The University of Arizona College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
1 2 3 4 5 6


The first scientific study of young adults’ changing financial knowledge and practices.

Why is this study important? In today’s changing economic landscape, consumer financial choices are increasingly more complex. Young adults must quickly develop the financial decision-making skills to manage adult roles and responsibilities.

How do consumers learn to make financial decisions? Dr. Joyce Serido, Assistant Research Professor at the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, is leading a team of researchers to find the answer to that question.

By re-surveying members of the 2007 first-year University of Arizona cohort from college into middle-age, the researchers study the relation between college financial behaviors and adult financial capability to understand how early financial behaviors contribute to success and well-being in adulthood

APLUS Wave 3

Download a copy of Wave 3 Report

Wave 3 Webinar - June 4th, 2014 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. EDT
New findings from Wave 3.0 of APLUS, co-funded by the Citi Foundation and the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®), provide a glimpse into the lives of young adults (23 to 26 years old) making their way in a world with fewer job opportunities and higher student loan debts compared to previous generations. - Watch On-Demand Now!

APLUS In the news!

2 Years On, Two-Thirds of This Graduating Class Aren't Financially Self-Sufficient - The Chronicle of Higher Education, May 28th, 2014.

"The Next Economy | Solutions Bank | The Postrecession Financial Literacy of Americans Is Still Pitiful" - Nancy Cook, National Journal, May 7, 2014.

"The inclination to be creative when something big is at stake, though, is deeply familiar—as is making a personal plea. So says Joyce Serido, an assistant research professor at the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona who studies how people cope with financial stress." Read more from the Chronicle of Higher Education article, "Using the Web, Students Ask 'Crowd' to Help Pay for College," February 3, 2014.

APLUS Findings Influence Best Practices for College Students - Financial Literacy and College Persistence Conference, Held at Menlo College in Menlo Park CA - January 18, 2013 - Read More

Dr. Joyce Serido on National Public Radio - Family Matters: The Money Squeeze - Listening to Parents Key to Financial Responsibility - Morning Edition, May 29, 2012 - Listen On Demand Here


Project Synopsis

Fall, 2012 - Spring, 2013
Dr. Serido assumes the role of APLUS Principal Investigator as Dr. Shim becomes the Dean of the School of Human Ecology, The University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Together, they launch Wave 3: Adaptation and Resilience in financial, career, and life success among Young Adults.

The Wave 3 study will examine how life choices and opportunities facing today's young adults contribute to, or detract from, personal, financial, and career well-being

The APLUS project has been made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment of Financial Education and the Citi Foundation.

Fall, 2010 – Spring, 2011
Dr. Shim and Dr. Serido launch Wave 2: Young Adults’ Financial Capability Study

Survey data collected from over 1,500 of the participants in the baseline study as they prepare to leave  college to understand how prepared they are for the life-changing experiences awaiting them as they enter the world of full-time adult responsibility.

Spring, 2009
Dr. Shim and Dr. Joyce Serido, Co-Principal Investigator, launch the Wave 1.5: Economic Impact Study

Shortly after the global financial credit crisis, data collected from a subsample (748) of the baseline study participants to understand the immediate impact of the recession on young adults’ financial behaviors.

Fall, 2007 – Spring, 2008
Dr. Soyeon Shim, Professor/Former Director of the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences and original APLUS Principal Investigator, launches Wave 1: Baseline Study

Survey data collected from more than 2,000 first-year students enrolled at the University of Arizona to understand the pre-college experiences that contributed to college students’ financial attitudes and behaviors.

The APLUS project has been made possible through the generous support of the National Endowment For Financial Education and the Citi Foundation.