Impact of Financial Literacy Education

Mandell, L. & Klein, L.S. (2009). The impact of financial literacy education on subsequent financial behavior. Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning Education, 20(1), 15-24.

Brief Description: This study examined the impact of a personal finance course on a sample of high school graduates who were followed for five years after graduation. Students who took the course were compared to those who had not and were not found to be any more financially literate. In addition, students who took the course did not evaluate themselves to be more savings-oriented and did not appear to have better financial behaviors than those who had not taken the course. Being a full-time college student or graduate, however, did positively and significantly impact financial behavior.

Implications: Findings of this study raise questions about the long-term effectiveness of high school financial literacy courses and their ability to improve students’ financial decision-making in later life. This finding is consistent with several previous studies. Current content and/or methods used to teach personal finance may need to be reconsidered (e.g., increased use of methods with interactivity). This recommendation is consistent with studies by the Jump$tart Coalition which found that high school students who play a stock market game are significantly more financially literate than those