WEST DES MOINES — In the coming days, 30 Iowa high schools will each receive a $1,000 check for having students demonstrate their grasp of financial concepts during the third annual financial literacy challenge sponsored by state-based educational organizations.
Seymour High School in Seymour was one of the 30 to receive $1,000.
Iowa Student Loan, in partnership with the Iowa Department of Education, the Iowa Jump$tart Coalition, Junior Achievement of Central Iowa and the Iowa College Access Network, offered the cash awards to Iowa high schools that participated in the 2013–2014 Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge.
More than 2,800 students at 83 Iowa high schools participated in this year’s Challenge, which required that students complete a financial literacy assessment test created and administered by Ednalysis, a central Iowa educational research company. The schools were then entered into a random drawing to select the 30 winners. Each $1,000 prize is intended to improve the school’s financial literacy programs and its scholarship fund.
The assessment test provided feedback to teachers on student knowledge in five key areas:
n Achieving Financial Goals
n Managing Money Effectively
n Debt Decision-Making
n Investment and Asset Building
n Legal and Ethical Financial Behavior
Students completed the assessment test earlier this school year — in December 2013 and January 2014. No minimum student score was required for schools to qualify for the cash drawing.
The Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge is a homegrown program that was created after the federally sponsored National Financial Capability Challenge was discontinued in 2012. Iowa Student Loan and its partners had successfully promoted the national financial literacy challenge among Iowa high schools using the same cash drawing incentive. Following their efforts and those of others across the state, participation among Iowa high schools in the national program increased by more than 50 percent, compared to a national decline of nearly 10 percent.
Last spring, the second Challenge incorporated the use of Iowa Student Loan’s online financial literacy tutorial — Student Loan Game Plansm — into schools’ classroom instruction. With Student Loan Game Plan, high school students learned how they could plan ahead and borrow less for college by making informed financial decisions.
Winners of the cash drawing were randomly selected from Iowa high schools that had students complete the Ednalysis financial literacy assessment test.