Assessing College Student Subjective and Objective Knowledge in an Online Financial Education Program

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University of La Verne, 2012 - 155 pages
Abstract : Purpose. This purpose of this correlational study using Joo's (2008) financial wellness framework was to determine the impact of an online financial literacy workshop on student subjective knowledge, dependent on indicators of stress, behavior, and objective knowledge, when controlling for demographic differences at a large public university. Methodology. A quantitative correlational research design was used to interpret how student indicators of financial wellness explain subjective knowledge gained as a result of participating in the financial workshop when controlling for demographic and background characteristics. The sample population for this archival study included 2,550 university undergraduate students who participated in the Financial Literacy 101 online financial education system as a pilot program from November 2012 to January 2017. Findings. All variables were run as a single model hierarchical multiple linear regression to control for variables and closely look at the relationships of the independent variables of interest in this study--financial stress, credit card behavior, and objective knowledge--and students' subjective financial knowledge. Analyses of the research questions revealed mixed results. There were significant individual contributions to the model for the independent variables of gender-female, Hispanic/Latino, financial stress, and objective knowledge. Credit card behavior was not a significant predictor of students' subjective financial knowledge. Conclusions. The Financial Literacy 101 online education program was effective in increasing student subjective knowledge. Students who had higher financial stress levels before the workshop or who scored higher on the objective knowledge quiz scores were more likely to rate their subjective knowledge gained from the financial workshop positively after controlling for all other variables; there were no significant differences in students' subjective knowledge dependent on credit card behaviors before the workshop. Recommendations. Redesigning the instrument to better capture measures of financial wellness and to allow institutions to design data-informed customized interventions for their specific populations will magnify the program's impact. The possibilities for informing the financial education community with large scale research could be significant because the product is used by over 100,000 students annually.

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