Financial Literacy / 12-week Online Course and Turn-Based Strategy Game

FIN180: Consumer and Personal Finance & My Big Year

Practical, engaging, high-quality financial literacy education is a rarity for young people, but of inestimable value to them and society. FIN180 is a 12-week online college-level course for high school juniors and seniors that earns them course credit at CUNY (the City University of New York) while preparing them for college, career, and life.


Electric Funstuff, in consultation with a CUNY professor, designed the course around four "avatars"  (Luna, DeSean, Brad, and Meadow) that represent a range of personality types, family backgrounds, and financial circumstances. The avatars are embedded in weekly activities with problems that need solving, as well as My Big Year a game where they use what they learn in the coursework to help steer Luna towards her goals, while keeping her happy and solvent. Launched in Spring 2014 and used every semester since, over 1,000 students have been through the course. Check out the syllabus and a sample lesson.

Screenshots
Quick Take

EFS Role / 

Instructional Design

Content Development

Game Design

Game Development

Partners /

CUNY School of Professional Studies

College Now

Evaluation Partner /

CUNY's Office of Research, Evaluation & Program Support

Years / 

2014-Present

Funding / 

New York State Higher Education Services Corporation

Results

• Almost three-fourths (72%) of students completed the course, meaning they remained enrolled through the end of the semester; however, this varied by course section.
 

• Over half (61%) of students completing the course received an A or B grade.
 

• Students showed, on average, positive and significant increases in self-assessment of their financial knowledge; this was true overall and for all individual course topics measured.

From My Big Year
FIN180 Students Told Us …
100%

said FIN180 increased their financial literacy knowledge, including knowledge of return on investment, FAFSA, and interest rates.

91%

said FIN180 caused them to think about life goals, plans and careers.

88%

said FIN180 helped them better manage their own finances.

Video (produced by CUNY)
Success Stories: FIN180 alumni talk about what they learned.