Title

AccessLex Institute Financial Education Pilot: A Research-Based Approach to Building a Personal Finance Program

Document Type

Issue/Research Brief/Blog

Publication Date

5-2017

Keywords

law students, financial status and behavior, financial education program components, financial education curriculum, financial coaching and counseling, government and institutional mandates, financial education program delivery, online learning, blended learning, intervention timing

Abstract

The 2008 financial crisis was crippling to many individuals. While the initial shockwaves rolled through the housing market, concerns quickly turned to student loans and the growth of average borrowing among today’s college students. That attention was well-earned, as national student loan indebtedness crossed the $1 trillion threshold in 2008 and became the only form of consumer debt to grow in the wake of the financial crisis. This focus on student loan debt shone a spotlight on college students and financial literacy.

While most of the emphasis was on undergraduate students, the significant debt levels of graduate students are worth citing. With 40% of the $1 trillion student loan debt attributable to the financing of graduate and professional degrees – and average indebtedness of just over $140k to achieve a law degree (Student Loan Hero, 2017) – AccessLex Institute believed there was potential value in a personal finance program created specifically to help law students better manage that significant debt, and their finances in general. We also wanted to confirm whether law students perceived a need, and/or a desire, for a personal finance program, and if so, what – in an ideal world – would that education look like.

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