Announcing the Retirement of NEFE's Educational Programs

Financial education has come a long way since NEFE launched its first resource in 1984. With so much change in the financial and technological landscape over the past four decades, we understand the importance of adapting to the evolving needs of our field.

With the development of our 2019-2024 strategic plan, we’ve critically considered where our efforts are most needed. To that end, our intention over the next year is to transform NEFE into an institute that advances high-impact scholarly research and facilitates collaboration with practitioners, advocates and policymakers.

To successfully devote more of our resources to this kind of leadership, we have made the decision to retire our curriculum programs, including the High School Financial Planning Program (HSFPP) and Smart About Money, at the end of the 2020-2021 academic year. The CashCourse program will transfer to the Higher Education Financial Wellness Alliance and will be available without interruption.

NEFE President and CEO, Dr. Billy J. Hensley, on our new strategic future.

Our Evolving Strategy

Our goal always will be to advance the frontier of financial education now and for future generations. We are one of many organizations working on solutions to this challenge and understand our responsibility to evolve as needs transform. Retiring our own curricula allows us to pursue other critical initiatives that help advance the field towards new levels of excellence and to consider where we can have the greatest impact in financial education by elevating research, access, quality and efficacy.

We are committed to leading and encouraging collective impact to improve financial well-being. As an institute, NEFE will fully embrace our role as a guiding voice for research and practical thought leadership.

Celebrating Our History and Impact

When we launched the High School Financial Planning Program more than 35 years ago, it was one of the first high-quality, free financial education curricula. Now, the HSFPP reaches 700,000 - 800,000 students each year and has served more than 12 million students over its lifetime.

In 2005, NEFE created Smart About Money (SAM) as a public service campaign to inspire Americans to learn more about personal finance and to better navigate their financial decisions with knowledge and confidence. SAM later transformed into an online platform with 13 self-directed, in-depth courses to help working adults improve their well-being. In 2019, more than 668,000 individuals used the site, with more than 318,000 accessing the courses.

To meet demand for quality financial education curricula serving college students, NEFE created CashCourse in 2007. As one of the front-runners in financial education for college-age young adults, it serves more than 1,200 private and public 4-year and 2-year colleges and universities in 53 U.S. states and territories.

The HSFPP, CashCourse and SAM have served millions of learners throughout the years. NEFE will build on the success of these programs as we expand our work in research-to-practice.

Planning for the School Year

CashCourse will continue on without interruption as it transitions to management by HEFWA and Indiana University.

We’re encouraged to see that financial education is well supported by many nonprofits, states and schools. We admire and respect the organizations providing quality financial education resources, and we’re confident that educators are in good hands. The University of Chicago’s Financial Education Initiative provides a resource outlining the characteristics of a high-quality financial education curriculum. There are several places to look for new curricula.

Driving Our Mission

Although we are refocusing our work, the core of NEFE’s foundation is not changing. Our drive to support teachers, educators and researchers is still our priority. We are proud of the impact our programs have had for more than 35 years and we celebrate their legacy. Together we will find new and innovative ways to create a nation where everyone has the knowledge, confidence and opportunity to live their best financial life.

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