Iowa high school seniors who demonstrate their college financial know-how have a chance at receiving scholarship awards

Registration is ongoing through February 21 for a scholarship that offers Iowa high school seniors a chance to receive one of 30 scholarships worth $2,000 for college while learning important financial literacy skills. In addition, each recipient’s high school will receive a corresponding $250 award.

High school seniors may register for the Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship at www.IowaStudentLoan.org/SeniorScholarship between now and February 21. 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 required online components. The two tutorials - Student Loan Game Plan® and 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.

A related multiple choice assessment will check students’ understanding of the concepts in the tutorials. The 30 high school seniors who score highest on the assessment test will each receive a $2,000 scholarship that will be sent directly to their colleges in fall 2020. If top-scoring students tie, those students will be asked to complete a separate component so that 30 final recipients can be determined.

Each scholarship recipient’s high school will also receive a corresponding $250 award to be used toward scholarship and financial literacy programs.

“I highly encourage other students and families to apply for this scholarship and go through this program,” said Keith Davis of Dubuque, whose daughter Chelsea was one of the 2018–2019 recipients. Davis said that both of his children who have participated in the program still talk about borrowing only up to what they expect to make the first year after college.

“College is a big commitment, not only in time but also in financial outlay, for the students going. [Our students] both came to us and really talked about how much college costs - because they truly understood that - and the loans they were about to take out,” Davis said.

“More than one parent has shared with us the value of this program in regard to the conversations it starts between college-bound students and their families,” Christine Hensley, Iowa Student Loan board chair, said. “It’s so important for everyone to understand reasonable amounts of student loan debt and how it can be successfully repaid. We cannot stress that message enough, and this scholarship program is one way to get the word out.”

The Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship is open to legal U.S. citizens who are seniors at an Iowa high school during the 2019–2020 school year and attend college in fall 2020. It is a no-purchase-required program, and full rules and details are available at www.IowaStudentLoan.org/SeniorScholarship.

Iowa Student Loan also has additional resources for families planning for college and for students who intend to pursue advanced degrees. The Parent Handbook consists of valuable tips to help families of students in sixth through 12th grades prepare for success in college and other postsecondary options. The Grad Degree Gauge encourages students to make informed decisions about borrowing levels and their ability to repay new student loan debt when considering the pursuit of an advanced degree. Both tools are available free at www.IowaStudentLoan.org/SmartBorrowing.
 

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