Programs • Level 01

Fundamentals of Financial Literacy

There is a glaring lack of financial literacy today. With college loan debt, credit card interest, pricey car leases and sky-high housing costs, the need is clear.  This tuition-free program will expand your life-skill set and guide you toward being financially responsible and independent.

The first tier of the program, Fundamentals of Financial Literacy, is a self-paced program with no prerequisites for ages 15 and up.

Psst, It’s Not That Tough

“I’ve learned everything I know about financials from the Morgan Franklin Fellowship program. I have probably learned things there that I wouldn’t be able to learn in school – maybe anywhere else. They make lessons and material easy to understand, and fun as well!”

Ella Chhom, 2019 Fellow


Level 01 students learn the fundamentals of financial independence through topics such as budgeting, managing credit and financial planning. The self-paced curriculum fits into your rigorous schedules. Upon successful completion of the Financial Literacy course, students earn the title Morgan Franklin Financial Fellow (MFF Fellow) and can then apply to other MFF programs.

Allison R. is in her sixth year as an MFF Financial Fellow. She is in our Pioneer Program. At 20, she has already learned about the stock market, investing her money and realizing long-term gains in her Roth IRA account. She was our summer intern in 2018 and our apprentice and Director of Students in summer 2019. Now, as a junior in college, she has an extensive resume, owns her own business, and manages a retirement account.

Why Should I Do This?

“When I was 15, my mom had to talk me into taking part in Morgan Franklin Fellowship’s pilot program. (She practically begged.) I really had zero interest in finding out about financial literacy, and I really had little idea what that even meant. But, I did it because I thought it might look good on college applications. In the original program, I had to write reports about what I was learning, such as how money works and how it’s used beyond just earning a paycheck from a job.

Toward the end of high school, I was prepping for college and I started to see “real life” coming at me very fast. I was really busy and still doing the MFF thing, which had developed into me actually investing some of MFF’s money in the stock market and reporting my returns. I was toying with dropping out of the program, and then I saw my return from that year.

That’s when it clicked for me. Since then, I got really focused. Even in college, I keep a close eye on my stocks, and my profits are sitting in a nice Roth IRA* until the day I really need them. My roommates at school are impressed, and they wish they would have been able to take part when they were in high school.

It’s important for me to still be part of MFF to help others who might think it’s ‘boring’ at the beginning. Trust me, it’s well worth your time!”

*Roth IRA: This is an individual retirement account where you annually set aside after-tax income up to a specific dollar amount. Earnings on an IRA and withdrawals after you turn 59.5 are tax-free!

Our first-year students learn to:

  • Earning Income: Maximizing potential
  • Buying Goods & Services: Informed spending decisions through planning
  • The Value of Savings: Time, interest rates and inflation
  • Using Credit: Credit options, risk, credit score, lenders
  • Financial Investing: Investment vehicles, risk, rate of return, diversification
  • Protecting and Insuring: Financial risk of lost income, assets, health or identity

MFF is a great opportunity for everyone, no matter what an individual’s age or where they come from. We discussed investment strategies, how aggressive to be in the market, even Ponzi schemes. These are things I wouldn’t normally have an opportunity to talk about.

Trent R.
Pioneer Fellow

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Yes, teach me how to be financially independent!

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