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Student debt is a serious problem – amounting to more than $1.3 trillion dollars – with long-term implications to quality of life for students and their families. While many issues contribute to the problem, an important step toward solving it is to educate yourself and others about options for making smart financial decisions.
Learn about the true costs of a college degree. Watch Broke, Busted and Disgusted Jan. 7 at a special presentation at the DMACC West Theatre. The film, to be presented by Adam Carroll, is designed to help college students (and their parents) better understand the potential repercussions of student debt and how to graduate with less debt.
Click here to learn more about the film.
Champlain College’s Center for Financial Literacy in Burlington, Vt. has recently graded all 50 states and the District of Columbia (D.C.) on their efforts to produce financially literate high school graduates, and Iowa received a ‘C’ on its report card.
In this 2015 report, states were measured on whether they had personal finance instruction as a graduation requirement, made personal finance education a part of a required course, or had substantive personal finance topics in its academic standards that local school districts are expected to teach.
Just five states in the country scored an A: Utah, Missouri, Tennessee, Alabama and Virginia. These five states are the only ones in the country that require students take a dedicated semester of personal finance courses to graduate.
In the report, it is noted that Iowa does not have a specific personal finances course as a graduation requirement, but that the Iowa Core does contain a financial literacy standard. Iowa was also given “extra credit” for its 2014 Iowa Financial Literacy Work Team Report, which includes eight specific recommendations for improving financial literacy in the state.
This is the second time Champlain has produced such a report card, with the last report card being issued in 2013. Iowa received a ‘C’ on the 2013 report card as well.
Click here to read the 2015 Champlain report.
In related news, Iowa Board of Regents President Bruce Rastetter recently called on all three of Iowa’s public universities to develop some sort of mandatory financial literacy course to help address the issue of student debt. Click here to read more in an article from the Cedar Rapids Gazette.
MoneyTeach.org launched recently with support from NEFE to help instructors with little or no financial education background access to vetted resources and insight from experienced financial educators. Jointly developed by the Take Charge America Institute and housed at the University of Arizona, Money Teach is an online portal to noncommercial resources from a variety of providers and a forum to discuss what works and what doesn’t.
Teachers can choose curricula by length of instruction time, grade level, content topic, type of class and type of teaching material. Whether teachers need one 45-minute lesson or a 4,000-minute semester course, Money Teach guides them to resources meeting their criteria.
Numerous leaders in the financial capability community have worked to improve teacher effectiveness in recent years, based on insights from NEFE-funded research that found fewer than 20 percent of K-12 teachers feel “very competent” to teach personal finance. Money Teach supports several of the factors necessary for effective financial education by identifying vetted resources, age-appropriate materials to provide timely instruction and relevant subject matter.
See more at: Money Teach Press Release
Sponsored by the American Bankers Association Foundation, Lights, Camera, Save! is a national, bank-driven competition that encourages teens to use video to communicate the value of saving and inspire others to become lifelong savers. The video contest is designed for teens between the ages of 13 and 18, and encourages teens to develop creative, innovative concepts that show the importance of sound money management.
Three national winners of the contest will also receive awards of $1,000, $2,500 or $5,000, and winning videos will be posted on YouTube to become part of a national campaign to make sound money management relevant to teens.
To participate, contact a participating Iowa bank to request an entry form. Click here to view a list of participating banks.
Registration is open for a scholarship that offers Iowa high school seniors a chance to receive $2,000 for college while learning important financial literacy skills. In addition, each recipient’s high school will receive a corresponding $500 award.
High school seniors may register for the Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship online between now and March 4.
Iowa Student Loan® will award $2,000 scholarships to 30 students who complete two online financial literacy tutorials and score highest on a related assessment. Registered students also receive emails highlighting financial literacy tips, such as the importance of early career and college planning and ways to reduce student loan indebtedness.
After registering for the scholarship, students receive emailed instructions for completing the three online components. Two tutorials — the newly revised Student Loan Game PlanSM and the ROCI Reality Check — were developed by Iowa Student Loan to help students understand the consequences of college borrowing and discover how to maximize their return on college investment, or ROCI.
Click here to learn more and to register.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released a new tool that educators can use to evaluate financial education curriculum for students. The curriculum review tool will help educators identify effective and unbiased material to increase the financial capability of students. By providing relevant evaluation criteria, the tool can help educators judge the value of financial education material for their students.
“Helping young people develop their financial capability early will prepare them for important financial decisions they will face in the future,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “The curriculum review tool we are releasing today will help educators determine which financial education curriculum best suits their students.”
Research links high school financial education courses with increased savings and wealth accumulation later in life. When attempting to find financial education material for their students, educators are often faced with the challenge of having to choose a suitable curriculum from a wide range of providers with few guidelines on how to select the most appropriate curriculum. This tool is designed to help.
Click here to learn more.
Get financial literacy tools and resources you can use in your classroom! Sign up now to attend a day-long, financial literacy professional development program at Iowa Western Community College in Atlantic on Oct. 20.
Each session will include classroom content and will offer helpful tools and resources. Resources will include lesson plans, whiteboard applications, videos, and more. All resources meet the Iowa Core Curriculum 21st Century Skills standards.
There is no charge for the program, but registration is required by Friday, Oct. 16. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Presenters include Kevin Shields, Community Affairs Specialist at the FDIC, Dr. Cindy Fletcher, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University, Bob Mantell and Kyle Osborne of TS Institute, and Joanne Kuster, president of DynaMinds Publishing and chairperson of Iowa Money Smart Week.
October 20, 2015 | 8:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.
IOWA WESTERN COMMUNITY COLLEGE
705 WALNUT ST. | ATLANTIC, IA 50022