Junior Achievement Program Increases Financial Capability of Middle School Students, Study Shows

Curriculum Developed for JA Finance Park(R) with Support of KPMG Foundation

Colorado Springs, Colorado, UNITED STATES

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., April 20, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Junior Achievement USA® announced today that research conducted by the independent RMC Research Corporation and the JA Education Group shows that the combination of JA Finance Park's financial literacy curriculum and experiential learning program increases the financial capability of middle school students who participate. The curriculum for JA Finance Park was developed with the support of KPMG. The executive summary of the study and the full report are available online.

According to the Center for Financial Inclusion, financial capability is: "(T)he combination of attitude, knowledge, skills, and self-efficacy needed to make and exercise money management decisions that best fit the circumstances of one's life, within an enabling environment that includes, but is not limited to, access to appropriate financial services."
Some of the findings of the evaluation include:

  • Students who participated in JA Finance Park demonstrated more financial literacy knowledge than comparison students.
  • The average Effect Size for financial literacy knowledge gain was "moderate-to-large," indicating a meaningful gain in knowledge by participating students.
  • Students who participated in JA Finance Park demonstrated positive attitude changes across all dimensions of interest.
  • Students, teachers, volunteers, and JA staff all affirmed the value of JA Finance Park.

"The combination of financial literacy curriculum and real world scenarios students are presented with in the JA Finance Park experience serve as a real 'wake up' call to students who go through the program," said Joe Thomas, Ph.D., Vice President – Evaluation and Research for Junior Achievement USA. "This evaluation shows that students not only gain a better understanding of financial concepts as part of this program, but will be more inclined to exhibit financially responsible behavior in the future."

"KPMG is committed to fostering future generations of leaders and this evaluation is proof positive that our strategic investments of time, passion and funding in JA Finance Park are making a difference," said Sue Townsen, National Managing Partner of Human Resources, Diversity and Corporate Responsibility at KPMG. "We're especially gratified that the financial literacy curriculum we helped redevelop is boosting the financial capability of students, while introducing them to important concepts like budgeting, insurance, credit and long-term investments."

The JA Finance Park program is composed of 13 required teacher-taught, in-class lessons. It culminates in a hands-on budgeting simulation that is implemented either at a JA Finance Park facility, mobile unit, or virtual site. Visit here to see JA Finance Park in action.


KPMG LLP, the audit, tax and advisory firm (www.kpmg.com/us), is the U.S. member firm affiliated with KPMG International Cooperative ("KPMG International"). KPMG member firms have 174,000 professionals, including more than 9,000 partners, in 155 countries.

About Junior Achievement USA®

Junior Achievement is the world's largest organization dedicated to giving young people the knowledge and skills they need to own their economic success, plan for their future, and make smart academic and economic choices. JA programs are delivered by corporate and community volunteers, and provide relevant, hands-on experiences that give students from kindergarten through high school knowledge and skills in financial literacy, work readiness and entrepreneurship. Today, JA reaches 4.6 million students per year in 112 markets across the United States, with an additional 5.6 million students served by operations in 121 other countries worldwide. Visit www.ja.org for more information.


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