Students Show They Know Money

May is here! And high school seniors are vying for end-of-year awards, getting ready for grad parties…and finding out if writing all those scholarship essays was worth it.

Last week, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds and Lieutenant Governor Adam Gregg presented $2,000 scholarships to a fine group of high school seniors (pictured above). They were among the 30 winners of the Iowa High School Financial Know-How Challenge, hosted by Iowa Student Loan.

Statewide, the Challenge began months ago, when more than 4,000 seniors signed up to use two online financial education tools designed to help students learn how to avoid borrowing too much money for college. Of those students, about 2,000 completed the lessons and related test, in hopes of snagging one of 30 scholarships from Iowa Student Loan.

The top 71 scorers wrote a tie-breaking essay on “what responsible borrowing means to me” to narrow the field to the 30 winners. As one of the essay judges for the last several years, I can tell you these students are financially prepared! Their answers showed a wealth of knowledge and ideas on how to avoid borrowing too much.

Ote Albrecht, from LeMars (pictured below) began his winning essay with the Albert Einstein quote: “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world. He who understands it, earns it…he who doesn’t…pays it.” He ended with his observation: “Paying for college is expensive, but interest on the loans just compounds the issue.

So true.

Though details aren’t finalized for the 2018–2019 Challenge yet, watch for information this fall at

Gov Reynolds-Ote Albrecht-LeMars(0) cropped

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