Success Stories: NEFE Forum Focuses on Higher Education

In December, NEFE convened more than 30 experts to discuss the state of financial capability among young adults while attending postsecondary education and continuing into adulthood.

Researchers from Montana State University and The Ohio State University also presented findings from NEFE-funded studies on freshman college financing decisions and the long-term impact of education loans as students reach the age of 30.

Building on the research findings, the experts debated numerous themes, including:

  • The impact and importance of financial education mandates
  • The importance of treating personal finance as a stand-alone academic discipline on a continuum from kindergarten through postgraduate school (K-20)
  • Designing interventions for the variable needs of students attending college at all ages and life circumstances
  • The interplay of financial information, financial education, public policy and choice architecture
  • The role of emergency aid in college persistence and graduation

“We want to spark serious conversations about the needs of the financial capability field and our responsibility to address those needs,” says Billy Hensley, Ph.D., NEFE’s president and CEO. “We invite smart, knowledgeable thought leaders to grapple with the obstacles facing us — we don’t want to be a self-congratulatory echo chamber.”

Attendees represented public, private, two-year and four-year institutions, as well as government and nonprofit organizations across the United States. Visit for more information on NEFE’s research and forums. A discussion summary of the Higher Education Financial Capability Forum will be available early in 2019.

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