Categorized | Education

Students take ‘Fiscal Capability Challenge’


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 has recognized high-scoring students 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.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Treasury Deputy Secretary Neal S. Wolin honored top-scoring students at a public meeting of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability 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.

“It’s critical for our young people to develop smart financial skills,” Duncan said. “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,” Wolin said. “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.”

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. Idaho, Vermont, and South Dakota had the highest average test scores among states on the 2010-11 Challenge, while Virginia, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey had the most participating students.

2011 Statistics for Hawaii

* State average score: 73.62% (69% nationally)

* Number of participating students in the state: 171 (84,372 nationally)

* Number of perfect scores: 4 (563 nationally)

* Number of students who scored in the top 20%: 58 (18,192 nationally)

* Number of participating public (NCES) schools in the state: 9 (1,691 nationally)

* Number of other organizations participating (home schools, after-school programs, youth groups, etc.): 3 (472 nationally)

* Number of participating educators in the state: 12 (2,517 nationally)

Challenge participants scored 69 percent on average, demonstrating that many students still need to make additional progress in strengthening their financial skills and knowledge.

The Obama Administration is taking further steps 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.

State-by-state results and sample questions from the exam available at

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