Money Matters on Campus

The issue of growing student debt and financial literacy among college students is of utmost importance to the nation, and EverFi is committed to gaining a deeper understanding of this critical topic. Yesterday at George Washington University, we released an innovative report entitled Money Matters on Campus: How Early Attitudes and Behaviors Affect the Financial Decisions of First-Year College Students.

ACE's Terry Hartle at the EverFi / Higher One launch of Money Matters on Campus, a collaborative research investigation on college students' financial literacy

This first-of-its-kind study – conducted by EverFi and sponsored by Higher One—surveyed 40,000 first-year college students from across the U.S. to examine the financial attitudes and behaviors of students to better understand what most significantly predicts positive and negative financial outcomes.

The research, presented by EverFi’s Associate Director of Research Dr. Daniel Zapp, found that nearly 80 percent of students said that they “frequently” worry about debt. Yet many of them also acknowledged risky financial behavior, such as carrying a credit-card balance of $1,000 or more.

EverFi and Higher One collaborated to take a closer look at college student attitudes and behaviors around debt

This event featured a panel of thought leaders from a variety of perspectives, including Steven Bahls, President of Augustana College; Sara Goldrick-Rab, Associate Professor of Educational Policy Studies at University of Wisconsin, Madison; Terry Hartle, Senior Vice President of the American Council on Education; and Mary Johnson, Director of Financial Literacy and Student Aid Policy at Higher One, who served as moderator (she also wrote a great piece in Huffington Post on this topic).

The panelists engaged in a lively discussion around several topics including:

  • Tactics that institutions can take to help contribute to financial literacy among their students
  • The responsibility of the government, policy makers, and higher ed institutions to help students understand what they are getting themselves into when they take out a loan – and provide engaging, actionable information (the average student receives dozens of disclosure forms about repayment but no real training);
  • The need to tackle financial literacy at all ages of the spectrum, starting with children when they are young;
  • Contributors to financial stress on college campuses.  How do we get students’ attitudes and behaviors to match their level of concern?   The need to further investigate the relationship between financial illiteracy and other problem behaviors, such as academic and social difficulties.

EverFi’s Director of Research, Todd Wyatt will be providing a more in-depth analysis of the research in the coming days. But all in all, a fantastic event full of great minds!

Learn more at www.moneymattersoncampus.org

 

EverFi Takes the National Stage

National Association of Attorneys General LogoEveryday, in thousands of classrooms, colleges and universities all across the county, students are logging in to the EverFi Platform and taking responsibility for their futures. These students are learning critical life-skills that will impact their lives far beyond the classroom.

This rapidly growing, national network was not born in a vacuum. It is a product of teamwork, partnerships and collaboration. EverFi is driven by the idea that every student should receive certain critical life-skills and we are building a coalition of respected schools, universities, brands and organizations that share this vision.

One organization that champions, fights for and fervently supports the empowerment of citizens is the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG). In addition to taking a national look at state justice, NAAG convenes bi-annual conferences to bring together each state’s Attorney General to collaborate, brainstorm and share solutions to the critical issues that impact people across their state and in their communities.

Talking Solutions

Ray Martinez speaking at National Association of Attorneys GeneralThis was why EverFi’s very own co-founder, Ray Martinez, was invited to present as panelist discussing the Climate of Education Technology. Education technology has been a growing buzzword over the past years and NAAG was looking for actionable steps to support improvements in education. Moderated by NAAG President and Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler, Ray took the stage with Dr. Nada Dabbagh, Director of Learning Technologies at George Mason University and Richard Culatta, Director of the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education.

Ray’s co-panelists of education experts discussed the science behind the new digital learner and ways we are starting to adapt to meet their needs. But if there is one thing that perks up a room of action-oriented leaders with limited time…it’s solutions.

It takes a lot to get a room full of Attorneys General and their staff to look away from their smartphones and give undivided attention. But as Ray discussed EverFi’s model of bringing an innovative learning platform to thousands of educators while supporting it not through state budgets, but through private-sector partnerships, many emails went unread.

Click through to see photos from the event:

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How Educational Technology is Changing the Face of Financial Education

Here’s the million dollar financial literacy question: How do you make topics like Mutual Funds and the Federal Reserve interesting to a bunch of high school students?

The answer is actually right in front of you – your computer.

 

At EverFi, we’re not just trying to change what kids learn, but how they learn it. We’re using web-based, interactive financial literacy curricula to help bridge the gap between dry, textbook financial literacy topics and the gaming world.

Technology is an easy solution – it’s a compelling and entertaining way to teach kids about the basics of personal finance. Yet while online learning is essential to help engage students while they learn new material, the student experience is just one piece of the education technology puzzle. Technology has opened a world of possibility for the field of financial education, especially here at EverFi.

Here are just a few ways our EverFi Financial Literacy platform is redefining how students learn about money:

Personalized Student Engagement with Adaptive Pathing

 

Not everyone learns at the same pace, and we know that students may already have a solid understanding of a few of the financial topics we cover. That’s why we provide adaptive pathing in our curricula, testing students as they progress through the course to see whether they’ve already mastered a topic or they need some extra content to reinforce important ideas.

Easy, Plug-and-Play Curricula for Teachers

A teacher’s time is a finite resource – and it’s one of the biggest challenges to teaching personal finance in the classroom. We also know that interactive and engaging technology is only useful if it’s easy to set up and use. That’s why we believe that one-on-one teacher training and school-to-company relationships are so important. Our platforms provide simple, scalable technology to teachers in any school environment. Something easy to use like EverFi ensures that critical lessons like financial education are taught in the classroom.

Tracked Knowledge Gains and Behavioral Change for Individual Students (and Across our Network)

Just as important as an interactive experience for students is the ability to track student progress and learning. Using student surveys and in-course assessments, the EverFi Financial Literacy platform measures and reports student knowledge gains and changes in student attitudes and behaviors, providing teachers and administrators with the ability to track, intervene and congratulate their students as they progress through the course.

Technology is changing the way students learn, the way teachers teach and the way we track knowledge gains. By leveraging a digital learning experience, we’re now able to create adaptive curriculum, provide in-depth student analytics to teachers and administrators and provide easy-to-adopt technology to ensure that teachers can be successful in the classroom.

HackEDU in Review

HackEDU PanelThere are many inspiring reasons to be working in the education space but the knowledgeable, passionate and engaged community is certainly a leading contender.  From teachers to technologists, we are blessed with a fantastic group of people surrounding us here at EverFi. That’s one of the reasons that, every quarter, we do a HackEDU – a Meetup Group that brings people together to share experiences, brainstorm opportunities and learn from one another.

Last night at the EverFi headquarters, we hosted a panel discussion with two fantastic educators, Aaron Cuny, Co-Founder and Head of School at Ingenuity Prep and Susan Baudoin, a high school teacher at Prince George’s County Public Schools.

HackEDU Atendees

Ingenuity Prep is a recently chartered DC school that focuses on 21st century skills. Susan is apart of the EverFi network and one of our star Teacher Ambassadors. We’re huge fans of everything they are doing.

Our moderator, Kwasi Asare, VP of Schools Management here at EverFi, guided us through a discussion around trends in the K-12. It was an enlightening discussion on successes and challenges within the EdTech space. These forward thinking educators highlighted opportunities that EdTech startups should be considering in the years to come.

Our community is growing. Sign up now to get advanced notice about upcoming HackEDU!

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NBA Joins Forces with EverFi

Last week, I had the opportunity to take part in two amazing events at the NBA All-Star Weekend with two new EverFi partners, BBVA Compass Bank and the National Basketball Association.

Through the Team. Works. In School. Initiative, BBVA Compass and NBA Cares are revitalizing schools, teaching students about healthy and active lifestyles and providing financial education opportunities.  As for EverFi, we’ve joined forces to extend our financial literacy programs to over 500 schools across Texas, Arizona, and Florida.  Elementary school students in these areas have free access to EverFi’s Vault – Understanding Money, an interactive curriculum that helps students build the foundation for sound financial decision-making.  In addition, high schools in Birmingham, Alabama will have access to EverFi – Financial Literacy at no cost.

Last Thursday, we were on-site at Franklin and Eliot Elementary Schools in Houston along with a team of volunteers from BBVA Compass and the NBA.   Joining BBVA Compass CEO Manolo Sánchez, and BBVA Group COO Angel Cano were current Houston Rockets All-Star James Harden, as well as NBA Legends Bob Lanier, George Gervin, Calvin Murphy, Dikemebe Mutombo, Darryl Dawkins, Ron Harper, Robert Horry and Felipe Lopez.  WNBA players Swin Cash and Candice Wiggins joined us as well.

During the day, fifth-grade students showed off their financial knowledge through an interactive trivia Q&A session with NBA, BBVA Compass, and EverFi volunteers.  It was incredible to see these kids already understanding concepts like saving, budgeting, credit, careers, and charity.  BBVA Compass also generously donated over one thousand books and sixty tablet computers.

 

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Since we embarked on this critical skills mission five years ago, we’ve developed some incredible partnerships with hundreds of companies, foundations and individuals.  Adding one of the world’s most recognized sports brands is a huge step that provides an even broader platform to help more young students build their financial knowledge.  Having the opportunity to do it with the likes of George ‘The Iceman’ Gervin makes it that much sweeter.

Thank you BBVA Compass, NBA, and all the NBA Legends who made last week so memorable for hundreds of Houston students.  For me, last week really validates the mission we’re on and demonstrates how engaged third parties can make an immediate and profound difference in the community.

And last thing…now that we’re partnered with the NBA and our new NBA Legend friends, I’m feeling pretty confident about the state of the EverFi basketball squad.  So any of you education technology teams looking for a game, bring it on!

The Drive for Financial Literacy – Daytona Speedway Style

So what do EverFi and top-tier auto racing have in common you may ask?  Building nationwide awareness of critical life skills like financial and digital literacy.

Over the past two years, we’ve been incredibly fortunate to develop some great partnerships in the world of ARCA and NASCAR racing.  We’re thrilled about the opportunity two teams have provided us to build national awareness of the importance of critical skills.

Venturini Motorsports, based in Concord, NC, and celebrating its 30th year of competition is a long-time participant in the ARCA Racing Series, one of the premier NASCAR driver development programs in the country.  Our friends at Venturini are also big believers in the EverFi mission and their vehicles will be sporting the EverFi badge this season at over twenty tracks.

Saturday was the opening race of the ARCA season and what better place to start than the ultra famous Daytona Speedway.   Our own Beth Carroll was down in the pits supporting the team.  What a day it was for the EverFi-powered team as three of the drivers were 1-2-4 on the pole for the start.  After a race that saw quite a bit of paint trading, John Wes Townley, a Venturini Motorsports driver, guided his Zaxby’s-EverFi emblazoned vehicle to victory lane.  That’s big for a racer at any level.  Really BIG!

Starting the season with a win at Daytona is huge and we couldn’t be happier for our friends at Venturini and all the young drivers promoting our critical skills this season.

As the NASCAR season gets underway this weekend, we’re going to keep you updated on another EverFi vehicle competing in the NASCAR Camping World series.  For the second straight year, Dakoda Armstrong will be piloting the EverFi truck.  Dakoda, one of the brightest up and comers on the circuit, and his team are also supporting the EverFi mission for 2013, just as they did last year.

 

In addition to running in the Camping World truck series, Dakoda will also be racing in five Nationwide races this season.  For a young driver, that’s quite an accomplishment.

So next time you come across ARCA and NASCAR on TV, keep an eye on the EverFi vehicles, who will be carrying the critical skills message at 200+ mph all over the country.

Let’s go EverFi Racing!

Come one, come all…HackEDU

It’s that time again. The latest installment of EverFi’s HackEDU Meetup is upon us. This month, we will be discussing new technology servicing K12 students, teachers and schools.

Working with K12 schools is often a daunting and confusing task for EdTech startups – but it doesn’t have to be! Come join a panel of teachers, school officials and EdTech startups to discuss how EdTech startups can work hand in hand with the K12 market!

We’re going to be joined by some fantastic tech startups & school officials to talk about how teachers, school officials and EdTech startups can work hand in hand to advance the world of education.

As always, we’ll have food, drink and mingling time before and after our panel. So come out and hang out with your DC EdTech community.

The Details

Date: Feb 21st, 6-8pm
Topic: Working With K12 Schools as a Startup
Location: EverFi Headquarters, 2715 M Street NW, Suite 400, Washington DC 20007

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Feel free to contact EverFi Community Manager Neil Shah at neil@everfi.com if you have any ideas or suggestions!
 

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Digital Learning Day

We are excited to announce our partnership with Digital Learning Day. Digital Learning Day is a national campaign that celebrates teachers and shines a spotlight on successful instructional practices and effective uses of technology in the classroom.

At EverFi, we wanted to take this opportunity to recognize all the committed teachers that have joined the mission to engage and train students in the critical skills that will help them be safer, better prepared and more successful in life.

We know that nothing will ever replace a highly effective teacher but digital learning offers an engaging companion to personalize learning, connect with students using the technology they love, and deliver real results.

In EverFi’s pursuit to provide digital learning resources to classes across the country, we’ve reached over 600,000 students across 5,000 K-12 schools and 450 colleges in this academic year alone. Since our inception, you’ve helped us certify 4.5 million students in critical skills.

So in recognition of Digital Learning Day and all that teachers do make the education experience richer and more engaging, we wanted to celebrate their efforts.

We asked our team members from all across the county to take photos of how they were celebrating Digital Learning Day. They Tweeted, Instagrammed and Facebooked a great collection of photos. We collected them and created this Digital Learning Day Pinterest page.