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The goal of research undertaken by the center is to learn what women know about finance in both their personal and professional lives. Results contribute to improved financial education for current students and alumnae, as well as to the scholarship on women’s entrepreneurship in the United States and globally.



Survey of Educated Women's Financial Knowledge, Behavior and Attitudes

In October 2009, the Center for Women and Financial Independence launched a pioneering survey to study educated women's financial knowledge, behavior and attitudes towards money. Over 4,500 Smith College alumnae completed the comprehensive online survey. The results from this rich dataset, that includes information about age, household income and type of degree obtained, is reported in a series of articles that examine how educated women learn about finances, manage their assets, make financial decisions, save for retirement, gage their sense of financial security and assess their own financial mistakes.


Survey of Financial Knowledge and Practice Among College Students

In January 2005, the Women and Financial Independence program completed an online survey that was administered to 2,765 undergraduates, graduate and professional students nationwide. The objectives of the survey were to assess students' financial knowledge, practices and attitudes with regard to credit cards, investing, financial aid and student loans. The primary goal was to apply findings toward creating a financial education curricula that effectively targets the needs of different groups of college students in different institutional settings to better foster their present and future financial stability.


Mahdavi, M. and Horton, N. J. (2014), Financial Knowledge among Educated Women: Room for Improvement. J Consum Aff, 48: 403–417. doi:10.1111/joca.12032