Community Development | Strategic Focus

Financial Capabilities in Community College Initiative Financial Capabilities in Community College Initiative

The Boston Fed seeks to promote a widespread commitment to increasing the financial stability of community college students by building their financial capabilities, as this may increase their prospects for achieving financial wellness and economic mobility.

Research and in-depth discussions with community college administrators suggest that disruptive financial emergencies, poor budgeting, and poor financial planning can be detrimental to a student’s progress, contributing to higher incidences of dropouts, defaults on student loans, and poor use of credit. Unfortunately, this is particularly true of community college students—many of whom are first-generation college attendees from disadvantaged backgrounds.

A number of these challenges can be addressed by building students’ capacity to better manage their financial lives and navigate financial systems. The Community College Initiative includes a range of activities in support of these goals:

  • Convening community colleges from across the state and region to join in discussions of the need for financial capabilities among community college students and to hear about the ways institutions from around the country have attempted to address this need.
  • Evaluating a pilot initiative, "Invest in College Success," with three community colleges in Massachusetts comprised of a matched-savings program, financial education and coaching, and college affordability supports. The pilot is being conducted in partnership with the Midas Collaborative and uAspire.
  • Disseminating the Community College Handbook—a resource for community colleges with national case studies and promising practices in building the financial capabilities of community college students.
  • Advocating for the adoption of a financial capability strategy through webinars, conference events, and journal articles aimed at interested stakeholders and possible partners.

Related Links Related Links

Helping Students Achieve Financial Stability by Building Their Financial Capability
April 9, 2015 – MDC Webinar

Promoting a Financial Capability Strategy to Increase the Financial Stability of Community College Students
October 9, 2014 – Federal Reserve System Connecting Communities® Webinar

Aligning Financial Capability Efforts to the Common Core Standards
October 14, 2014

Translating Theory and Research into Practice
May 29, 2014 – Implications for Programs and Measurement in the Field of Financial Capabilities.

Using Data to Strengthen Capability Efforts
November 18, 2013

Using Technology to Strengthen Financial Capabilities
December 12, 2013

EconLowdown Webinar: Tools for Teaching Economic and Financial Literacy
September 30, 2015 – A presentation of education materials for enriching your students.

New Way to Break Down Barriers to Higher Education: Build Financial Capabilities
Opinion Editorial in New England Journal of Higher Education