Fifteen teams from Nebraska high schools have earned the opportunity to compete Saturday in the annual Personal Finance Challenge competition sponsored by the Nebraska Council on Economic Education.
Members of the top three teams in the state will receive a total of $14,000 in college scholarships from the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST), a division of the Nebraska State Treasurer’s Office. Teachers of the winning teams will receive iPads, courtesy of NEST.
The face-to-face competitions will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday in the UNL East Campus Union in Lincoln, the UNO College of Education in Omaha, and the UNL College of Technical Agriculture in Curtis. Treasurer Stenberg, Trustee of NEST, will be a judge at the Omaha competition.
The winner in the state competition will go on to the national competition May 6 in Kansas City, Missouri. A team from Concordia High School in Omaha was Nebraska’s representative at the national competition last year.
“This marks the fourth year the Treasurer’s Office, through our NEST program, has provided scholarships for Finance Challenge winners. We are happy to reward these high school students for their efforts to learn about personal finance and apply what they have learned to real-life situations. This competition fits in well with my initiative to promote financial literacy education in Nebraska schools to help develop wise savers, consumers and investors and future leaders of our state,” Treasurer Stenberg said.
The Treasurer’s online financial literacy program is offered free through Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars to every high school in the state.
“It’s wonderful to see such broad and growing participation from all across the state, from Chadron, Thedford, and Alliance to Wausa, West Point, and Fort Calhoun, to Johnson, HTRS (Humboldt, Table Rock, and Steinauer), and Nebraska City,” said Jennifer Davidson, president of the Nebraska Council on Economic Education.
“Students earning a spot at the regional competitions this Saturday correctly answered questions from a variety of financial topics including SR-22 liability insurance, student loans, predatory lending, and the circulation of money in the United States. I am looking forward to a great competition and crowning our 2016 state championship team,” Davidson said.
A total of 239 teams participated in this year’s high school Personal Finance Challenge competition. 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.
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
Schools that are expected to compete at each location are listed below;
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.
About Nebraska Council on Economic Education
The Nebraska Council on Economic Education and its five centers are focused on directly educating Nebraska’s students and providing professional development for K-12 teachers to advance economic and financial literacy. The Nebraska Council on Economic Education is a 501(c)3 non-profit, housed at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, College of Business Administration. Visit nebraskacouncil.unl.edu for more information.