Financial Education Supporting Financial Independence of Students: Insights From a Freshman Course

Last registered on September 17, 2021

Pre-Trial

Trial Information

General Information

Title
Financial Education Supporting Financial Independence of Students: Insights From a Freshman Course
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0007943
Initial registration date
September 17, 2021
Last updated
September 17, 2021, 8:42 PM EDT

Locations

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Primary Investigator

Affiliation
University of Vaasa

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
University of Vaasa
PI Affiliation
University of Vaasa

Additional Trial Information

Status
On going
Start date
2020-09-07
End date
2022-06-30
Secondary IDs
Prior work
This trial is based on or builds upon one or more prior RCTs.
Abstract
Financial literacy is an essential life skill that is found to be not adequate enough even among the adult population (Lusardi and Mitchell, 2014). Students often start their financially independent lives at the university, and therefore financial education becomes timely. Despite this, studies concerning tertiary education settings are scarce.

In this study, we seek to fill this gap by an intervention that includes a new online freshman course of financial education tailored to the first-year students of the University of Vaasa. The aim of this course is to improve the financial management skills of the university students so that they would be able to conduct independent financial lives.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Citation
Alanko, Saija, Gökhan Buturak and Panu Kalmi. 2021. "Financial Education Supporting Financial Independence of Students: Insights From a Freshman Course." AEA RCT Registry. September 17. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.7943-1.0
Experimental Details

Interventions

Intervention(s)
Financial literacy is an important life skill, which is often found wanting even among the adult population (Lusardi and Mitchell, 2014). However, there is significantly less studies concerning tertiary education settings, even though students often start their financially independent lives at the university, and therefore financial education becomes timely.

In this study, we seek to fill this gap by a new freshman course of financial literacy education tailored to the first-year students of the University of Vaasa. The aim of this course is to improve the financial management skills of the university students so that they would be able to conduct independent financial lives. The course was offered as an online course. The students are required to complete several tasks utilizing digital tools and online games, write short reports, and fill in questionnaires based on those tasks. Half of the freshman students are randomly selected to attend the financial education course (treatment group) and the other half attend a course on student’s democratic participation (control group) at the university.
Intervention Start Date
2021-09-20
Intervention End Date
2022-04-29

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
1. Financial literacy as measured by one pre-test and two post-tests.
2. A variety of financial behaviors.
3. Risk taking in an experimental investment task.
4. Insurance uptake in an experimental insurance task.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
In our study, we also aim at measuring the behavioral implications of financial education course using an incentivized experiment. More specifically, we plan to run an experiment that aims to measure risk taking and insurance uptake.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization will be carried out at the beginning of the two courses that we offer. The randomization will be carried out using a computer.
Randomization Unit
Participants will be randomly selected to attend the financial education course (treatment group) and the other half attend a course on student’s democratic participation (control group) at the university.
Was the treatment clustered?
No

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
N/A.
Sample size: planned number of observations
180 to 350 (mainly freshman) students registered at the University of Vaasa. The number will vary according to how many students are registered to the courses that we offer within this intervention.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
90 to 175 students.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
University of Vaasa Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2021-09-15
IRB Approval Number
N/A