The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released a comprehensive report outlining a new teaching framework for educators and organizations to utilize as they create programs around building up youth financial capability. Many of the recommendations included in the report are considered education best practice and have long been a part of EVERFI’s curriculum development model. Statistics from a recent EVERFI study reveal that 9 out of 10 parents talk to their kids about personal finances, but only 43% of those parents feel prepared to do so, and that 66% of millennials cannot answer basic financial wellness questions. As such, the CFPB’s recommendations represent a monumental opportunity to impact change.
At EVERFI, we have always operated from the belief that our goal is to shape financial habits and norms while also building financial knowledge and decision-making skills. Together these goals have been two of the most important and longstanding levers used to influence financial capability. Our elementary, middle, and high school courses use many of CFPB’s recommended teaching techniques to introduce and reinforce these important concepts. From simulation to personalized learning and gamification, our courses strive to engage and empower students to become financially capable adults.
While the CFPB also stresses executive function as an important building block to help youth achieve financial capability, we have learned at EVERFI that this is not often something that can be influenced by supplemental programming. It’s true that executive functioning is a prerequisite to success in financial well-being, as it is in every domain of life; however, it is best developed through supportive and nurturing environments and positive socialization. To truly build executive function requires year-round programming that is integrated into multiple areas of the curriculum and a child’s home environment.
The CFPB’s report also highlights the central role that parents and caregivers play in developing youth financial knowledge, attitudes, and decision-making abilities. Through both direct instruction and modeling healthy financial behavior, parents and caregivers can help children develop responsible habits when it comes to spending and saving.
EVERFI is committed to providing adult learners with foundational financial knowledge. Our adult course is built on the same core pedagogical foundation as our K-12 offering, but has been adapted to the more complex needs of an adult learner. It provides adult learners with personalized and interactive learning to drive behavior change. Strengthening the financial knowledge of adults in turn creates home and community environments that help students build healthy financial attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. This report validates EVERFI’s future plan to develop a program specifically designed to help parents or caregivers speak with their children about finances, thus improving the executive function deemed important for youth financial capability.
Now is a pivotal time for financial institutions, government organizations, and technology companies to partner and empower teachers, parents and caregivers with the knowledge they need to develop students of all ages into financially responsible adults. We at EVERFI are thrilled to share the CFPB’s commitment to this goal and look forward to our continued partnering with organizations to help achieve its recommendations.
Zach Wagner, Vice President, K-12 Content and Product Development
Julia McCombs, Vice President, Adult Content and Product Development