FREE Professional Development Webinar
Learn how to use the placement process to build more equitable, student-centered colleges using findings from a national research study funded by the Ascendium Education Group.
Female student in jean jacket climbing stairs to academic building with blurry students in background

Financial Aid and Financial Literacy for First-generation Students

Matt Newlin Ed.D., Matt Newlin Consulting / The Center / October 28, 2022

Resource Guide: Fin Aid/Literacy

In the United States, financial education is severely lacking which creates disparities in economic outcomes. According to the Council for Economic Education (2020), only 21 states require a personal finance course as a requirement for high school graduation, meaning only 17% of high school students are required to take such a course. The Study on Collegiate Financial Wellness (2020) found that compared with their continuing-generation peers, “first-generation students had significantly higher financial strain scores, but had significantly lower financial self-efficacy, financial optimism and financial knowledge scores” (p. 2). Additionally, research has shown parental behaviors strongly influence students’ money management habits (Cude, 2006), which can compound challenges faced by first-generation (FG) students − given the percentage that come from low-income families.