National challenge offers youth an opportunity to learn about personal finance

The National Financial Capability Challenge is designed to illustrate the relevance of financial topics to students, as well as to assess their learning.

The National Financial Capability Challenge is an awards program designed to increase the financial knowledge and capability of high school aged youth across the United States. It incentivizes educators to teach the basics of personal finance to their students by rewarding students, educators, schools and states for their participation and their successes. Educators and top-scoring students receive award certificates, and schools and states with the highest participation rates earn special distinction.

The National Financial Capability Challenge was created by the U.S. Department of the Treasury, with the assistance of the U.S. Department of Education, based on a recommendation of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. The Council wanted to recognize the important work of educators in providing financial capability education to young people at a critical point in their lives. The Challenge encourages young people to increase their knowledge of and involvement in financial topics, so they are better prepared for the future.

The U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Financial Education and Financial Access (OFEFA) administers the National Financial Capability Challenge. OFEFA’s mission is promoting financial knowledge, skills and access to fair and appropriate financial services for all Americans. You can learn more about the office at the Financial Education and Financial Access Resource Center.

All educators working with U.S. high school-aged students, 13-19, are encouraged to register for the challenge, download the Educator Toolkit, prepare their students and administer the online exam. The challenge can be offered in libraries, after-school settings, in home-school environments or in the classroom.

The challenge is open March 12-April 13, 2012 and all participants must take the challenge during that time. Educators are encouraged to sign up at the National Financial Capability Challenge homepage. Registration is free and now available.

Over 84,000 students participated in the 2011 National Financial Capability Challenge. The challenge is comprised of 40 multiple choice questions on financial topics covering five core financial competencies:

  1. Earning
  2. Saving and investing
  3. Spending
  4. Borrowing
  5. Protection.

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