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The Impact of Personal Finance Education Delivered in High School and College Courses


This study investigates the impact of personal finance education delivered in high school and college. Outcomes of interest were investment knowledge and household savings rates measured years after the financial education was delivered. A web-based survey with questions about participation in financial education, financial experiences, income and inheritances, and demographic characteristics was administered to 1,039 alumni from a large midwestern university. Participation in a college level personal finance course was associated with higher levels of investment knowledge. Experience with financial instruments appeared to explain more of the variance in both investment knowledge and savings rates. No significant relationship between taking a high school course and investment knowledge was found. Financial experiences were found to be positively associated with savings rates.

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  1. For detailed information on policies and development of personal finance education for each state, see National Council on Economic Education (2005) and Tennyson and Nguyen (2001).


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Correspondence to Jonathan J. Fox.



Ten-item NASD investment knowledge test

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Peng, TC.M., Bartholomae, S., Fox, J.J. et al. The Impact of Personal Finance Education Delivered in High School and College Courses . J Fam Econ Iss 28, 265–284 (2007).

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  • College students
  • Financial literacy
  • Household savings
  • Personal finance