For the fifth year, the Nebraska State 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 of the Personal Finance Challenge, State Treasurer Don Stenberg said today.
The Personal Finance Challenge is a two-part competition for high school students sponsored by the Nebraska Council on Economic Education. The challenge starts with an online competition March 21 through April 1 and follows with face-to-face regional competitions April 21 in Lincoln, Omaha, and Kearney. The five teams scoring the highest on the online competition from each region will take part in the April 21 competitions.
The winning team will go on to compete in the national competition May 5 in Kansas City, Missouri. Alliance High School was Nebraska’s representative at last year’s national competition.
“As Trustee of the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust, I am pleased to enthusiastically support the Personal Finance Challenge with these significant scholarships. This will be the fifth year we have partnered with the council to support this statewide competition that encourages high school students to prepare themselves to become smart consumers, wise investors, and community leaders,” Treasurer Stenberg said.
In addition to the NEST scholarships for the students, teachers of the three winning teams will receive iPads, Stenberg said.
“As the chief financial officer of the state, I am committed to helping young people acquire the financial knowledge necessary 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. The Finance Challenge fits well with my financial literacy initiative offered free through Nebraska NEST Financial Scholars to every high school in the state,” Stenberg said.
“The Finance Challenge provides teachers a unique tool to engage students and gives students a way to apply the important knowledge they have been learning in class all semester,” said Jennifer Davidson, president of the Nebraska Council on Economic Education.
“The Finance Challenge gives students an incentive to invest in their own education, at an important age, and an additional reason to study – to win. The opportunity to win $2,000, $1,000, and $500 NEST scholarships is a strong incentive. We are extremely grateful for the partnership with the State Treasurer’s Office,” she said.
Davidson said 1,135 students from 46 high schools participated in the online portion of the Finance Challenge last spring. The online test focuses on money management, credit, spending, savings, and investing. Teachers may learn more about the competition and sign up at financechallenge.unl.edu/Nebraska/Welcome.
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 NEST account.
To encourage schools to enter, two videos are posted on the Treasurer’s Financial Literacy page. One features Treasurer Stenberg and Josh Hinrichs of Lincoln Southwest High School discussing the value of participating in the Finance Challenge. The second video features Anthony Hare and Bailey O’Connor, students in the UNL College of Business Administration who were on last year’s winning team from Alliance High School.