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Students receive college scholarship from Iowa nonprofit

High school seniors earn $2,000 each after demonstrating financial know-how

WEST DES MOINES – High school seniors from across the state earned $2,000 for college while learning important financial literacy skills through the 2017–18 Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship sponsored by Iowa Student Loan. Timber Kent of Clarke was one of the 30 earning the scholarship. Iowa Student Loan will send scholarship funds directly to recipients’ colleges.

More than 4,000 Iowa high school seniors registered for the scholarship between October 2017 and February 2018. Of those, nearly 2,000 completed two online financial literacy tools and a related assessment to qualify for one of 30 college scholarships. More than 70 students tied for a top score on the assessment. The 30 recipients were those who received the highest scores on an independently judged essay on what “responsible borrowing” meant to them.

Christine Hensley, Iowa Student Loan board chair, said the Student Loan Game Plan and ROCI Reality Check tools, which participants are required to experience to qualify for the scholarship are designed to help students and families avoid the pitfalls of heavy student loan debt.

“Student loan debt must be carefully considered to be manageable later in life,” said Hensley. “The components to qualify for this scholarship help our state’s students understand the impact student loan debt can have, and we’re pleased so many high school seniors are exposed to these important lessons through the scholarship process.”

“The Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge allowed me to expand upon what my high school has already taught me about college spending,” said Regan Sylvester, a senior at Sioux Central High School and one of the 30 recipients of this year’s scholarship. “I now understand specifically my college expenses and career outlook.”

“The financial tips I learned through this process will help me throughout my college years and into my future career,” said Sadie Brockett, a senior at Gladbrook-Reinbeck High School and a 2017–18 recipient.

Each recipient’s high school will also receive a $500 award to improve or implement financial literacy and scholarship programs.

Details are not yet finalized for the 2018–19 Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship. Interested families should watch for information about the program at www.IowaStudentLoan.org/SeniorScholarship.

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