Contests, Financial Literacy Tools

Classroom opportunity with Iowa JumpStart

Cache__BannerYou may have heard about the Cache! which is an online game for your classroom. It’s from the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, it’s for Money Smart Week, it’s free to you – and there are prizes. Iowa teachers and students are eligible for the national prize as well as the Iowa JumpStart prize. It’s easy for your students to play, but you need to sign up by March 13 so they can access the site.

To participate:

  1. Teachers register and get details at this Money Smart link:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Cache2020
  2. Teachers get a code for their students to use – I will send an email to you.
  3. Students use any mobile device or computer to maneuver Ben Franklin through some 21st century financial hurdles and get him to the “portal” to answer the personal finance questions.
  4. Teachers can use Cache! as a fun activity or in conjunction with teaching a personal finance lesson.
  5. Students can play as many times as they wish from March 30 to May 5, 2020.
  6. Cache covers seven topics students should understand – credit scores, identity theft, car loans, student loans, debit vs. credit, paychecks and budgeting.

If you have questions, you can email joanne@kusterltd.com.

Thanks for teaching financial education in your classroom!

Financial Literacy Tools, Helpful Information

New Parent Service from Iowa Student Loan

As most educators know, parent engagement is a key component to a student’s overall success in life, and studies show that parents remain the number one influencer in achieving that success. More than likely, any educator and school counselor struggles with how to positively involve parents in their own students’ lives. But how do we educate parents and guardians in their role of helping students plan for life after high school?

For those who know the process, it can be overwhelming; for first-generation or low-income families, it can seem impossible. Through focus groups, surveys and partnerships with school counselors and educational organizations, Iowa Student Loan performed research and reviewed academic studies about methods to increase parental engagement. The end result is the development of a parental engagement service that assists educators by providing parent-focused tools and resources, empowering and incentivizing parents to engage in their students’ future plans, whether that includes college or a career.

Called SP3 — Student Planning Pointers for Parents, the service provides twice-monthly emails to registered parents. The emails contain useful tips and information based upon their students’ current grade level and the month in which the email is sent. Parents of eighth through 12th grade students are able to access information and resources related to the timely topic. After answering a couple of survey questions, they are entered into a quarterly drawing to win a 529 college savings deposit for their student — $250 to 40 participants each quarter. The best part about the service is that it’s entirely FREE!

The objectives are to increase parental involvement in students’ career and college planning; provide parents with tools to help with their students plan; and coordinate the service with activities and curriculum occurring at schools. Parents register at www.sp3.org to receive emails and gain access to a personal dashboard with current and archived content.

Iowa Student Loan has consistently provided financial education and college planning tools to Iowans during its 40-year history to support its mission of helping students obtain the resources needed to succeed in postsecondary education. Tools like Student Loan Game Plan, College Funding Forecaster, Return on College Investment (ROCI), Grad Degree Gauge and the Parent Handbook are proof of our successful mission, as is ICAN, with whom Iowa Student Loan partners. Adding SP3 to our impressive endeavors further solidifies our standing as a premier nonprofit entity in Iowa.

Financial Literacy Tools

Paying for College Resource

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Meet the Paying for College Resource. Your new, go-to destination to help students and families figure out how they’ll pay for college.

You’ll have access to free info and tools to help them make their plan:

  • Why to fill out the FAFSA
  • How to compare award letters
  • Finding scholarships
  • What to know about student loans

…And so much more!

Plus, check out the must-see video series.Watch by topic or the entire show to tackle questions about paying for college. They can be shown in the classroom, at financial aid nights, and more!

Get started at www.PayForCollegeResource.com

You’re a huge help to students and families as they plan for college, and we hope this resource can help you with the paying for college piece. Please feel free to share any of the resource’s info and materials on your school’s website, via social media, and with your peers. Attached you’ll also find a flyer to help spread the word.

Financial Literacy Tools

Social Security Education for Students


For teachers who are interested in materials to teach Social Security, check out the 5/7/2019 post from the Social Security Administration.  View Post on SSA.gov.

In May, we celebrate Teacher Appreciation Week and honor all of the educators who are preparing students for the future. Social Security knows that a well-informed instructor is usually the best one suited to educate others. That’s why we have online resources that are easy to access and share.

Social Security’s Educator Toolkit is a rich resource for teachers and advocates. Our Information for Educators page contains information and resources to engage students and to educate them on Social Security. It includes:

  • Infographics and handouts for each lesson plan
  • Links to Social Security webpages
  • Talking points
  • Quiz questions and answers
Financial Literacy Tools, Helpful Information

Groundswell Program helps parents advocate for financial education

The National Jump$tart Coalition has announced a new program, called Groundswell, to help parents, grandparents and guardians advocate for financial education in their schools. The goal of the program is to help increase the number of K-12 students who receive financial education in the classroom by 25 percent by 2025. “Parents, grandparents and guardians are the most vocal advocates for their own kids’ education,” said Laura Levine, president and CEO of the Jump$tart Coalition. Jump$tart is planning to develop a virtual toolkit for those interested in taking part in the effort. Click here to learn more.

Financial Literacy Tools

Iowans win IRA Contributions through IPI’s 2017 Dash for the Stash Contest

In 2017, the Investor Protection Institute (IPI) and state securities agencies sponsored the DASH for the STASH contest in which an estimated 1,300 individuals participated in. DASH for the STASH is a “scavenger hunt”- like contest that teaches and then quizzes participants on investing topics such as financial fraud, building a nest egg, selecting financial advisers and the cost of investment fees. A total of 138 public libraries and other locations in eight jurisdictions participated in the contest. Participating jurisdictions included Alaska, Florida, Iowa, Kentucky, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.

Of the 1,300 individuals who participated at host locations, 346 submitted completed responses and 171 of those responses had the correct answers. One individual, from each of the jurisdictions, who submitted all correct answers was randomly selected as a winner and received a $1,000 IRA contribution.

The DASH for the STASH contest also included an online version for the first time in 2017. The online version was open to anyone, regardless of location, and ran from April 1, 2017, to October 31, 2017. Of the 184 completed online responses, 53 were correct and seven winners were randomly selected to receive $150 IRA contributions.

Between the DASH host locations and online version, 15 winners were selected. Of those 15, two winners were from Iowa.

  • A 37 year-old male in Urbandale, Iowa won a $1,000 IRA fund contribution by participating at the Mason County Public Library. He said, “I found the DASH for the STASH fun and very informational. The posters were full of financial information and descriptions that helped me understand different options for our money to work for us.”
  • A 29 year-old female in Des Moines, Iowa won a $150 IRA fund contribution by participating in the DASH national online version and said, “DASH for the STASH was not only fun but it gave me the foundation I needed to get started with my own retirement fund!”

In addition to IPI, other organization that were involved with the 2017 DASH for the STASH included Alaska Division of Banking and Securities, the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation Securities Division, the Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions, the Ohio Division of Securities, the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities, and the Wyoming Secretary of State’s Office.

For more information about the 2017 DASH for the STASH, click here. Information on whether the DASH will occur in 2018, has not yet been released.