Case Study
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Financial Avenue As a Drawing Board to Launch Artistic Careers

Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising, commonly referred to as FIDM, is located on four campuses throughout California. With over 30 accredited Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate Programs in design and creative business, they knew they had a creatively savvy group but wanted to find a way to help them be money savvy, too. During their search for a financial education platform, they needed an outside-of the-box approach.


“The students really learn from Financial Avenue,” says Martha Ramos, FIDM’s Stafford Repayment Coordinator. “The content isn’t easy, but it’s easy to learn. It’s written in a way that they can understand it.” Ramos also says she appreciates that courses are designed with testing immediately following each module so what they’ve learned is fresh in students’ minds.


A week before financial clearance, students are required to turn in their Financial Avenue grades. Without it, they cannot register for upcoming classes.


Continued use of Financial Avenue is part of FIDM’s strategy to maintain their low CDR, if not continue to decrease it, especially if the program is expanded to all students.

Financial Empowerment by Design

Financial Avenue helps students think twice about what they’re doing when it comes to money, Ramos says. And having financial skills will help them consider how their actions today are going to affect them tomorrow.


Ramos says, “I had a student who was asking me something about credit cards, something she learned in the course skills. The course taught her the importance of reading her statements, something she’s going to work on to understand better.”


By the end of the program, students who previously doubted the necessity of the courses are converted to financial education believers.

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Case Study  

Knowing how to manage money is a universal skill that applies to students of any major. But, how do you convince students of that and have them embrace the learning when their attention and interests are spread in so many other directions?


Financial Avenue takes a behavioral-based approach to delivering relevant content that explains exactly why students should care, while also addressing how students can immediately apply concepts to build financial capability now.

  • The four California campuses have achieved over 24,000 total Financial Avenue course completions
  • Average knowledge gain increase of90 percent

The Fashion Institute of Design & Merchandising (FIDM) is a for-profit private college in California. It offers over 25 accredited Master’s, Bachelor’s and Associate Degree programs in design and creative business.

Enrollment: 4,200 undergraduate

Alumni: 70,000

Campuses: Los Angeles, San Francisco, Orange County, and San Diego

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