Annamaria Lusardi has spent decades studying the financial literacy of different populations across the globe through research at George Washington University’s Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center. Thousands of people in various countries have answered her 3-question basic survey to gauge their understanding of financial principles. Further, FINRA, the non-profit regulatory body that facilities the enforcement of financial management practices, has expanded Lusardi’s 3-question survey to a 6-question survey that evaluates individuals’ knowledge of finance and investing concepts.
Engineering Economy is taught in most every university across the country because it is a core subject related to the ABET Criteria and FE exam. At a large Midwest university, the class is taught in a ½ semester session for 2 credit hours with a student population of 400+. Many examples used in class and homework problems relate to personal finance because it is a way of helping students understand and internalize concepts such as time value of money. Some of the examples used include personal investment methods, as simple as the interest rate your bank pays, to determine savings required for retirement, and using Excel to calculate your payment on a loan.
The questions being researched through this project are:
1) How financially astute are students taking Engineering Economy at this institution as compared to other populations that have been widely studied?
2) Does taking the Engineering Economy course improve their financial literacy?
3) How well prepared do engineering students think they are to face their financial futures?
The main purpose of this research is to determine if engineering students improve their financial literacy after taking this 7-week Engineering Economy course, which only focuses on financial literacy from a cursory standpoint.
FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and George Washington’s Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center have been surveying various populations on their financial literacy for over a decade and publishing results that are well documented and easily accessible. The basis of this research is the 6-question FINRA survey which includes the 3-question base financial literacy survey (GFLEC) used all over the globe. By using an existing instrument, it is possible to compare the students in this population to those of other populations. Further, by doing pre-term and post-course surveys, it is possible to evaluate the effect of the Engineering Economy course on the students’ knowledge.
At this time, the Engineering Economy course and post-course survey have not been completed. The pre-course survey has been administered, but the results have not been evaluated.
This course and survey have not been completed at this time.
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