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Family Economics News National Institute of Food and Agriculture, USDA May 2010

The National Institute of Food and Agriculture (NIFA) works with land-grant university partners and others to advance knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities through national program leadership and federal assistance. Among the agency’s goals is to support increased economic opportunities and quality of life in rural areas. Family economics aligns with this goal by focusing on how individuals and families obtain and use resources such as money, time, human capital, material resources, and community services; by exploring the relationship between individuals and families and the larger economy; and by studying the impact of public issues, policies, and programs on family economic well-being.

Back issues of Family Economics News are available. To submit items for consideration for this newsletter, contact Jim Terry, NIFA program analyst.

Research/Program Evaluation

  • College Student Persistence to Degree: The Burden of Debt

  • History and Scenarios: Helping Consumers Cope with Financial Loss


  • New on eXtension – Bankruptcy Education

  • Youth Financial Education

  • Real Money, Real World

  • America Saves/America Saves Week Impact Report


  • Free Financial Tip of the Week

  • Bottom Dollar

  • HelpWithMyBank.Gov



  • Call for Papers:

    • Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal

    • Journal of Consumer Affairs

    • Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning

    • Journal of Family and Economic Issues

    • W.K. Kellogg Foundation/Family Income and Assets

    • 2010 Consumer Expenditure Survey Microdata Users’ Workshop

    • 2010 AFCPE Conference

    • The Journal of Consumer Affairs

    • Journal of Financial Therapy Deadline for submissions is June 15

    • The Journal of Business Venturing & University of Alberta

  • Funding:


    • FINRA Investor Education Foundation

    • National Endowment for Financial Education

    • MMI Financial Education Foundation



College Student Persistence to Degree: The Burden of Debt

What is the impact of consumer debt on college student persistence to obtain a degree? Prior research has clearly outlined the impact of several important factors, such as student involvement, employment, and academic success, but the role of consumer debt has not been explored in as much detail. This study uses a three-step logistic regression to analyze the relative impact of different factors on reported persistence behaviors. Stage one examines various sociodemographic factors, such as race/ethnicity, gender, and family income. Stage two introduces various academic factors, such as grade point average and measures of involvement. Stage three analyzes the contribution of key financial factors, such as financial aid, credit card use, and the presence of other debts. Results suggest that financial factors have a strong association with a student’s emotional state, probability of reducing hours, and probability of dropping out of school.

History and Scenarios: Helping Consumers Cope with Financial Loss

This article discusses two outcomes of the recent recession that have impacted many people negatively: investment losses, sometimes 40 percent or more of original portfolio value, and derailment of retirement plans. Further, it describes common emotional reactions to market losses and how financial educators can use historical investment performance and computerized scenario modeling information to help consumers keep losses in perspective. The articles also describes research about strategies to adjust retirement plans to account for losses, while still maintaining a high probability of having assets last a lifetime. The article concludes with implications for education and practice.


New on eXtension – Bankruptcy Education

The eXtension personal financial management course for bankruptcy filers, Financial Success: Recovery after Bankruptcy, is available now from a link to the Financial Security for All page. The course was developed by a team of extension personal finance specialists: Sharon Seiling, Ohio State University; Elizabeth E. Gorham, South Dakota State University; Chris Koehler, Washington State University; Celia R. Hayhoe, Virginia Tech; Nancy Hudson, Ohio State University; Jinhee Kim, University of Maryland; and Suzann Enzian Knight, University of New Hampshire. Barbara O’Neill, Rutgers University, also provided input. The course is drawn from classes the contributors offer and materials they have developed in their respective universities and it has been vetted through a peer review process. The course is based upon the basic components of financial management and meets the requirements of the Department of Justice’s U.S. Trustees Program. It features audio and closed captioning of the script as well as the visual pages. It features worksheets and exercises. Because it is an online course, it will provide an alternative for those who have filed for bankruptcy who reside in counties in which there is no extension class available. This course is available 24/7; however, the certificates will be provided by staff at Iowa State during business hours from 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m. Central Time the next business day after completing the class.

  • The cost for the Financial Success course is $20 per person. Couples who have filed for bankruptcy jointly must complete the course separately. Payment is be made through PayPal.

  • The course is offered without regard to one's ability to pay. If a filer’s case was handled pro bono, a signed letter to that effect from his or her attorney should be sent by email or FAX to obtain a fee waiver.  Fee waivers are also available for those who can show proof of income below 200 percent of the federal poverty threshold.  Applicants of this waiver must document the number of people in the household and the household income as of the last tax filing period. Submit a signed and notarized statement with that information and FAX it to Sharon Seiling at 614-688-8133 or send by email attachment to receive a fee waiver.

  • We offer the course in all judicial districts covered by the U. S. Trustees Program EXCEPT those in Oregon, because of Oregon legal requirements.

Youth Financial Education

NIFA has a current listing of Cooperative Extension’s Youth Financial Education efforts operating in 43 states. The key program is the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) High School Financial Planning Program, which has been proven through program evaluation and research to increase financial knowledge and confidence.

Real Money, Real World

This Ohio State University Extension Signature Program teaches young people money management skills they will need for the rest of their lives. Middle and high school students learn how occupation affects income, and how education affects occupational opportunities. Students learn about expenses through in-class lessons, then a role-playing simulation as they stretch a monthly paycheck to pay for housing, transportation, child care, groceries, insurance, and other day-to-day expenses. This experience positively affects how students think about their futures. For example, 98 percent of participants made changes in their spending habits, and 96 percent of participants improved their savings habits.

America Saves/America Saves Week Impact Report

America Saves is an ongoing nationwide campaign to encourage savings by low- to moderate-income households. Cooperative Extension and other government, business, and non-profit groups offer America Saves locally. A component of this ongoing America Saves campaign was the 2010 America Saves Week, February 21–28, 2010, when Americans were encouraged to assess their savings and participate in activities focused on savings needs, debt repayment, emergency savings, homeownership, education, and retirement. USDA's National Institute of Food and Agriculture is a national partner in this activity. Through local efforts in 25 states, extension encouraged citizens to catch the savings habit during America Saves Week. The America Saves/America Saves Week Impact Report highlights the successes of this effort.


Free Financial Tip of the Week

The University of Missouri Office of Financial Success is a service of the university’s Personal Financial Planning Department, which is dedicated to improving the financial well-being of individuals and families by providing affordable, unbiased education and counseling in all areas of personal finance. One of the resources offered is a free Financial Tip of the Week. Visit the Tip of the Week website to view the Financial Tip of Week archives, and to subscribe for your free weekly tip.

Bottom Dollar

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) continues its crackdown on con artists who prey on unemployed Americans by promising to help them get jobs in the federal government, as movie extras, or as mystery shoppers, or make money working from their homes by stuffing envelopes or assembling crafts and ornaments. "Operation Bottom Dollar" is a law enforcement sweep against these scams. The sweep includes seven FTC cases, 43 criminal actions by the Department of Justice, a civil action by the Postal Inspection Service, and 18 actions by state attorneys general. The FTC also partnered with social media outlets to post tips that help job seekers recognize and avoid job scams.

HelpWithMyBank.Gov provides answers and assistance to customers of national banks. It assists consumers in filing complaints online by telling them what information to provide and what to expect. Customer assistance specialists are available from Monday-Friday from 8 a.m.-8 p.m., Eastern Time, at 800-613-6743. The site also includes answers to common questions on a variety of consumer topics and helps walk people through the process of contacting the OCC for additional assistance. is a site dedicated to help optimize your retirement paycheck by making wise decisions. Topics include Social Security, home and mortgage, insurance, pensions, and more. The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) sponsors the site.



Family and Consumer Sciences Research Journal (open submissions)

Journal of Consumer Affairs (Open submissions)

Journal of Financial Counseling and Planning (Open submissions) 

Journal of Family and Economic Issues (Open submissions) 

W.K. Kellogg Foundation/Family Income and Assets (Open submissions)

2010 Consumer Expenditure Survey Microdata Users’ Workshop Deadline for submissions is May 17.

2010 AFCPE Conference November 17-19.  Proposals are due May 28 (Research, Practitioners’ Forum, Poster, or Student Paper). Guidelines: Invitation to Present. Conference submissions must be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word format.

Journal of Consumer Affairs Deadline for submissions June 15 

Journal of Financial Therapy Deadline for submissions is June 15.

Journal of Business Venturing and University of Alberta Deadline for submissions August 1

FUNDING: is your source to find and apply for federal government grants. There are more than 1,000 grant programs offered by all federal grant-making agencies.

FINRA Investor Education Foundation Project concepts can be submitted on an open basis. The foundation will respond within 4-6 weeks. 

National Endowment for Financial EducationThe deadline for NEFE’s October 2010 grant cycle is June 1.

MMI Education Foundation
The foundation uses its resources to serve the public interest and strengthen the communities where we live and work. The foundation provides periodic announcements and grant guidelines.



CYFAR 2010 Conference, May 4-7

Personal Finance Seminar for Professionals, May 12-14

AAFCS Annual Conference & Expo, June 24-26

Society for Financial Education and Professional Development, Inc., October 25-26   

Pre-AFCPE Conference, November 17

AFCPE, November 17-19


ACCI Conference, April 13-15


Eastern Family Economics & Resource Management Biennial Conference, February 29–March 2

The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) prohibits discrimination in all its programs and activities on the basis of race, color, national origin, age, disability, and where applicable, sex, marital status, familial status, parental status, religion, sexual orientation, genetic information, political beliefs, reprisal, or because all or part of an individual’s income is derived from any public assistance program. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.) Persons with disabilities who require alternative means for communication of program information (Braille, large print, audiotape, etc.) should contact USDA’s TARGET Center at (202) 720-2600 (voice and TDD).  To file a complaint of discrimination, write to USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, 1400 Independence Avenue, S.W., Washington, DC 20250-9410, or call (800) 795-3272 (voice) or (202) 720-6382 (TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.

Mention or display of a trademark, proprietary product, or firm in text or figures does not constitute an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and does not imply approval to the exclusion of other suitable products or firms.