Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg, the president of the Nebraska Council on Economic Education, and a high school business teacher participate in a new video being sent to Nebraska school administrators and business teachers to promote competition in the 2016 Personal Finance Challenge for high school students.
For the fourth year, the Treasurer’s Office will provide a total of $14,000 in scholarships through the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) to students on the top three winning teams. Teachers of the three winning teams will receive iPads this year.
Joining Treasurer Stenberg in the video are Josh Hinrichs, a business teacher at Lincoln Southwest High School, and Jennifer Davidson, president of the Nebraska Council on Economic Education, the sponsor of the Personal Finance Challenge.
The video, which is 2 minutes and 48 seconds long, was filmed in the Drawing Room of the Governor’s Residence by the Office of University Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. The video can be accessed at http://mediahub.unl.edu/media/4978.
The Personal Finance Challenge starts with an online competition March 21 through April 1 and follows with face-to-face regional competitions April 16 in Lincoln, Omaha, and Curtis. Five teams from each region will be invited to take part in the regional competitions.
The winning team will go on to compete in the national competition May 6 in Kansas City, Missouri. Nebraska’s representative at the national competition last year was a team from Concordia High School in Omaha.
“This statewide competition encourages high school students to learn about personal finance to help them become smart consumers, investors, and community leaders .The competition also fits in well with my financial literacy initiative offered free through Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars to every high school in the state,” Treasurer Stenberg said.
“The Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars online program offers an ideal way for high school students to prepare for the Finance Challenge. The two complement each other perfectly and provide students with the incentive and the knowledge to live out their dreams as financially responsible adults,” he added. “As the chief financial officer of the state, I am committed to helping young people acquire the financial knowledge necessary to be able to contribute to the economic well-being of our state and to their own financial well-being and the financial well-being of their own families.”
Davidson said 837 high school students participated in the online portion of the Finance Challenge last year. The online test focuses on money management, credit, spending, savings, and investing. Details about this year’s competition can be found at https://financechallenge.unl.edu/Nebraska/Welcome
“I look forward to crowning the 2016 champions,” said Davidson. “The Finance Challenge is an incredible opportunity for students to study these important topics and understand how to better prepare themselves to be financially self-sufficient when they leave high school and move on to college and the workforce. I anticipate the spring online competition to be fierce. We had incredible participation in the fall practice session with more than 1,250 students. The NEST student scholarships and iPads for winning teachers are wonderful incentives.”
The regional face-to-face team competitions take place after students complete individual online tests in their home schools and their scores are averaged for a team score. First-place winners will be chosen at each of the three regional competition sites, and then each team’s average online test score will be used to determine first-, second-, and third-place winners statewide.
The Nebraska Educational Savings Trust, a division of the State Treasurer’s Office, will award a total of $14,000 to the winners, who usually compete in teams of four. Members of the first-place team will each receive a $2,000 contribution to a NEST college savings account. Members of the second-place team will each receive a $1,000 NEST account, and members of the third-place team will each receive a $500 college savings account.
NEST is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan and provides four plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable: NEST Direct College Savings Plan, the NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, the Bloomwell 529 Education Savings Plan, and the State Farm 529 Savings Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Program Trustee. Union Bank & Trust Company serves as Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Families nationwide are saving for college using Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans, which have more than 285,000 accounts, including over 94,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.