Surveys consistently suggest consumers, especially young consumers, could benefit from enhanced financial literacy. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) has stepped into that void with the release of an updated and enhanced version of its instructor-led Money Smart financial education curriculum for young adults.

The enhanced curriculum incorporates changes in the law and industry practices that have occurred since Money Smart for Young Adults was launched in 2008. The updated curriculum reflects recent amendments to the rules pertaining to credit cards, the overdraft opt-in rule, and information on financing higher education.

New quizzes

The revised curriculum also includes other instructional enhancements, many suggested by instructors who use Money Smart, such as expanded pre- and post-tests that teachers can use to measure changes in student knowledge or use as quiz questions.

"We are pleased with the public's response to Money Smart for Young Adults in the last two years since its release," said FDIC Chairman Sheila C. Bair. "In November, FDIC began a partnership with the U.S. Department of Education and the National Credit Union Administration, as part of a broad national effort to promote financial education for low- and moderate-income students. Our enhanced Money Smart for Young Adults curriculum is an excellent tool not just for educators but also to facilitate collaborations between banks and schools."

Money Smart for Young Adults is the FDIC's financial education curriculum designed to help young consumers understand basic financial services, develop money-management skills and learn how to use banking services effectively. To learn more about the program, review success stories, and to obtain free copies, visit the Money Smart page on the FDIC's Websites listed above.

For those with little or no banking experience

The program aims to promote financial education, particularly for those with little or no banking experience. The FDIC said it has reached over 2.5 million consumers since 2001.

Financial education fosters financial stability for individuals, families, and entire communities. The more people know about credit and banking services, the more likely they are to increase savings, buy homes, and improve their financial health and well being, the agency said.

The Money Smart curriculum is available free of charge in four primary formats:

  • An instructor-led curriculum for adults on CD-ROM available in seven languages and print versions for the visually impaired
  • An instructor-led curriculum for young adults between the ages of 12-20 on CD-ROM, Money Smart for Young Adults
  • A self-paced Computer-Based Instruction (CBI) format online for ages 13 and over in English and Spanish
  • A portable audio (MP3) version, Money Smart Podcast Network

 The Money Smart program may be used by financial institutions and other organizations interested in sponsoring financial education workshops.  Collaboration is important to the success of any education effort. The FDIC encourages banks to work with others in their communities to deliver financial education and appropriate financial services, including to individuals who may not have a relationship with an insured depository institution.