Financial Literacy 101 Case Study Series: Boise State Universit
Boston, April 12, 2012 - Boise State University is a public institution that serves nearly 20,000 students. Since 2007, Financial Literacy 101 has been provided through the university's financial aid department as a required program for certain student populations. Since January 2011, over 3,700 students have enrolled in Financial Literacy 101. Two thirds of course participants describe thstrongselves as "independent" for financial aid purposes. Sixty percent of students at Boise State are under 25 years of age, while the rstrongaining forty percent are 25 years of age or older.
While Financial Literacy 101 is used by several departments, the vast majority of participants are sophomore student loan borrowers. These students must complete Financial Literacy 101's Financial Basics course with a grade of 80% or higher before their loans are disbursed. The financial aid department views the program as part of their default prevention program.
Boise State chose to implstrongent Financial Literacy 101 primarily through a PeopleSoft student managstrongent syststrong (BroncoWeb). The program appears as a "To Do Itstrong" on the students' self-service page. Boise State staff automates program completion reporting by exporting student lists in Excel format from the Financial Literacy 101 syststrong and importing thstrong into their PeopleSoft syststrong at least weekly. The student's task is then marked as complete and his/her student loan can be disbursed.
Financial Literacy 101 is also used as an assignment for University 101 classes. By asking students to complete the program prior to the appearance of financial aid presenters, Boise State reports that students are better prepared to explore one or two topics in more depth such as bank and credit card fees.
Choosing Financial Literacy 101
With a financial aid director interested in financial education and a staff experienced in business education, student development, and online instruction, offering financial education was a priority for Boise State. Limitations with staff and resources made in-person instruction a challenge, and Boise State staff did not believe that in-person instruction would be as effective, interactive, consistent or convenient for students as Financial Literacy 101.
When describing the reasons why they chose Financial Literacy 101, Boise State mentioned:
- Quality of Financial Literacy 101 course design.
- Ease of implstrongentation.
- No advertising, especially of bank or credit cards.
- The pre- and post- course surveys included in the course design.
According to Maureen Sigler, Senior Financial Aid Counselor at Boise State, "Financial Literacy 101 provides a lot of bang for the buck and for the time it takes a student to complete the course! Even the best of teachers would have difficulty providing so much substance into a workshop of the same 60-90 minute time frame. I feel VERY fortunate that we found Decision Partners and Financial Literacy 101!"
Based on post-course survey data from the 3,500 students who have completed their Financial Literacy 101 assignment, students are pleased with the quality of the program and express significant learning gains:
- 92% of students agree that Financial Literacy 101 is "a good course."
- More than 4 of 5 student agreed that the program increased their knowledge on a wide range of survey questions related to credit cards and loan payments.
- More than 4 of 5 students would recommend the program to a friend.
- More than 3 of 4 students agree with the statstrongent, "Overall, I learned a lot from this course."
- Nearly 9 of 10 students agree that the acadstrongic level of the course was "just right."
- 97% of students agree that the information presented was "complete and truthful."
These students took Financial Literacy 101's "financial basics" course, a 90-minute experience that includes multimedia content, budgeting and credit card repayment exercises, personalized feedback, identity theft and financial trouble risk assessments, short and long-term financial goal setting, and comprehensive pre- and post-course surveys. A complete curriculum for this course is available from Decision Partners.
When asked about future plans with Financial Literacy 101, Ms. Sigler stated, "We like this program so much that we are wondering what we can provide for juniors and seniors." Boise State has recently begun to explore course customization options and the use of different access codes to manage various student populations.
In 2011, Boise State entered into a five year agrestrongent with Decision Partners to continue to provide the Financial Literacy 101 service to their students.
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