Personal Finance Education Mandates and Student Loan Repayment

64 Pages Posted: 1 Apr 2019 Last revised: 17 May 2022

See all articles by Daniel Mangrum

Daniel Mangrum

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Date Written: May 16, 2022


This paper estimates the impact of requiring high school students to complete personal finance education on federal student loan repayment behavior after college. I merge student loan borrowing and repayment data from the College Scorecard with data from the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System on counts of high school graduates enrolling in college from different states. I estimate the causal effect of personal finance education mandates by relating the change in the share of university students subject to a state mandate to changes in university cohort student loan outcomes. I find only students with higher-income parents respond by adjusting borrowing, reducing median balances by 7%. By contrast, first-generation and low-income borrowers bound by mandates did not significantly adjust borrowing, but were nonetheless more likely to pay down balances. Repayment improvements are in part due to better understanding of the terms governing federal student loans. State mandates that incorporate career research alongside personal finance education are associated with better student loan repayment than those focused only on personal finance education.

Keywords: financial literacy, student loans, postsecondary finance, high school curriculum

JEL Classification: D14, G51, G53, I22, I28, J24

Suggested Citation

Mangrum, Daniel, Personal Finance Education Mandates and Student Loan Repayment (May 16, 2022). Available at SSRN: or

Daniel Mangrum (Contact Author)

Federal Reserve Banks - Federal Reserve Bank of New York ( email )

33 Liberty Street
New York, NY 10045
United States

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