Research shows that students do better when provided with accessible
financial literacy and student services education. They demonstrate
higher completion rates, higher GPAs, and are less likely to default
on student loans.
Critical questions we ask at Major Smarts are: How are we reaching
them? What is the quality of learning that is provided for these
crucial indicators? And how are products and programs measuring
and tracking it? In short: How effective are we in our efforts?
At MS we believe in treating financial literacy and student services
education with the comprehensiveness and measurability of any
other college course, because it is that important. When true
financial literacy is the goal, efficacy is measured by learning and
knowledge retention. To reach that goal, we know from research
studies that student support and diversity in learning are critical.
Some students may understand how to balance a budget by
watching a video; For many others, it takes walking through the
process step-by-step, often with a support staff available.
To this end, our customized workshop was designed using research-based,
tried-and-true educational models. We borrowed best
practices from integrative learning models, applied them to financial
literacy education, and packaged them into a delivery method that’s
both accessible and replicable for students and schools.
And because we want to ensure students are using it, we've
designed a customized implementation strategy that provides
students with incentives and rewards to encourage voluntary
...The student debt & college completion crisis:
Student loan debt for higher education has surpassed the trillion-dollar mark in the U.S. With state budget cuts, a still-rebounding economy, and a shift from needs-based to merit-based aid, more students and families are signing on for loans and the current probability of a near 45% dropout rate (resulting in residual loans, but no degree or upward mobility) and 27% default rate. This, at a time when socioeconomic inequality in the U.S. continues to grow, means that we need education and community support more than ever.
We believe students and parents deserve to be financially educated while embarking on what is for many one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives - rather than finding out the hard way about the pitfalls towards completion - and that administrators are faced with tremendous challenges in this process. That's why we're here to help.
... How higher education is changing, and why it's important:
Over the past few decades, the landscape of higher education has changed dramatically. With increasing budget cuts to state schools, the advent of online education, and the merging of higher ed with the for-profit sector, a host of new challenges arises. The rise of predatory recruitment practices and lenders, sky-high debt, and conflicting employment data for graduates have left a gap we're determined to fill: to empower administrators to provide students and parents with the knowledge, skills, and the right questions to navigate higher education safely.
...How we help:
Major Smarts provides web-based platforms for college investment and career education, bridging the information gap and leveling the playing field between prospective college students, parents, colleges and universities, and financial lenders through education, research, and transparency. We are passionate about educational equity, diversity, and access, and this is reflected in our programs.
We engage key voices in education, and work with researchers and universities to develop and deliver relevant student success and financial literacy education to students.
Our goal is to support administrators in providing students with the tools they need to succeed in college and beyond.