Financial Education & Account Access Among Elementary Students: Findings from the Assessing Financial Capability Outcomes Youth Pilot (Research Brief)

Policymakers are increasingly looking to schools to deliver financial education to students and youth. However, the lack of evidence of the effectiveness of high school financial education courses has led some to believe that teaching these concepts in high school may be too late and that reaching younger students in elementary schools may lead to better outcomes. Making that education experiential by providing access to bank accounts may help students learn and retain information by allowing students to practice skills they are learning in the classroom.

With support from the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Prosperity Now, the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and Opportunity Texas partnered on the Assessing Financial Capability Outcomes (AFCO) project to test the impact of approximately five hours of classroom-based financial education and access to a bank or credit union branch in school, both alone and in combination, on elementary-aged students’ financial knowledge, behavior and attitudes.

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