Unique FutureSmart Program Sets Goal of Reaching Two Million Students by 2020
SPRINGFIELD, Mass. – The MassMutual Foundation, Inc. today announced an exciting new digital financial education curriculum—part of its successful FutureSmartSM program—developed specifically for middle school students. Now available at no cost to schools across the United States, the state-of-the-art course was unveiled at a special event with middle schoolers in Mattapan, Massachusetts.
Importantly, the new web-based curriculum is offered in English and Spanish to extend the potential reach of the successful FutureSmart program to youth in sixth through eighth grade, with the overall goal of impacting two million students by 2020.
The FutureSmart program was launched in 2014 and brings critical financial education to students across the United States. More than 300,000 students have already benefited from the FutureSmart program through FutureSmart Challenges–interactive events at NBA arenas – and a pilot version of the digital FutureSmart program. The results: students’ financial knowledge increased by an average of 52% after completing the course, based on pre- and post-assessment data collected in the 2015-2016 academic year.
This new offering builds on that success, featuring a custom-made school curriculum that was developed and designed by the MassMutual Foundation in partnership with education technology leader EverFi.
“Consistent with our focus on guiding people on their journey in life and assisting them in finding the best financial path at every age, the FutureSmart program has been addressing a pressing and growing need as it empowers students to become stewards of their financial futures,” said Gareth Ross, MassMutual Chief Customer Officer and a member of the MassMutual Foundation Board of Directors. “With the launch of this exciting new digital program, we have the opportunity to reach youth during the formative middle school years when they are establishing lifelong habits.”
Young people face an overwhelming number of complex financial decisions, yet research shows they lack the knowledge needed to make sound choices. For example, three out of four millennials can’t answer basic financial wellness questions 1 and only 16 percent of middle school students think they will need student loans to finance higher education2 when almost 70 percent will graduate with student loan debt.3
“The future is exciting and, at the same time, the uncertainty of what’s ahead can be overwhelming,” said Ross. “By learning how to make smart money decisions early, young people can achieve the financial well-being needed to build a more confident and secure future.”
The announcement of the new middle school curriculum was made today at Mildred Avenue K-8 School in Mattapan, where students are now going through the course. School officials were joined by MassMutual leadership and award-winning actor and New York Times best-selling author Hill Harper, who has been involved with the FutureSmart program since 2014.
"Our teachers work around the clock to help our students become well-rounded learners,” said Andrew Rollins, Principal of Mildred Avenue K-8 School. “FutureSmart gives our teachers a resource to teach career readiness and financial skills that will continue to pay off in the future."
To learn more about FutureSmart, visit http://futuresmart.massmutual.com/. This new website features information on the program and allows educators to request it at their school. A companion app is also in development in both English and Spanish and will launch later this year.
2 EverFi Supplemental Employment & College Planning Questions SQS (2015), 398,426 students surveyed3 The Institute for College Access & Success. 2014. Quick Facts about Student Debt