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Helping Students Learn, and Teach, Financial Literacy

IMG_0110This academic year, AIER has hosted two interns from Miss Hall’s School in Pittsfield, Massachusetts: Elizabeth (Lizzy) Barnes and Lisa Wang. As is customary at AIER, they worked with our researchers on projects of mutual interest.

However, this time, they also contributed content to the Get Real! Conference that took place on April 21 at Miss Hall’s School. This conference was organized and run by students, and Lisa and Lizzy organized a session on Financial Literacy.

As part of her AIER internship, Lizzy developed a survey that asked domestic students, international students, and faculty about their familiarity with and understanding of college student debt. She found students feel that information on the Internet is not reliable, and that students were not sure how they will deal with the costs of attending college.

I referred Lizzy to a video, Saving for College, which is only one of many resources on the EconLowDown web site at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. During the Get Real! Conference, Lizzy presented the results of her survey, and showed the video.

Lisa Wang took a different route during her internship at AIER. She immersed herself in studying the Consumer Price Index and inflation. She also surveyed her school mates and found out that 60 percent of respondents do not know the difference between the two concepts, and do not understand how the CPI or inflation affects their personal lives.

To rectify the lack of understanding, Lisa worked with AIER researchers to record a short video explaining what CPI and inflation are, and how those concepts apply to everyday life. Lisa showed her video at the Get Real! Conference.

The conference also allowed me to showcase AIER’s College Destination and Employment Destination Indexes, which rank the best places to live for young adults. These tools were well received by students. They were curious to know how our rankings were determined and how they can use the tools to search for their next college or career destination.

I was excited to observe that AIER’s mission of educating young people about financial and economic issues comes to fruition at events like this one.


Above: From L to R: Lisa Wang and Elizabeth Barnes (Miss Hall’s School)

Below: From L to R: Natalia Smirnova (AIER), Lisa Wang and Elizabeth Barnes (Miss Hall’s School)



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