NFEC’s Financial Literacy Assessment Test Builds Awareness for the Financial Literacy Movement
The National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) has released the results of several research studies designed to measure current financial capabilities, gather opinions about money management topics, and identify gaps in knowledge to be addressed by financial education curriculum and campaigns. First, in a supply- and demand-side study, the NFEC conducted more than 1,000 face-to-face interviews with citizens around the world about their current financial situations. Results of this study were compiled into a GAP assessment report that guided the development and fine-tuning of the NFEC financial education curricula.
Second, the NFEC collaborated with noted statistician Edward Halteman, Ph.D. to develop a financial literacy test for high school students. Administered online in 2012-13, this survey tested young people’s knowledge base around key personal finance topic areas. Survey questions were based on national financial literacy standards. This study found that high school students would definitely benefit from receiving more financial education; less than 30% of the 1,309 youth who completed the test were able to score above the 70% mark, and the average score was 58%.
The third study represented a measure of adult attitudes toward money management and financial education, an analysis that supplemented the student financial literacy test. A total of 452 adults responded to a web-based questionnaire between November 2012 and August 2013. The survey asked respondents to offer their opinions about various financial education matters. For example, one item asked how big a problem it is that most college students do not understand the ramifications of taking out a student loan. Most respondents (93%) stated they believed this problem was either “big” or “very big.”
The NFEC conducts empirical research to provide an evidence base to guide financial education curriculum development and event planning. In addition, study results are published into comprehensive reports that the NFEC uses to raise awareness for the financial literacy movement. As this movement gains momentum on the international stage, the results of the personal financial literacy test provide impetus that will motivate more concerned citizens to become involved. Thus the NFEC will move that much closer to achieving its mission to increase the financial capabilities of people around the globe.