Utah Students and Educators Recognized by Department of Education

WASHINGTON – As part of an ongoing effort to mark national Financial Literacy Month, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of the Treasury today recognized the 631 Utah students and 22 Utah educators who participated in the National Financial Capability Challenge for the 2010-11 school year. The Challenge, which includes a voluntary online exam for high school students, helps teach young Americans about saving, budgeting, investing, and other important skills critical to building a secure financial future.

The average score for Utah students on the exam was 73 percent – compared to 69 percent nationally. A total of 157 Utah students scored in the top 20 percent nationally and seven Utah students received perfect scores. State-by-state results and sample questions from the exam are included below and at www.challenge.treas.gov.

“It’s critical for our young people to develop smart financial skills,” said Secretary of Education Arne Duncan. “If we’re going to prepare our students for 21st century success, we have to teach them about earning and spending, saving and investing. Otherwise, they’re going to learn the hard way: by making mistakes. I’m encouraged to see the steps that teachers and states are taking to make basic financial education a priority and congratulate these students on their great work.”

“Empowering students with the knowledge they need to make good decisions about saving, budgeting, and investing is critical to helping them build secure financial futures,” said Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Neal Wolin. “I want to congratulate these students on their achievements and thank them for serving as examples to their peers about the importance of financial education.”

Education Secretary Duncan and Treasury Deputy Secretary Wolin honored top-scoring students today at a national awards ceremony today at the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, DC. Nationwide, more than 84,000 high school students and 2,500 educators in all 50 states, as well as in U.S. Department of Defense schools for children of military members around the world, participated in the 2010-11 Challenge. Students who scored in the top 20 percent nationally and those who were among the top scorers in their school will receive official award certificates.

The Challenge is one of many important steps the Obama Administration has taken to help empower Americans through improved financial capability. In November, the Administration unveiled a new coordinated National Strategy for Financial Literacy to help guide the ongoing efforts of the federal government and private organizations to empower Americans with the financial skills they need to strengthen their long-term economic security. Additionally, the Administration established the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability to provide advice on how to maximize the effectiveness of existing private and public sector efforts, and to identify new approaches to increase financial capability.

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