Iowa Insurance Division provides new support for UNI's statewide financial literacy program

Iowa Insurance Division provides new support for UNI's statewide financial literacy program

College of Business /

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa The Iowa Insurance Division has made a new donation of $45,500 to support high school students in paying for college credit through the financial literacy exam. This exam is administered as part of the University of Northern Iowa's Financial Skills for Smart Living program, which aims to provide students with college credits and essential knowledge in personal finance.

Students who pass the exam will be reimbursed the initial fee of $100 through a Visa prepaid card. Last year, about 600 high school students passed. The financial support will also help provide training for teachers interested in using UNI's curriculum.  The curriculum was showcased at the Iowa Jump$tart Coalition’s Annual Personal Finance Conference, held in the late summer this year. The gathering provided education around personal finance and resources and strategies to teach students. This year 70 teachers registered, already surpassing last year's total attendance of 45 teachers.

“I’m very excited about this relationship because I can see more students taking the opportunity to earn college credit,” said Jennifer Anderson, business teaching program coordinator and head of the Financial Skills for Smart Living program. “This support allows us to provide an incentive for students to take the exam and earn college credit.”

Financial Skills for Smart Living is a college-level personal finance course customized for Iowa high school students and adapted for high school faculty delivery. The program covers a variety of important personal finance topics, including budgeting, saving, investing and credit. Students who take the course and pass the exam earn three credits of college credit. Teachers are also offered professional development and support from UNI College of Business faculty and staff, with the option of earning graduate credit or license renewal credit.

“The Iowa Insurance Division is very committed to increasing financial literacy and driving impactful change in Iowa communities," said Iowa Insurance Commissioner Doug Ommen.  "We are proud to be a partner with UNI to help provide teachers financial literacy focused educational resources to utilize in their classrooms and help to remove any financial barriers to students getting college credit for their learning."

So far, the course is taught in over 110  schools across Iowa. More than 10,000 students have gone through the program, and more than 150  teachers have been trained in how to administer the course.

The Iowa Insurance Division is the state regulator which supervises all the insurance business transacted in the state of Iowa. Beyond the Iowa Insurance Division, several other partners have stepped up to help support Financial Skills for Smart Living. 

“I think a course like the Financial Skills for Smart Living provides students a start in earning college credit, but also the confidence that they can be successful in college,” Anderson said. “I’m very excited about the program going forward.”

Teachers interested in learning more about the course or bringing it to their schools are encouraged to fill out the form at the bottom of the Financial Skills for Smart Living website.