The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) High School Financial Planning Program (HSFPP®) is a curriculum enrichment program that builds the financial literacy skills of 8th to 12th grade students. The curriculum is designed to fill standard 45-minute classes. The program has practical application exercises to relate money management to students’ everyday lives—all in the context of a teen’s scope of experience. Its six curriculum segments include:
- Money Management: Control Your Cash Flow
- Borrowing: Use – Don’t Abuse
- Earning Power: More Than a Paycheck
- Investing: Money Working for You
- Financial Services: Care for Your Cash
- Insurance: Protect What You Have
Purposes of the Program
The three main objectives of the program are:
- to teach students about the financial planning process—what it is and what it can do for them;
- to give students the opportunity to apply the process through assignments they will complete that relate to their experiences with money; and
- to teach students to take control of their finances, starting today.
Why Financial Literacy Matters
Teens today handle money—lots of it. Today’s high school graduate will earn over $1 million in adulthood, without adjusting for inflation. However, like many adults, teens may not have a good concept of the amount of money they actually control (allowances, gifts and earnings) or where the money is going. The money is spent, often with an uneasy feeling that there isn’t enough to buy the things I need or to do what I want to do.
As teens move to adulthood, careers, and higher earnings, they may acquire a more expensive set of wants and needs. People who successfully manage their financial resources must learn to set priorities on their spending; control immediate gratification in favor of important goals; and balance income, spending and saving.
Knowing how to manage one’s money effectively is an acquired skill. Not all youth grow up in families in which positive money management is being modeled. Texas schools are required to include personal financial education as part of the economics curriculum, which every student needs to graduate. High School Financial Planning Program is one of the approved curriculums for personal financial literacy education in Texas.
Who Sponsors the Program?
NEFE®, in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Cooperative State Research, Education, and Extension Service; Credit Union National Association, Inc.; and America’s Credit Unions, presents NEFE HSFPP® as a public service to enhance the financial literacy of youth. The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service coordinates the program through Extension educators in Texas.
What Materials are Included in the Program?
NEFE® provides (at no cost to the instructor) a comprehensive Instructor’s Manual and the six Student Workbooks. The Instructor’s Manual includes everything needed to teach the course—teaching content, learning activities, quizzes, exams, answer guides, and overhead transparency masters. The Student Workbooks contain worksheets, learning activities, quizzes, and most of the materials needed by the student. The performance-based learning materials are non-commercial. The National Endowment for Financial Education provides a user-friendly website with access to student activities, instructor materials and presentations, and evaluation templates. New resources are added periodically.
- Texas enrollment highest in nation. For the NEFE program year, October 2001 through September 2002, Texas had the largest enrollment in the HSFPP curriculum enrichment program of any state in the nation, with 36,963 students in 349 Texas schools or learning environments.
- Increased enrollment a result of active community partners. Enrollment has increased as a result of strong interest by credit unions, who partner with Extension and NEFE in sponsoring the program. One example of community collaboration was a training sponsored for community educators in Amarillo by the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, Texas Credit Union League, and the Texas Credit Union Foundation.
- Economic value of the free instructional materials nearly $400,000. Based on an estimated value of $75 per instructor’s manual and $10 per student workbook, the instructional materials would have cost users and school districts $395,805. This free distribution of material enables schools with limited instructional materials budgets to enhance the financial literacy of students.
- HSFPP’s objectives align with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills. Classroom teachers implement the program as curriculum enrichment through established classes that include concepts in personal finance or money management. HSFPP’s objectives align well with the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills in several course areas, including home economics, business, vocational education, economics, consumer education, social studies, and consumer mathematics.
- Evaluation results demonstrate that the program works. Key findings from the national evaluation of the program can be generalized to all HSFPP students. The carefully designed study was based on responses of 188 teachers and 4,107 students and is widely recognized as the most outstanding study of financial literacy program outcomes. Positive differences were noted in knowledge, behavior, and confidence of teens. Of the students surveyed, 86 percent demonstrated an increase in financial knowledge or behavior when dealing with money. A three-month follow-up of the same students showed that 58 percent had improved their spending habits, and 56 percent had improved their savings habits, with 39 percent reporting they had started a savings account—a noteworthy finding in view of research indicating that those who are taught to save as teens will also save more money during adulthood. A new national evaluation will be conducted in 2003–2004.
- Two Texas youth place second in High School Financial Literacy Awards Program in 2002. Two Texas students each won $3,000 by placing second in the national awards competition.
- Texas 4-H youth member appointed to NEFE Teen Resource Bureau. In 2002, a San Antonio 4-H member was appointed to a one-year term as teen volunteer on the NEFE Teen Resource Bureau (NTRB), which reviews and evaluates the NTRB website.
Last updated: April 10, 2015