignments.

11  Four-year University in Hawaii : –Sophomore peer mentors teach freshmen enrolled in the Access to College Excellence program, in which a few weeks of the course are focused on budgeting and managing money. Peer Mentoring Programs

12 The Impact of Financial Education  The BIG question: How do we know financial education has an impact on student behavior? –Very few nationwide research on effectiveness of financial literacy programs.  The issue: –There doesn’t seem to be much agreement on defining the measurement of “Financial Literacy.” –Much discussion about what to measure – knowledge, attitudes, behaviors when assessing the effectiveness of financial literacy programs. –Mixed results of studies that have tried to find out if financial literacy programs have positive outcomes.

13 How Life Skills Assesses Outcomes Measurement FocusUSA Funds Life Skills Results Volume and exposure to materials 52,304 unique users. 168,287 online lessons completed. 144 schools set up as of 9/1/12. Satisfaction with program 4.2 out of 5 average student satisfaction score. Knowledge and ability to apply newly learned skills 88 percent average assessment score. 3.4 out of 5 average reported knowledge before training. 4.4 out of 5 average reported after. Participant planned actions 4.3 out of 5 reported likelihood of using tools and strategies provided. 93.7 percent reported an intent to change behavior. Changes in behavior 90 percent reported an actual change in behavior. 10 behavior changes per student on average.

14 How Life Skills Assesses Outcomes Top 5 Behavior Changes Number of Respondents I established educational, financial and/or career goals.885 I consider if an item is a need or want before purchasing it and spend less on wants. 879 I researched and understand the requirements to complete my program of study. 813 I spend more time on activities that help me achieve my educational, financial and career goals. 728 I use new or different strategies to manage stressful situations.718

15 How Life Skills Assesses Outcomes  Student feedback: –“I feel every school should make it mandatory that all students before they register for classes as a freshman should have to take and complete these Life Skills programs like I did. I feel it would drastically change the quality of students attending, and the graduation rate of schools would go up because these courses are a reality check...” –"USA Funds Life Skills helped me be more cautious on my spending and helped me learn about money management." –“This honestly has been really helpful with school. I hadn't realized how much everything costs and how money can just fly by. This was a huge help for me when I realized this.”

16 Questions?  For more information about USA Funds Life Skills, visit or contact me: Sara Wilson Financial Literacy Product Manager

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