01/15/2016 - AFSA

AFSA Education Foundation

Based in Washington, D.C., the mission of the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation (AFSA Education Foundation www.afsaef.org) is to help consumers understand responsible money management and the credit process. It is affiliated with the American Financial Services Association (www.afsaonline.org), and the foundation’s primary initiative is MoneySKILL®(www.moneyskill.org), the premier, free online personal finance curriculum.
The AFSA Education Foundation (AFSAEF) offers the free personal finance course MoneySKILL, which covers income, expenses, saving and investing, credit and insurance. It aligns with the standards as outlined in National Standards in K-12 Personal Finance Curriculum published by the Jump$tart Coalition. Its goal is to educate students on money management fundamentals and provide them with the skills and knowledge necessary to make sound financial decisions. It seeks to help students avoid the pitfalls of over-indebtedness, repossession, home foreclosure and bankruptcy.
The objectives implemented to help attain this goal are to:

  • Offer MoneySKILL free to educators and students;
  • Conduct teacher training nationwide to provide hands-on use of MoneySKILL; 
  • Support educators 24/7 with online and toll-free telephone access; and
  • Update the technology and course content annually.

Program Description
The high school/college/young adult version of MoneySKILL consists of 36 modules, while the middle school/junior high version consists of 12. MoneySKILL is designed to be used as all or part of a course in personal finance, economics, business, math or social studies. The online delivery allows teachers to educate themselves on personal finance concepts before the students starting the course. Students can access the modules in the classroom or at home—anywhere they have an Internet connection. Built-in quizzes test the students’ grasp of each concept presented and are automatically recorded in the electronic gradebook for the teacher to see.
Many parents, realizing the importance of educating their children about personal finance, utilize MoneySKILL as part of their home schooling or a project for their kids to complete over summer vacation. Parents can learn along with their children and discuss the concepts being taught.
The curriculum and technology are updated each summer. The updates reflect current laws, statistics and the latest technological advances. A recent technology upgrade made the course compatible with all hand-held devices and web browsers.
Workshops continue to be the most effective way to reach teachers. The training offers an overview of the course and how to use features requested by teachers. Nationwide, more than 12,500 teachers have participated in training. For more information about how to include a MoneySKILL presentation in your conference, please contact us (see contact information below).
In addition, AFSAEF has added a “timer” to the student gradebook view. This will allow schools and not-for-profit organizations that need this information, to tell how much time the student has spent on each module.
The AFSA Education Foundation has made a strong commitment to help promote financial literacy in the community. We are looking to build awareness of our initiatives and expand the reach and distribution of our program materials. We currently are looking to expand our MoneySKILL audience to students at community colleges and to college students receiving financial aid.
The AFSA Education Foundation has now joined its many friends and partners on social media. In fact, the organization is now utilizing two social media outlets—Twitter and Facebook. We hope to keep teachers, parents, AFSA members and others, informed about what’s happening with MoneySKILL®. In addition, we plan to keep our readers up to date on the foundation and its activities and trends in the personal finance education arena. Follow the foundation on Twitter @AFSAEdFnd or like us onFacebook.
The AFSAEF also launched an online newsletter that is emailed to teachers, AFSA members, general consumers and other interested parties. This new communications vehicle will allow the foundation to share updates on MoneySKILL; share information/surveys on the ever-increasing need for financial literacy; point out trends in personal finance education; and, to share other AFSAEF resources and announcements.
Understanding Vehicle Financing
An educational brochure for vehicle shoppers has been updated to reflect relevant vehicle finance laws, terms and statistics. The brochure takes consumers through the vehicle financing process and highlights the importance of budgeting, checking one’s credit report, and shopping around.
Originally produced in 2003, the brochure has provided important information to help millions of potential borrowers understand vehicle financing options and evaluate their own financial situations before financing or leasing a new or used vehicle. It was developed by AFSAEF and the National Automobile Dealers Association, and prepared in cooperation with the Federal Trade Commission.
The brochure contains several useful tools, including a:

  • Worksheet to determine a monthly payment amount that the borrower can afford;
  • Glossary of common vehicle financing terms;
  • Worksheet to allow borrowers to compare terms from up to three creditors;
  • Checklist of recommended actions to take before, during and after visiting the dealership; and
  • Revised list of federal laws regulating financing and leasing.


Susie Irvine
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