Financial Education Policy Convenings

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In January and February of 2021, NEFE partnered with the Council for Economic Education (CEE) to develop a series of five financial education policy convenings attended by nearly 250 engaged participants representing 44 states and 140 unique organizations and state agencies. These invitation-only discussions aimed to provide state policymakers an open forum in which to discuss the opportunities, technicalities and challenges they encounter when considering statewide financial education policy and programming.

Participant surveys from these events indicated that our initial goals for the convenings were met:

  • Encourage intentionality to financial education policy and practice: Attendees overwhelmingly agreed (73.2%) the event would inform their work.
  • Surface research questions: Over the course of the events, we identified five potential research questions that, if answered, could advance the field’s potential for impact. In addition, these conversations revealed that many are unaware of existing research, especially on the downstream effects of financial education.
  • Space for new connections: 83.2% of attendees indicated they were somewhat or very likely to reach out to someone who attended their event.

However, the gains go beyond these initial numbers. Over the collective 20+ hours of discussion, we gained insight into the barriers that can challenge financial educators and policymakers, promising innovations and pilots happening across the United States and the unknown data points that, if known, could help advance the field’s potential impact.

We compiled what we heard into six discussion summaries, one for each of the five events and one that captures reoccurring themes across all events. These summaries are now available for download individually or as an e-book compilation. Visit the page for each convening linked below to download the individual summaries.

Map of the United States with regional areas highlighted to show locations of each policy convening: West, Northeast, South, Central, North.

WEST: What role financial education might play in equitable access to postsecondary education and training?

NORTHEAST: What are evidence-based alternatives to state financial education mandates? (CSAs, two-gen approaches, IDAs, integration into state education standards, etc.) How effective are they?

SOUTH: What does the research say is effective in financial education programming and where legislative dollars can be best spent?

CENTRAL: How might we better support financial education in rural areas?

NORTH: How might we build consensus around essential competencies that support financial well-being and are relevant to the diverse cultures represented in the United States?

These policy convenings, designed in collaboration with the Council for Economic Education, identified challenges and opportunities in financial education. We will use what we have learned to align our efforts in the field and drive toward stronger financial education policy.
– Brian Ford, chief of staff, NEFE


These discussions will advance collective and crucial work of crafting and implementing meaningful financial education for every child. We’re proud to partner with NEFE as a leading conduit for evidence-based strategies in education design and policy. Our best work happens when it is shaped by all of us.
– Nan Morrison, president and CEO, Council for Economic Education

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