Getting Real Results with Ohio State University Extension’s Real Money. Real World. Program


  • Theresa M. Ferrari Ohio State University Extension
  • Lisa Bateson Ohio State University Extension
  • Nancy Hudson Ohio State University Extension
  • Beth Bridgeman Ohio State University Extension
  • Graham Cochran Ohio State University Extension



Youth development organizations have a unique opportunity to offer programs that help young people develop financial skills they need to become successful adults. This article describes Ohio State University Extension’s Real Money. Real World. (RMRW) and the systematic approach used to evaluate its effectiveness. The RMRW curriculum includes an active, hands-on experience that gives young people the opportunity to make lifestyle and budget choices similar to those they will make as adults. The realistic simulation creates a teachable moment. The outcomes of the statewide evaluation clearly indicate the curriculum accomplishes its goals of raising awareness, changing attitudes, and motivating students to plan for behavior changes concerning financial management, education, and career choices. The article concludes with a discussion of the organizational outcomes of conducting the evaluation.






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