Apr 23, 2022

NGPF Podcast (CLASSIC): Dr. Carly Urban on her recent research showing positive impact of financial education

Learn about the positive impacts from financial education in this conversation with Dr. Carly Urban

Dr. Carly Urban likes to tackle the big questions regarding financial education including how it's being delivered in high schools across the nation and how to measure its effectiveness. This podcast was recorded in 2020.

If you want an update on her research, Carly will be participating in two conversations next week:

Dr. Urban was one of the authors in this important study which tested the effectiveness of financial education across 76 randomized experiments and was recently highlighted by NEFE and FINRA. 


  • 0:00~1:16 Introduction
  • 1:16~4:19 Analysis of the causal effect of financial education
  • 4:19~6:42 Discussion of interesting past studies regarding the effects of financial education
  • 6:42~8:28 Why this study outweighs the results from the earlier studies
  • 8:28~11:32 Considering the opportunity cost and return on investment from offering financial education classes
  • 11:32~13:01 Measuring the return of teaching financial literacy
  • 13:01~13:46 Examining the outcomes of improved financial behavior
  • 13:46~14:05 A word from NGPF
  • 14:05~16:18 How COVID-19 might affect financial education advocacy 
  • 16:18~17:30 The potential impact “Financial Educations in High Schools America” might have
  • 17:30~23:26 Key findings from the study
  • 23:26~26:25 How embedded courses don’t always teach personal finance
  • 26:25~28:33 Findings from gold standard schools
  • 28:33~32:55 Interesting patterns among gold standards schools
  • 32:55~36:22 How the research data will be shared and the future implications of this study
  • 36:22~37:15 Conclusion



  • “Looking at financial education for this long, I feel like the one thing that I always hear as to why something is in a school is because of one person. Literally, one teacher or one administrator, somebody got into trouble [for example] with credit cards early in their lives and that’s the big predictor [to if personal finance becomes a graduation requirement]. I wish I had a variable for that but it seems like a human effect.” 

  • “Financial education is quote-on-quote “working.” I always say that I hated that original study because it made it seem like financial education was a microwave, like it was either working or it wasn’t. Focusing on what is where and why and for whom is something we definitely need to do more of in the future.”

About the Authors

Tim Ranzetta

Tim's saving habits started at seven when a neighbor with a broken hip gave him a dog walking job. Her recovery, which took almost a year, resulted in Tim getting to know the bank tellers quite well (and accumulating a savings account balance of over $300!). His recent entrepreneurial adventures have included driving a shredding truck, analyzing executive compensation packages for Fortune 500 companies and helping families make better college financing decisions. After volunteering in 2010 to create and teach a personal finance program at Eastside College Prep in East Palo Alto, Tim saw firsthand the impact of an engaging and activity-based curriculum, which inspired him to start a new non-profit, Next Gen Personal Finance.

Ren Makino

Ren started interning at NGPF in 2014, and worked part-time through high school and college. With his knowledge growing alongside NGPF, he joined the team to work full-time after graduating from college in 2020. He is also the producer of the NGPF podcast. During his free time, he likes to try out coffees from different roasters across the world.

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