Contests, Financial Literacy Tools, Scholarships

At Home Financial Literacy Challenge worth $10,000

The National Financial Bee

Compete for a chance to win a college scholarship up to $10,000!

Calling all parents and caregivers! The Iowa Insurance Division is proud to sponsor the EVERFI National Financial Bee, a first-of-its-kind nationwide financial literacy challenge for students in 7th-10th grade. This year’s virtual challenge will take place April 20-24, and we want YOU to participate!

During Financial Literacy Month, and especially during this time of unprecedented uncertainty, we are committed to helping our Iowa Insurance Division team and their families plan for their financial future and find ways to pay for college. The National Financial Bee provides an opportunity for students to have some fun and learn critical financial concepts — all from the comfort of home while social distancing!

The five-day challenge was created by social impact education innovator EVERFI, our partner in financial education. Each daily lesson covers important financial topics covering everything from savings, investing, income, debt and more. After completing the lessons, students submit a short capstone essay in which they share their biggest financial dream and outline a plan for how to get there. Three winners of the National Financial Bee will receive up to $10,000 in college scholarships.

How It Works

Students can participate in just 3 easy steps:

  1. Visit the National Financial Bee website
  2. Complete the 5 lessons (~10 minutes each)
  3. Submit a short essay on your biggest financial dream and how you plan to achieve it by May 8th.

The National Financial be is open to all our Iowa Insurance Division employees, their immediate and extended families, and the communities we serve. We will be promoting the challenge across our social media channels and encourage you to re-share with friends and family.


$25,000 Scholarship from Sallie Mae

Your student could win a $25,000 Bridging the Dream Scholarship. We’re seeking nominations from counselors and community leaders, like you, who see the challenges some students face in paying for college.

The nomination period is open now through September 26, 2019, at 5:00 p.m. ET. We’re only accepting 1,000 entries, so the sooner you nominate the better!

We’re looking for high school juniors and seniors

  1. who work hard and inspire others;
  2. have an inspiring story to tell;
  3. make a difference in their community; and
  4. who may need additional help when it comes to paying for college.

Visit to nominate your student.

Want to see what Bridging the Dream is all about? Check out this video.

Do you want to help even more students learn about paying for college? Check out Sallie Mae’s free Paying for College Resource, which includes videos, checklists, tools, and more on timely topics like the FAFSA, award letters, scholarships, and student loans.

Helpful Information, Job Opportunity, Scholarships

Future Ready Iowa – a great resource for your future

Are you looking for education, training or high demand jobs in the state of Iowa? If you are, a great place to start your search is the Future Ready Iowa website. The website was launched on Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, and offers a variety of resources such as skill building; scholarship and college opportunities; and career information and openings.

Future Ready Iowa was created after Iowa received a National Governors Association grant in 2014. This initiative is aimed at helping to build Iowa’s talent in the coming years. According to the website, the goal of Future Ready Iowa is for 70 percent of Iowa’s workforce to have education or training beyond high school by the year 2025.

According to the Future Ready Iowa Fact Sheet, we need this initiative because …

“Education or training beyond high school has become the new minimum threshold for Americans to earn a living wage and attain middle class status. In 1973, only 28 percent of U.S. jobs required education beyond a high school diploma; by 2025, almost two out of three jobs in the nation are projected to require at least some postsecondary education or training. Iowa’s economy reflects this national trend and demonstrates a steady increase in the demand for postsecondary education and training in the industries that form the mainstay of the economy.”

For more information or questions about Future Ready Iowa, contact:

Doug Hoelscher, Office of the Governor

Linda Fandel, Office of the Governor

Financial Literacy Tools, Helpful Information, Scholarships, Uncategorized

Money Smart Kid Essay application now available

Each year, during Money Smart Week, the Iowa Bankers Association sponsors the Money Smart Week essay contest in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Through the contest, students are asked to answer a financial question and relate it back to their life. This year’s question is:

“Do you think there is a connection between financial health and physical health? Please explain your answer. What can you do to become more financially healthy?”

One student will be named this year’s Money Smart Kid and will receive a $1,000 College Savings account. Participants must reside in the Money Smart Week Iowa or Quad Cities region and must be in grade 7-11. The deadline to submit an essay is Friday, March 24, 2017, and the winner will be notified by April 19.

Download the MSW Essay application at To stay up-to-date on contest information, “like” MSW Iowa on Facebook.

Financial Literacy Tools, Helpful Information, Iowa Jump$tart Information, Scholarships

16th Annual Iowa Jump$tart Educators Conference Provides Wealth of Resources for Iowa Teachers

Iowa Jump$tart President Mary Sandvig welcomes attendees to the Educators Conference.
Iowa Jump$tart President Mary Sandvig welcomes attendees to the Educators Conference.

Approximately 90 Iowa teachers and business professionals attended Iowa Jump$tart’s annual Conference for Financial Literacy June 22 at DMACC’s FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny. The conference, titled “Financial Literacy Starts with You,” provided teachers with a wealth of resources and tools to take back to the classroom for their financial literacy educational programs.

Iowa Jump$tart President Mary Sandvig (Iowa Division of Banking) welcomed conference attendees, noting that this year marked the 16th anniversary of the conference. She reflected on what financial responsibility was like at the age of 16, and how everyone has a responsibility to take care of their financial literacy. “Thank you for coming to day to take information bank to your classrooms to make a difference,” said Sandvig.

Morgan Fannon reads her winning 2016 Money Smart Kid essay.
Morgan Fannon reads her winning 2016 Money Smart Kid essay.

Money Smart Week Essay Contest Winner

Sandvig also provided an updated on Money Smart Week, a financial literacy effort sponsored by Iowa Jump$tart that takes place each April. This year, Sandvig reported, Money Smart Week events across the state reached over 20,000 people. One of those events is the annual Money Smart Week essay contest, sponsored by the Iowa Bankers Association. She also introduced the 2016 Money Smart Kid Essay contest winner, Morgan Fannon of Edgewood-Colesburg Senior High School, and her teacher Jodi Ehlers.

Ehlers encouraged attendees to work with local bankers to identify free financial literacy resources. “If you don’t have a relationship with your local banker, make one. You won’t believe how much easier your life becomes when you have them on your team,” said Ehlers. Then Fannon read her winning essay with the group.

Carla Madson provides a report on the 2015 National Educators Conference.
Carla Madson provides a report on the 2015 National Educators Conference.
2015 National Conference Report
Teachers receiving last year’s Iowa Jump$tart scholarships to the National Educators Conference provided a report on the conference. Those teachers reporting included Carla Madson (Urbandale), Jen Snyder (Colfax Mingo), and April Moffitt (Emmetsburg)

Mitch Matthews
Mitch Matthews
Opening Keynote: Is Your Hair on Fire?
Mitch Matthews provided an engaging opening keynote about tacking stress and worry. “Money dominates the top 10 list of what people worry about. To help people manage their money better, we have to address worry,” said Matthews. He then provided tips for training your brain and redirecting your thinking to those things you can control and influence – and letting go of those things you cannot.

Breakout Sessions
Nine different breakouts sessions were offered throughout the day on a variety of topics, including: NEFE’s High School Financial Program Planning (Billy Hensley), Life Skills: Finances – Making it Fresh and Fun (Sarah O’Rourke), Three Things Your Kids Must Know to Be a Financial Success (Jim Garnett), Iowa Council for Economic Education (Kyle Osborne), How to Become a Wise and Efficient Investor (Mike Finley), Gamification of Personal Finance (Jenna Nation), Financial Literacy for Underrepresented, First Generation Students (Allison Severson, Kay Thomas, and Kristen Corey), Family Budget Simulation (Todd Hospodarsky) and Keeping It Real: Borrowing Responsibly for College (Marc Hendel).

Todd Hospodarsky
Todd Hospodarsky
Sarah O’Rourke
Sarah O’Rourke
Mike Finley
Mike Finley
Marc Hendel
Marc Hendel
Kyle Osborne
Kyle Osborne
Jim Garnett
Jim Garnett
Jenna Nation
Jenna Nation

Billy Hensely
Billy Hensely
Lunch Keynote: Applicable Research on Financial Education
Billy Hensley of the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) provided an update on using research to help understand and address personal finance issues. He shared research had conducted on Millennials, including trends in their financial habits and issues of concern.

Educators also had the opportunity to visit with more than a dozen exhibitors to learn about additional financial literacy resources available.






LunchKeynote-BillyHensley5Closing Keynote: Finding Free, High Quality Personal Finance Resources
Tim Ranzetta from Next Gen Personal Financial provided an informative closing address on the numerous financial literacy resources available through his organization. Attendees were given a virtual tour of those resources, including lesson plans, activities, projects, case studies, assessments and more, available on their website at

NationalConferenceScholarshipWinners2016 National Conference Scholarship Winners
Sandvig announced the winners of Iowa Jump$tart scholarships to the 2016 National Educators Conference Nov. 5-7 in Dallas, Texas. Winners were: Debbie Claussen (Pleasant Valley High School, Bettendorf), Jennifer Anderson (Treynor High School, Treynor), Kristy Nickolisen (Abraham Lincoln High School, Council Bluffs), Tia Shaffer (Independence Community School District, Arlington), and JoEtt Cogdill (Woodbine High School, Woodbine).

Craig Goettsch receives Jump$tart membership award
Craig Goettsch receives Jump$tart membership award
Iowa Jump$tart Member Award
Craig Goettsch of the Iowa Insurance Division was presented with Iowa Jump$tart’s second annual member award for his service with the coalition. or. Craig has served as Iowa JumpStart secretary for more than 10 years, and continues to lead JumpStart’s membership committee.
Craig has been actively involved in nearly every JumpStart initiative, including funding programs, speaking, serving on committees, being an officer, drafting policies and by-laws, and providing counsel. He has been a leader and advocate for all of JumpStart’s annual conferences for teachers and for the annual Money Smart Week Iowa.

Iowa Jump$tart Information, Scholarships

Iowa teachers earn scholarships to attend National Jump$tart Educators Conference

Pictured left to right are scholarship winners Carla Madson of the Urbandale Community School District, April Moffitt of the Emmetsburg Community School District, Jen Snyder of the Colfax-Mingo School District, LaRae Arment of the Alburnett Community School District, David Becker of the Ottumwa School District, and Iowa Jump$tart President Mary Sandvig.
Pictured left to right are scholarship winners Carla Madson of the Urbandale Community School District, April Moffitt of the Emmetsburg Community School District, Jen Snyder of the Colfax-Mingo School District, LaRae Arment of the Alburnett Community School District, David Becker of the Ottumwa School District, and Iowa Jump$tart President Mary Sandvig.

Five Iowa teachers have received scholarships from Iowa Jump$tart to attend the National Jump$tart Educators Conference in National Harbor, Maryland, in November. Scholarship winners are winners Carla Madson of the Urbandale Community School District, April Moffitt of the Emmetsburg Community School District, Jen Snyder of the Colfax-Mingo School District, LaRae Arment of the Alburnett Community School District, and David Becker of the Ottumwa School District. This conference will bring together hundreds of educators from across the country whose work gives students a successful financial future.

“Financial education is critical to the future success of Iowa students. It is also important to equip Iowa teachers with the resources they need for teaching financial literacy,” said Mary Sandvig, president of Iowa Jump$tart. “The National Jump$tart Conference provides a wealth of tools and information to help teachers help their students build a strong foundation when it comes to financial education. At Iowa Jump$tart, we are happy to help Iowa teachers with this scholarship to attend.”

Five scholarships in total were provided by Iowa Jump$tart to Iowa teachers to attend the national conference, which will take place Nov. 6-8. The conference provides preK-12 teachers with financial education resources, personal and professional development and a nationwide network of colleagues supporting financial education.

Financial Literacy Tools, Scholarships

Students get a chance to win $1000; Parents survival guide for college

wfWhen students sign up to receive college tips and tools from Wells Fargo’s CollegeSTEPS® program, they’ll automatically be entered in the CollegeSTEPS sweepstakes for a chance to win $1,000. Plus, they’ll get emails with information designed to help keep them on track with money management and college planning. Please download the flier for more information on how your students can win.

Applicable Grade Levels: 9-12 and all college levels
Deadline: August 13, 2015
Flier: Wells Fargo CollegeSTEPS Drawing

The College Survival Guide sponsored by Wells Fargo is an excellent resource to help parents make sure they are on the right track to preparing for college. In this easy to read 14 page document, the first half helps you understand options for paying for college. It also helps you understand key areas to focus on when preparing your child for college. The second half talks about the process of getting into college and the challenges your child will encounter.

Download it for free at this web site:

Wells Fargo is a member of the Iowa Jump$tart Coalition.

Helpful Information, Scholarships

Iowa Bankers Association to Offer Chance to Earn Scholarships to Schools Participating in Project Financial Literacy

project_fl-logoThe Iowa Bankers Association is sponsoring ten $1,000 scholarships that will be provided to Iowa high schools participating in Project Financial Literacy this school year. Starting Oct. 1, Iowa schools can sign up to participate in this program at

Project Financial Literacy is designed to promote financial literacy education by providing high schools with resources to measure and improve their financial literacy curriculum. The program offers schools an assessment tool, created by Ednalysis, an Iowa-based company, to measure their curriculum against the 21st Century Skills framework of the Iowa Core Curriculum. The tool helps measure students’ knowledge in the areas of achieving financial goals, managing money effectively, debt decision-making, risk management, investment and asset building, and legal and ethical financial behavior.

Continue reading “Iowa Bankers Association to Offer Chance to Earn Scholarships to Schools Participating in Project Financial Literacy”