High school students compete in National Financial Literacy Challenge

High school students across the country will compete in this fall's National Financial Literacy Challenge, vying for scholarships and other awards. Apart from the recognition students and teachers can earn from the U.S. Treasury, Charles Schwab Foundation offers college scholarships to students with the highest scores.

Administered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, the Challenge is a 35-question voluntary online test that covers a broad range of personal finance topics.

Registration is currently open and teachers can learn more about the Challenge and sign up their students at the U.S. Treasury Web site. The Challenge will be administered November 3rd through the 26th, and winners will be announced in December.

Over 46,000 students took the inaugural Challenge this past spring, and 10 teens who achieved scores of 100 percent were awarded scholarships by Charles Schwab Foundation, in addition to receiving medals and other recognition from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Building on this excitement, the fall 2008 Challenge is expected to draw an even greater number of students.

"It's our hope that these awards will encourage other teachers across the country to bring the lessons of personal finance into their classrooms," said Dan Iannicola Jr., Treasury's deputy assistant secretary for financial education and executive director of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. "Financial education for today's youth is critical, as they truly have the ability to make lasting change in America's spending, borrowing, saving and investing habits," he added.

The pool of Challenge questions was developed by the Office of Financial Education, Department of the U.S. Treasury, in consultation with four prominent academicians, the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, Junior Achievement USA, the National Council on Economic Education (NCEE), and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE).

Awards for High-Scoring Students

Charles Schwab Foundation will award a scholarship of $1,000 each to up to 100 students who get a score of 100%. In addition, the Foundation will award $1,000 to the student's school or organization that contributed to the student's financial education.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury will present medals to students scoring in the top 1 percent and Certificates of Recognition to students scoring in the top 25 percent.

"Understanding the basics of personal finance is a life skill everyone needs," said Carrie Schwab-Pomerantz, president of Charles Schwab Foundation. "Through the Challenge, we have the opportunity to raise awareness of the need for more financial education," she added, "and at the same time reward the students and schools that do an outstanding job. These kids — and their teachers — can inspire others with the message that learning about money management is not only smart, it's essential."

About the National Financial Literacy Challenge

The Challenge is offered by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, and was recommended by the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. The Challenge was developed by the U.S. Treasury in consultation with four non-governmental economists and four education organizations. The economists are: Dr. Annamaria Lusardi, Dartmouth College; Dr. Lewis Mandell, University of Washington; Dr. Sarapage McCorkle, Junior Achievement of Mississippi Valley, Inc.; and Dr. William Walstad, University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The education organizations are: Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, Junior Achievement USA, The National Council on Economic Education, and the National Endowment for Financial Education.

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