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National Financial Capability Challenge Kicks Off


Online Test Assesses Teens' Financial Acumen

DENVER—The annual National Financial Capability Challenge, a voluntary online test of personal finance knowledge sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, today begins its 2012 campaign to gauge just how much high school students know about managing their money. Registration for the Challenge is open through April 13. The Challenge is a free online exam that tests teens’ knowledge about subjects such as earning, spending, saving, borrowing and risk protection. Top scorers are eligible for scholarships and other awards.

"The Challenge is a perfect opportunity for teachers, parents and all of society to learn how much young people know about personal finance," says Ted Beck, president and CEO of the National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®). "This simple online quiz also is helpful to educators who may not feel competent in broaching this subject with their students. We learned recently that just 29 percent of teachers are offering financial education instruction1,” Beck adds.

Between now and April 13, any high school teacher or educator who instructs students ages 13 to 19 can register for the program at www.challenge.treas.gov, download the toolkit for educators and prepare his or her students to take the brief exam. The Challenge also is available in Spanish. And taking the Challenge can pay off. The Charles Schwab Foundation is sponsoring $50,000 in scholarships and grants; 25 top-scoring students will receive $1,000 each, and their schools or sponsoring educational programs will receive a $1,000 grant. Additionally, the top two scorers at each participating school, plus all students who score in the top 20 percent nationwide, will receive award certificates from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. More than 84,000 students participated in the 2011 National Financial Capability Challenge.

About the National Financial Capability Challenge
The Challenge was developed by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in consultation with economists and the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, Junior Achievement USA, the Council for Economic Education and the National Endowment for Financial Education. For more information, visit www.challenge.treas.gov.

1) Teachers’ Background and Capacity to Teach Personal Finance, a 2009 study sponsored by NEFE at the University of Wisconsin, investigates teachers and their preparedness to teach personal finance topics. Researchers surveyed more than 1,200 K-12 teachers, prospective teachers currently enrolled in college and university faculty to better understand their training and education in personal finance, their opinions about the importance of financial education and their capacity to teach these topics. For details on this research, click here.

About the National Endowment for Financial Education
NEFE is a nonprofit foundation that inspires empowered financial decision making for individuals and families through every stage of life. For more information, visit www.nefe.org.
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