NEFE, CSREES Continue to Advance Youth Financial Education

 Organizations Renew Longstanding Partnership

Date: August 10, 2006

Contact: Paul Golden 303-224-3514, [email protected]

ENGLEWOOD, COLORADO—An overwhelming 92 percent of parents surveyed believe high school students should be required to take a class in practical money management,1 and the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) and the Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES), USDA, are working to make this a reality.

The two organizations have extended their partnership to continue to promote financial education among America’s youth. With the signing of a new five-year agreement, NEFE and CSREES, the federal partner in the nationwide Cooperative Extension System, begin their 15th year of providing the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program® (HSFPP) to thousands of schools throughout the U.S.

“We are extremely pleased to continue our work with the Cooperative Extension Service to improve the financial well-being of young adults throughout America,” said Ted Beck, president and CEO of NEFE. “This relationship is one of the best examples of a successful partnership in the financial services industry.

“The NEFE-CSREES alliance has proven invaluable in teaching teens the skills they need to manage money wisely,” Beck added. “But there is still a lot of work to be done. With the renewal of our organizations’ longstanding partnership and commitment to our country’s youth, we hope to extend significantly the success of the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program.”

The High School Financial Planning Program is a six-unit curriculum that teaches the basics of money  management to young people at a time when they are developing habits and attitudes about money that will influence them for the rest of their lives. This practical and non-commercial program is available at no cost to all high schools throughout the country. In addition to providing the curriculum, NEFE trains educators to deliver the material to teens. CSREES not only actively promotes the HSFPP to local schools throughout the country, but also plays a vital role in curriculum development, evaluation and training of thousands of educators on how to teach the HSFPP. The Credit Union National Association (CUNA), and America’s Credit Unions, also partner with NEFE and CSREES in the distribution of the HSFPP.

A nationwide evaluation of the program completed in 1998, and repeated in 2003, found that the HSFPP is highly effective in improving the personal finance knowledge, behavior and confidence of teens. Upon completing the curriculum, students reported an increase of 60 percent in their knowledge of key areas covered by the HSFPP. The evaluation also found that participants better understood financial behaviors and were more confident in making money management decisions compared to their feelings prior to working with the NEFE High School Program.

“Since 1991, measurable behavior change by students has sustained the partnership between NEFE and CSREES to revise, deliver and evaluate the HSFPP,” said Jane Schuchardt, national program leader in CSREES’s Economic and Community Systems unit. “Major, national partnerships are critical for scaling up demand among local teachers and other youth-serving professionals to ensure that young people learn how to manage the money they earn.”

Since the inception of the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program, more than 4.4 million workbooks have been distributed in schools across all 50 states. In 2005 alone, more than 630,000 student guides were circulated to schools throughout the country.

“This partnership has been a key factor in growing the HSFPP into its position as a leader in financial education for teens,” said John Parfrey, director of the NEFE High School Financial Planning Program. “CSREES’s deep strengths in the areas of research and education, along with their strong commitment to financial literacy for all Americans, align them perfectly with NEFE’s own mission. Because of this, millions of high school students are better positioned to develop a strong financial future.”

The HSFPP is currently undergoing a revision scheduled to be completed in 2007. The updated program will offer a robust Web-based component containing additional tools, content and learning experiences for both students and teachers.

For more information about CSREES’s financial security program, visit www.csrees.usda.gov and click on Economics and Commerce.

For more information on the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) and America’s Credit Unions, visit www.cuna.org.

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1Visa USA Financial Literacy for Youth Month Survey, www.usa.visa.com, 2002.

Contacts

  • Paul Golden

    Media Relations Director

    Direct: 303-224-3514
    Cell: 303-918-3620
    [email protected]

  • Patricia (Pat) Seaman

    Senior Director of Marketing and Communications

    Direct: 303-224-3538
    [email protected]