Understanding Financial Literacy Decay to Improve Financial Behaviors of Young Adults

This study examines how financial literacy declines over time, and how knowledge and confidence interact with financial behaviors after participants were exposed to a 2.5 hour online informational activity. The study employed a randomized control trial (RCT) approach to track 256 students throughout their senior year of undergraduate study and beyond.

As part of the RCT, half of the students were exposed to the informational activity and all students completed an intake survey. They were then assessed at five different points in time: baseline, one week later, one month later, three months later and one year later. Findings reveal that experiencing even a relatively small dose of a knowledge influencing activity (2.5 hours) can have an impact on short-term financial confidence. For more findings, please refer to the Research Recap below.

This research is not currently published and therefore the full paper is not yet available. However, NEFE produced two briefs to highlight aspects of the research studies:

  • Research Recap: Online Financial Information for College Students
  • Research to Practice: Recalling Confidence for Better Outcomes
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