NEFE General Grants (Financial Literacy Research)

Funding Agency:
National Endowment for Financial Education

NEFE advances effective financial education and financial well-being by supporting rigorous research and facilitating community dialogue. We fund research that makes a profound contribution to the field of financial education and seeks to improve the public's financial well-being. We are an open and engaged funder that inspires collaboration and community in addition to providing money.

NEFE accepts letters of inquiry once per year, from September 15 to November 15. 

Agency Website

Areas of Interest

NEFE identifies the following topics as research funding priorities, marking a shift in our agenda. While our grant cycle remains open to all eligible concepts, we give preference to well-designed projects that align with the priorities listed below. Our directed research opportunities provide funding for projects that address these topics specifically.


Strong standards of measurement strengthen the case for effective financial education and inspire others to join our cause. We continuously seek to improve the quality of research in our field by evaluating whether our instruments are effective in their measurement. We are interested in re-evaluating current financial literacy metrics and how financial literacy, behavior, perception, knowledge and skill can be measured more effectively.


NEFE acknowledges that financial education alone cannot solve the economic inequity that exists across socioeconomic status, race and gender within the U.S. We see financial education as one piece of a broader ecosystem that affects individual financial capability and well-being.


Examining bias—specifically as it pertains to personal finance—helps us identify knowledge gaps in our field. By being more inclusive, we can strengthen both our research design and data. For example, individuals without a credit score disproportionately earn a lower income and are underrepresented in many research studies that use credit score as a key variable, thus limiting the income variation of the study's population.


NEFE recognizes that exposure to financial education among youth in the U.S. can vary widely based on the presence or implementation of state mandates and the amount of financial socialization and education within a family unit. Such a wide range of formative experiences creates an inconsistent foundation for the knowledge and skills critical to financial well-being and decision making in emerging adults.

Eligibility Requirements

We fund projects that are based on original research questions that necessitate rigorous, empirical and/or theoretical analysis. We also fund replication studies. To be eligible for funding from NEFE, the principal researcher must have the demonstrated ability to implement the methodology and analyze the results, and must be affiliated with a U.S. nonprofit college, university, research organization, or other 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. For a graduate student, this could mean having a co-principal investigator heavily involved in supporting the research study.

Funding Type



Grad/Prof Students


Social Sciences

External Deadline

November 15, 2023