Financial Literacy Report Card is Innovation

The National Report Card on Financial Literacy in High Schools: While Some States Fall Short, Innovation is Happening Everywhere

Last week, Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy released its National Report Card on State Efforts To Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools. This study evaluates the personal finance education efforts of each state based on their graduation requirements, academic standards, and regulations regarding how personal-finance courses are delivered in public high schools.

For a state to get an A, high school students must be required to take the equivalent of a half-year personal-finance course in order to graduate. Only 5 states — Alabama, Missouri, Tennessee, Virginia and Utah — earned that distinction. Twelve states received Fs on the national report card, while the majority of states received Bs and Cs.Champlain_Report_MakingTheGrade2015

This study underscores the critical need to make financial education a national priority and affirms that state-legislated financial education standards are an important part of the equation. But HOW states operationalize those standards to connect with students is also a huge part of producing measurable results. The study suggests that only state actors can help solve this challenge, but through EverFi’s work with more than 1000 private-sector partners, we are demonstrating that innovation from the both the public and private sectors can have real impact.

At a national level, EverFi’s high school students are making great strides in all 50 states. Last year alone, our students’ knowledge of savings rose 75%; understanding credit scores rose by an average of 39%; and the number of students who now feel prepared to apply for financial aid to help reach their dream of college increased by 79%.

In the “A” states that mandate a half-year personal-finance course, our work is highly scaled. For example in Virginia, since the 2011 legislation became active, 96% of public high schools are now partnering with EverFi to reach over 178,000 students. Alabama did not enact state standards until 2013 when they created a new required ninth-grade class, but EverFi is already working in 43% of those Alabama high schools with great results.

As the report shares and we can verify, even in “lower ranked” states we are seeing pockets of excellence led by courageous Superintendents and Principals in districts across the country, State Treasurers, and private-sector partners who are driving financial education innovation for millions of students nationwide. These leaders understand that work and life demand real critical skills, including financial education.

To the 90,000 teachers across 20,000 schools that help us deliver critical financial literacy education to students, thank you for continuing to be on the front lines of this important work with us.

EverFi & Arizona State Treasurer Host Financial Literacy Roundtable for Advocates in the State

An urgency to address a critical skills gap in K-12 financial education was the theme for a spirited discussion led by Arizona State Treasurer Jeff DeWitt and EverFi. On August 12th, EverFi and Treasurer DeWit hosted a roundtable discussion with community leaders on the importance of financial education in the state of Arizona.

It is my goal to improve the financial knowledge of all Arizona students,” said Treasurer DeWit.  “It is critical that education leaders, business leaders, and technology innovators, like EverFi, continue to collaborate to reach more students with critical skills education.

During the 2014-15 school year, EverFi reached 113 Arizona schools through its financial literacy programs and served over 8,000 students.  Students increased their knowledge in financial literacy topics by 85% after completing the course and felt more prepared to make financial decisions on their own.

Many Arizona community leaders joined Treasurer DeWit for the event including Phoenix Union High School District, Paradise Valley, Scottsdale Unified, Dysart Unified, Arizona Department of Education, and Arizona Charter School Association.

Tony Camp, Director of Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the Phoenix Union High School District, talked about the district’s integration of EverFi’s courses and the benefits they have seen.  He also invited several CTE students from Trevor Browne High School to share their experience with the program.

Rudy Lima, a 12th-grade student at Trevor Browne High School, shared that I am grateful to have been exposed to EverFi’s financial education course in high school.  Before, I wasn’t confident I knew enough about my own finances, but now I feel more prepared to make important financial decisions as I enter my adult life.  I would encourage other students and teachers across the state to get involved with EverFi’s programs.

A Phoenix Union High School District 11th grade student explained how the program helped her to learn about the FAFSA so she could apply for financial aid when she was ready to go to college.  All of the students in attendance have plans to go to college and stated that the program helped them to understand their financial options.

EverFi and Treasurer DeWit plan to work on a continuation plan to keep the group engaged and actively involved in the advancement of financial education in the state.  For more information about the roundtable or EverFi’s programs in Arizona, please contact Jessica Golden, Arizona Schools Manager, at



Why EverFi is a Proud Member of UK’s Big Blue Nation

There are many reasons to cheer for the Kentucky Wildcats this weekend in the NCAA Final Four. Maybe you hail from Kentucky or attended UK.  Or you could be in awe of the possible feat of completing an undefeated national championship season, and joining the ranks of the greatest college teams of all time.  You could admire the way Coach John Calipari has molded a group of blue chip All-Americans into a selfless, hard-working and cohesive unit that usually wins by doing the dirty work of playing suffocating defense.

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At EverFi, we’re rooting hard for Coach Cal, but it’s not just because of the accomplishments of his team.  For as much passion as Coach Cal brings to the court, he brings an equivalent level of commitment to supporting community programs off the court.  For the last three years, we’ve been proud to partner with Coach Cal and his family foundation in extending EverFi’s elementary school financial education program to schools across the Commonwealth of Kentucky.

Through this partnership, I’ve personally learned how much Coach Cal cares about building empowered and responsible adults, as well as athletes on the court.  As strongly as he believes in playing the kind of defense that has made his squad 38-0 to date, he feels just as strongly about helping individuals be responsible with their finances.  While that might take the form of giving advice to some of his soon to be future NBA stars, it also extends much, much deeper than that into the communities and schools all across Kentucky.  Through a partnership with EverFi, the Calipari Family Foundation Financial Scholars program has impacted over 20,000 students in 150 Kentucky classrooms.

Hear more about Coach Cal’s focus on financial education directly from the guy you’ll see pacing the sidelines in Indianapolis this weekend:

View this video on Vimeo: Coach Calipari Discusses the Importance of Financial Education

From all of us at EverFi, GO CATS, GO!!!


Spotlight on Financial Education

CFPB and FSR Put National Spotlight on BB&T’s Financial Education Program

Organizations Unveil Joint Initiative to Promote Financial Education
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has joined forces with the Financial Services Roundtable in a nationwide public-private initiative to promote effective financial education. On January 28, FSR president and CEO Tim Pawlenty and CFPB director Richard Cordray joined top business leaders at a forum in Washington to formally unveil the program.

The group discussed ways they can work together to encourage adoption of financial education initiatives, especially in K-12 schools and in the workplace, and to protect older Americans from financial exploitation. The forum featured a panel of financial services CEOs who discussed the business case for financial education. Among them were EverFi partners Discover and BB&T.

Here’s what BB&T’s Chairman & CEO Kelly King had to say about their approach to financial education:

BB&T has partnered with EverFi to bring critical financial literacy education to more than 800 high schools across 11 states. The BB&T Financial Foundations Program has reached nearly 160,000 students since the program’s inception in 2010.

In December, BB&T launched an adult financial education program for all of its associates. This 90-minute interactive course covers critical topics such as saving, investing, planning for retirement, and financing higher education.

We are proud to partner with organizations like BB&T that are truly improving the economic well-being of the communities they serve.

EverFi in Spanish

Extending Adult Financial Education to the Hispanic Market

Today is an exciting day here at EverFi.  We’ve just launched a Spanish language version of our adult learning platform, EverFi@Work.  Our goal in doing so is to extend financial education opportunities to a growing population — expected to grow to 43 million over the next five years — that has typically been underserved due to something as simple as a language barrier.

Understanding credit scores, mortgages, identity theft, and overdrafts is hard enough for so many people; just imagine if you are trying to do it in another language!  Simple misunderstanding of terms in another language can get people into very quick and serious trouble. Perdiendo aprendi: mas vale lo que aprendi que lo que perdi.  Right?

EverFi@Work™ is a (now bilingual) interactive learning tool that helps adult learners develop important money management skills and a deeper knowledge of credit, investing, mortgages, financing higher education, and other key areas.  It’s specifically designed for today’s busy adult with a series of short ten-minute learning modules that are mobile and tablet-friendly.

To date, EverFi is working with over sixty partners who are leveraging this platform in communities across the country.

We’re also incredibly proud to announce that our partner BBVA Compass is the first organization to feature this Spanish language financial wellness solution.  In fact, this weekend, July 19-20, 2014, the EverFi and BBVA Compass teams will be debuting the platform at the annual conference of the National Council of La Raza in Los Angeles, CA.  We’re thrilled to be a part of this event that will attract 2,000 attendees and some of the most influential individuals, organizations, and companies working with the Hispanic community.

BBVA Compass is already a national leader in financial education with an active sponsorship of our elementary school course at 400 elementary schools across Alabama, Arizona, California, Florida, and Texas.  To date, BBVA Compass has reached more than 25,000 students through this program.

Want to take a look? See an overview of EverFi@Work in Spanish 
Building the course was a lot of fun, from choosing the narrator’s voice, to making sure our translations hit the right note and nuance, to seeing the whole thing come to life in a whole new look.  I have taken the course hundreds of times myself, but seeing it in Spanish for the first time was a very special moment for me.

Whether you are a, EverFi partner, a customer, or just passionate about helping increase financial literacy for everybody, please help spread the word about this course!


Financial Literacy

Evolving Financial Literacy Into Financial Empowerment

It’s April, which means your mind is probably on three things: warmer weather, filing your taxes and financial literacy.

Okay, maybe you’re not focused on the last one.

So now you know: there’s an entire month focused on finances.  But just how impactful is a single month dedicated to financial literacy?

Financial literacy means exactly what you think it does: it’s the ability to understand how money works in the world.  It’s about knowing how money is earned, managed, saved, invested…but that’s where the word “literacy” falls short.  Literacy implies memorization and the ability to read and write on paper. Literacy is about information and it lacks the critical aspect of the application and the necessary change in attitudes and behavior to make a difference.  And that’s why we need to evolve Financial Literacy Month.

Financial literacy and financial education are an absolutely necessary foundation to creating a generation of smart, savvy money managers.  It’s the equivalent to driver’s Ed – before hopping behind the wheel of a car, it’s important to have some knowledge and training under your belt.  But when it comes to changing behavior, what matters most isn’t just the information.  What matters are things like a sense of self-efficacy, a feeling of confidence that you know what you’re doing and the ability to apply those lessons in the real world – to get behind the wheel and put that knowledge into action.

That’s where the idea of financial empowerment comes in. Unlike basic financial literacy tools, financial empowerment strategies don’t just educate: they empower, embolden and equip someone to make long-lasting changes in their life. They turn information into action.

A shift toward financial empowerment means a shift from memorization and information overload to action-oriented and simulated application. And that’s very different than just “literacy.”

So as we think about Financial Literacy Month, there’s a strong argument to evolve from “Literacy” to “Empowerment.”  Now the next thing that needs to go is the word “Month.”

Consolidating efforts to focus on a single month of financial education can be effective.  It provides the biggest awareness punch and it’s easier to put forth a lot of effort in a discrete timeframe.  But why limit the effort to just 30 days of financial health?  Why not make financial empowerment a consistent part of the education process?  Why not create a whole movement focused on promoting smarter money habits that impacts a student across their entire lifetime? We know that behavior doesn’t change overnight.  And we know that the moments where students need help managing their money doesn’t just happen in April every year.

Financial Literacy Month has served a very valuable purpose: it’s helped create awareness around an incredibly important issue and raise up the need to teach students about money management habits at a young age.

But maybe it’s time to extend the concept of Financial Literacy Month and to focus on something bigger, better and more meaningful: a Financial Empowerment Movement.

On and Off the Court

Coach John Calipari: Making the Right Call Both On and Off the Court

Coach John Calipari is among the most successful college basketball coaches in history.   In addition to leading the University of Kentucky men’s basketball team, Coach Calipari also makes a deep commitment to supporting and strengthening local communities.  He’s a person who understands how to leverage his role for social benefit – and how to leave a personal legacy that goes beyond the basketball court.

Since 2011, EverFi has been extremely proud to partner with the Calipari Family Foundation to extend financial literacy education to elementary school students across the commonwealth of Kentucky.

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Coach Cal describes his partnership with EverFi to extend financial literacy education to Kentucky’s youth.

“We need to create a generation of kids who understand concepts like savings, compounding interest, and the basics of why you invest to try to build wealth,” said Coach Calipari. “When you start down that road of understanding how money works – that instead of working for money, you can make it work for you – then you change the direction of an entire generation of young people.”

The Calipari Family Foundation has partnered with Kentucky banks to provide EverFi’s Vault™ – Understanding Money online learning program to more than 5,000 elementary schools students across the Commonwealth.  Other local partners – including Commercial Bank of Grayson, Farmers National Bank of Danville, First Community Bank, First Kentucky Bank, First National Bank of Brooksville, First National Bank of Manchester, Republic Bank, and Whitaker Bank – have joined in this effort by sponsoring EverFi platforms at schools across the state.

chappy and checkCoach Cal prides himself on helping young people reach their dreams and has placed 27 players in the NBA during his college coaching career, including 15 over his first three seasons at Kentucky. But perhaps the biggest impact that he’ll have is on the thousands of young people who he’s helped empower to take control of their financial future.

Thanks for your continued support, Coach Cal!

Financial Literacy Month

Financial Literacy Month – Shout it from the Mountaintop!

Here at EverFi, we wish Financial Literacy Month were year-round. With EverFi team members working day-in and day-out with students and families across the country, we see the lasting consequence that can result from limited financial knowledge. In a survey conducted with over 20,000 high schoolers, 60% reported that they were worried about money…this is in high school. The stress only grows from there. 79% of college students state that they frequently worry about their debt.

Having a month when everyone – companies, educators, and local leaders – can come together to help educate people in their communities, is what keeps our team motivated year-round. Since the start of April, we’ve seen thousands of teachers, politicians, business people, deans, parents and students stand up do their part to make Financial Literacy Month important and impactful, improving the lives of countless students.

Fueled by this groundswell of effort from across the county, we wanted to do our part to spread the message about the value of quality financial education. EveFi Co-Founder, Ray Martinez, was presented the opportunity to go on national TV and he brought one message share…everyone has a role to play in preparing students for their financial futures and now is the time to make a difference.

View Ray on Bloomberg TV discussing Financial Literacy Month:

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Value of Financial Literacy

Ask A Banker: The Value of Financial Education


While still in high school, I started my banking career more than 12 years ago as a part-time teller. I had a checking account since I was 14, balanced it regularly, so I naturally assumed I would be a pro at banking…

Boy, was I wrong!

I remember being overwhelmed with the dynamics of the banking world and the terminology of numerous bank products and services. CD ladder vs money markets. Credit cards vs debit cards. Home equity loans vs lines. I was an “adult,” yet quickly realized, I had little actual experience with many financial terms and products. Fortunately, I had a great manager who coached me and helped me understand that banking is much more than a checking account with a neat debit card!

Now, More Than Ever

Our country has experienced damaging blows to the economy recently. As a seasoned banker, I see how it affects many families. In my opinion, some this could have been prevented, or perhaps minimized, if someone had taken the time to teach young adults lessons on the complexities of the financial world. Lessons that money does not grow on trees, yet there are products and tools that can help grow savings. Lessons on how to avoid making big financial mistakes that can take years of recovery.

My parents were hard workers who lived paycheck to paycheck. There were some struggles. I assumed it was because they didn’t make a lot of money. I now see it differently. Though great people, my parents didn’t have the knowledge to manage their finances and plan for their future the way that they could have.

It’s my goal, as a banker, to reach as many people as possible, and teach them how to manage money, create a budget and plan for the future. It’s my goal to help individuals understand the products and resources my parents were unaware of to plan for a new home, car, retirement and life’s surprises.

I love that Everfi supports this vision and gives me the opportunity to connect with young adults in my community. I recently attended an Everfi kickoff at Liberty High School and met great teachers with the same passion for financial literacy. I look forward to returning to celebrating the success of these students when they complete their course and hear their takeaways; I look forward to seeing them take steps now towards a financially sound future.