Connect * Empower * Impact

2019 AFCPE® Research and Training Symposium

AFCPE Pre-Symposium: Sunday, November 17 - Tuesday, November 19
AFCPE Symposium: Tuesday, November 19 - Thursday, November 21
Schedule Subject to Change

Friday, November 16th, 2018
Category: Financial Stress
Financial Knowledge and Stress: Making the Case for Targeted Graduate Student Financial Education
Unprecedented educational debt levels and a lack of financial knowledge among undergraduate students has led many U.S. colleges and universities to develop financial education programs. However, there remains a significant unmet need when it comes to investigating the need for and providing financial education for graduate students. Graduate students represent a unique demographic within higher education and face challenges distinct from those faced by traditional undergraduate students. Among the numerous stressors faced by graduate students, one source of concern is the stress associated with managing the financial aspect of their multidimensional lives. What makes the management of financial stress more concerning is the possibility that graduate students may be just as financially illiterate as their undergraduate counterparts. Using a sample of graduate students from a large, public university in the southeast, this study explores financial knowledge and financial stress among graduate students and argues the need for targeted financial education among this unique population.
Implications for Practitioners
Positive outcomes in financial education programming for undergraduates may prompt universities to simply expand the reach of their current programs to graduate students. However, administrators should be cautious in presuming that the pedagogy of undergraduate financial education will yield the same results among adult graduate students. Graduate students tend to have more complex life circumstances and approach their learning in a way that is distinct from undergraduate students. This research suggests that practitioners who want to provide financial education for graduate students should develop targeted programs to address the specific needs and learning dispositions of graduate students as adult learners.