The National Financial Literacy Challenge

From November 3 until November 26, 2008, high school students can participate in the National Financial Literacy Challenge. This online 35-question test measures financial knowledge and serves to document the state of financial literacy among participating high school students. Please help me spread the word about this test and encourage the school in your district to register to participate.

It is important that we measure financial literacy among high school students. These young people soon will or already are confronting financial decisions, such as taking out student loans to pay for college, managing credit cards, and saving or spending income from summer employment and allowances. Are young people well equipped to make these decisions? We do not know, and we need to find out! Several states have mandated financial education in high schools and there is a lot of discussion about whether financial literacy should be integrated into high school curricula. I particularly encourage the schools where financial literacy has been mandated or where courses on financial literacy are offered to participate in this test. All tests are imperfect to some degree, but we need some measurement of how much our students know and how well we are doing at teaching financial literacy.

And there are rewards for participating in this test (can you tell that economists devised it?). Students scoring in the top 25th percentile nationwide will earn a certificate of recognition from the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Students scoring exceptionally high will win a National Financial Literacy Challenge Award medal (hey, this would look good on a resumé). And there are monetary rewards too. The Charles Schwab Foundation will award a scholarship of $1,000 to up to 100 students who get a perfect score of 100%. In addition, the Foundation will award $1,000 to each of those students’ schools.

For more information or to register, please follow the link below:

Just to make you smile, I am including here a test that is part of the newspaper advertising copy for this challenge.

A bond is:
(a) a British spy
(b) glue
(c) a type of loan that pays interest