Research 2The Wealth Academy has a commitment to improving education programs that impact on the financial learning of youth.

Financial education programs should not be based on the thinking of 1, 2 or 3 decades ago and should not be institutionally biased.

Quality education should be based on current research targeted at the appropriate age-groups.


The following research project is a collaboration between The Wealth Academy, Queensland University of Technology (School of Business: Accountancy) and University of Southern Queensland (School of Law and Justice). Several universities around Australia were also supportive of the research project, allowing their first year tertiary students to be surveyed.

Research focus: Assessing perception and financial literacy of first year university students

The purpose of this project is to examine the financial literacy of university students by assessing their perception of the financial life skills programs they might have received in school and a range of contextual factors that may influence their financial capability

Enhanced understanding of the levels of financial literacy and perception of financial education would assist in the development of well-targeted education programs and provide recommendations to a range of stakeholders to better engage with cohorts of young adults

  • Dr. Laura de Zwann (QUT – Superannuation)

  • Dr. Chrisann Palm (QUT - Superannuation)
  • Dr. Toni Chardon (USQ - Taxation)
  • The Wealth Academy (Industry partner)
  • After cleaning, sample size is 204
  • 80.4% female, 19.1% male
  • 3.4% ATSI, comparable to ABS stats of 3%
  • Age – all between 17 and 20
  • 9.8% speak a language other than English at home
  • 0.5% have a child or children
  • Only 3.4% work full-time; most are casual (43.1%) or part-time (18.6%). 25.5% are not currently working
Preliminary finding 1

Students were asked to indicate their level of agreement with the statement:

High school has taught me financial life skills that will prepare me for adult life.

Students responded:

  • Strongly disagree 22.1%
  • Disagree 43.6%
  • Neutral 21.1%
  • Agree 11.3%
  • Strongly agree 2%
Reference: Findings prepared by QUT School of Business (Accountancy) Dr Laura de Zwaan

Although these findings are preliminary, they indicate a strong dissatisfaction with the level of financial life skills learning they received while at high school. Most respondents (65.7%) felt they exited high school unprepared for the world they were about to enter. Another 21% of respondents were neutral, which is a significant proportion in itself! Only 13.3% of students agreed or strongly agreed that school financial life skills program prepared them for their adult life.


  • For schools, such a finding should warrant further consideration of the effectiveness of the school's existing financial life skills program.
  • For parents, such a finding may not be a surprise. Parents may want to work with the school to further develop the existing program.
  • For the financial service industry, there is clearly an opportunity here to help schools to help their students.
View our preliminary presentation of findings.

The attached file shows some of the preliminary findings from our initial research project.

The Wealth Academy and QUT Presentation: 2015_The_Wealth_Academy_QUT_High_School_Financial_education_research.pdf (Assessing perception and financial literacy of first year university students)


 Schools wishing to participate in the research program should contact The Wealth Academy.

THE WEALTH ACADEMY: We support those who value financial education