Nov 02, 2022

Reflecting on the NGPF Gold Standard Challenge Grant Program

In November 2019, the NGPF team had an outrageous idea: what if we offered grants to incentivize high schools to guarantee personal finance courses for all students? Over $1 million in grants later, the NGPF Gold Standard Challenge is officially a wrap! Do you know someone at one of these Gold Standard grantee schools or districts? Thank them for their leadership today!

In November 2022, we celebrate the teachers, parents, and school leaders who first saw the need for all students to learn about personal finance, then went ahead and filled that need! They launched standalone personal finance courses in their schools, grew their enrollment through engaging instruction, then persuaded their school boards to guarantee this life-changing course for all students before graduation. In turn, they earned NGPF Gold Standard Challenge grants to support their implementation!

Program Impacts

The 194 Gold Standard Challenge grantees below are leading their communities to brighter financial futures. Comprehensive research has long shown downstream financial benefits for students who are guaranteed to take personal finance courses in high school. For example:

  • Students who borrow for higher education do so at lower interest rates AND borrow less overall… 
  • Credit scores improve by an average of 21 points in adulthood...
  • Loan delinquency rates decrease…
  • Use of costly predatory lenders (payday loans, check cashers, auto title loans, etc.) declines…

Yet the 181 Gold Standard Challenge grantees are not just improving their local communities' financial outlook. They are also leading the nation!

There are currently 3,517 high schools in the United States that guarantee all students take a standalone personal finance course before graduation, collectively serving 2.9 million students. Just over 1 million of those students attend 1,355 high schools in the 42 states and DC without fully implemented statewide personal finance guarantees. In other words, these schools have made this smart commitment locally, ahead of any statewide policy decisions. The 181 grantee high schools below serve over 150,000 students in grades 9-12.

Gold Standard Challenge ImpactOngoing Impact

These schools have since become catalysts for change in education policy. It is no longer enough to "check the box" by sending students to the computer lab for a few personal finance modules or tossing a couple weeks of personal finance lessons into another course.

Today, there is a growing nationwide movement (NGPF calls it Mission 2030) to ensure every high schooler takes a standalone personal finance course before graduation. In the coming years, once all 15 guarantee states have fully implemented their new financial education policies, 40% of U.S. high schoolers will be guaranteed to take the course, up from 16% prior to the Gold Standard Challenge. Without these schools' local leadership, this inspiring shift in education priorities toward standalone personal finance courses would simply not be possible. 

Know someone at one of these grantee schools or districts? Share this post and thank them for their personal finance leadership today!

Meet The Gold Standard Challenge Grantees!

1) Julius Prezelski, Mount Saint Joseph High School, Baltimore, MD [Jan 2020]

2) Mark Fiedorczyk, Lenape Valley High School, Stanhope, NJ [Jan 2020]

3) Barbara Angelicola-Manzolli, Lewis S. Mills High School, Burlington, CT [Jan 2020]

4) Sue Comparato, Swampscott High School, Swampscott, MA [Jan 2020]

5) Joe Russom, Menasha High School, Menasha, WI [Jan 2020]

6) Jennifer Jones, Sam Rayburn High School, Ivanhoe, TX [Jan 2020]

7) Lynn Paulson, Rosholt High School, Rosholt, WI [Jan 2020]

8) Lana Main, West Central School District, Hartford, SD [Jan 2020]

9) Teresa Eick George, Alden-Hebron High School, Hebron, IL [Jan 2020]

10) Cathy Smith, Bayfield High School, Bayfield, WI [Jan 2020]

11) Dan Clement, Somers High School, Somers, CT [Jan 2020]

12) Jill Clayton, Roxboro Community School, Roxboro, NC [Jan 2020]

13) Katie Kohoutek, Lidgerwood High School, Lidgerwood, ND [Jan 2020]

14) Melissa Wiese, Reedsville High School, Reedsville, WI [Jan 2020]

15) Jim Hatfield, Mt. Vernon High School, Mt. Vernon, IN [Jan 2020]

16) Mark Rairigh, Bryan High School, Bryan, OH [Jan 2020]

17) Jessica Mueller, Baraboo High School, Baraboo, WI [Jan 2020]

18) Kevin Gartman, Montezuma Community Schools, Montezuma, IA [Jan 2020]

19) Alana Eder, Oconto High School, Oconto, WI [Feb 2020]

20-23) Diane Schumacher, Iowa City Community School District (4 High Schools), Iowa City, IA [Feb 2020]

24) Patrick Kubeny, Rhinelander High School, Rhinelander, WI [Jun 2020]

25-27) Gary Wroblewski, Wayne County Schools (3 High Schools), Wayne, WV [Feb 2020]

28) Christine Boule, Seton Catholic High School, Plattsburg, NY [Jun 2020]

29) Stephanie Esser, Lincoln Jr./Sr. High School, Alma Center, WI [Jun 2020]

30) Christina Blindauer, Roncalli High School, Manitowoc, WI [Jun 2020]

31) Kyle Ebel, Dodgeville High School, Dodgeville, WI [Jun 2020]

32) Jill Page, Glasgow High School, Glasgow, MT [Jun 2020]

33) Patricia Bealmear, New Oxford High School, New Oxford, PA [Jun 2020]

34) Julie Giglia, Whitman-Hanson Regional High School, Whitman, MA [Jun 2020]

35) Kim Lorenz, Hatton Eielson Public School, Hatton, ND [Jun 2020]

36) Keith Lund, Churchill County High School, Fallon, NV [Jun 2020]

37) Susan Miller, St. Vincent St. Mary High School, Akron, OH [Jun 2020]

38) Dawn Woychik, Independence School District , Independence, WI [Jun 2020]

39) Sharon Steinke, Osseo-Fairchild High School, Osseo, WI [Jun 2020]

40) Christina Lutz-Doemling, Catasauqua Area School District, Catasauqua, PA [Jun 2020]

41) Amber Krapp, Pingree-Buchanan High School, Pingree, ND [Jun 2020]

42) Melissa Kapustka, Loup City Public Schools, Loup City, NE [Jun 2020]

43) Joey Zocher, Escuela Verde, Milwaukee, WI [Jun 2020]

44) Michael Cassidy, Mount Horeb High School, Mount Horeb, WI [Jun 2020]

45) Michael Kosmalski, Prescott High School, Prescott, WI [Jun 2020]

46) Kathleen Brennan, Mount Saint Mary Academy, Watchung, NJ [Jun 2020]

47) Kenneth Bissell, Greensburg Salem School District , Greensburg, PA [Jun 2020]

48) Victoria DeRoner, PA Distance Learning Charter School, Sewickley, PA [Jun 2020]

49) Leslie Stewart, Springfield High School, Springfield, CO [Aug 2020]

50) Christie Woods, Horton High School, Horton, KS [Aug 2020]

51) Shawn Hulin, Centreville High School, Centreville, MI [Aug 2020]

52) Patricia Lindeman, RTR High School, Tyler, MN [Sep 2020]

53) Catherine Nason, Ellicottville High School, Ellicottville, NY [Sep 2020]

54-85) Jean Paul Cadet, Prince George's County Public Schools (32 High Schools), Upper Marlboro, MD [Sep 2020]

86) Willow River Area School, Willow River, MN [Oct 2020]

87) Mark Bloom, Eastmont High School, East Wenatchee, WA [Nov 2020]

88) Paul Schley, Cornell High School, Cornell, WI [Nov 2020]

89) Sam York, Merrimack Valley High School, Penacook, NH [Dec 2021]

90) William Joy, Lucy Garrett Beckham High School, Mount Pleasant, SC [Dec 2021]

91) Renee Nelson, KIPP NYC College Prep High School, Bronx, NY [Jan 2021]

92-94) Sabrina Benjamin, Maine East High School (3 High Schools), Park Ridge, IL [Jan 2021]

95) Kristen Casto, Orchard Park High School, Orchard Park, NY [Feb 2021]

96) Tammy Vzrak, Turkey Valley School, Jackson Junction, IA [Feb 2021]

97) Stephanie Ziegmont, Southern Columbia High School, Catawissa, PA [Mar 2021]

98) Michelle Bruna, Washington County High School, Washington, KS [Mar 2021]

99) Kimberly LaDuke, Ellington High School, Ellington , CT [Mar 2021]

100) Debra Serafin, Mater Dei Prep High School, Middletown, NJ [Mar 2021]

101) Jonathon McKenney, The Sycamore School, Arlington, VA [Mar 2021]

102-133) Elizabeth Mosley, Charlotte-Mecklenberg Schools (32 High Schools), Matthews, NC [Mar 2021]

134) Mary Brouillette, Bellows Free Academy St. Albans, St Albans, VT [Mar 2021]

135) Donna Rindler, St. Henry High School, St. Henry, OH [Mar 2021]

136) Mary Stockham, Pinnacle Classical Academy, Shelby, NC [Apr 2021]

137) Rachel Litzinger, Tyrone Area High School, Tyrone, PA [Apr 2021]

138) Mandi Kercher, Brandywine Heights High School, Topton, PA [Apr 2021]

139) Joy Neace, Breathitt County High School, Jackson, KY [Apr 2021]

140) Kate Chrisman, Cedar Bluffs Public School, Cedar Bluffs, NE [Apr 2021]

141) Sarah Gracey, Kiski Area High School, Vandergrift, PA [Apr 2021]

142) Hilary Donahue, Student Learning Charter School at Pennsbury , Levittown, PA [May 2021]

143) Sandra Roberson, Gateway Christian School, Roswell, NM [Jun 2021]

144) Himanshu Sharma, Fort Morgan High School, Fort Morgan, CO [Jun 2021]

145) Amy Jo Wertzberger, West Marshall High School, State Center, IA [Jul 2021]

146) Ashli Cheung, Fairhill School, Dallas, TX [Jul 2021]

147) Kim DeLong, Murray County Central High School, Slayton, MN [Jul 2021]

148) David Curtis, Union County High School, Morganfield, KY [Jul 2021]

149) Sara Wittmayer, Nashua High School, Nashua, MT [Jul 2021]

150) Linda Keiser, Montoursville Area High School, Montoursville, PA [Aug 2021]

151) Huda Ghazal, Universal School, Bridgeview, IL [Aug 2021]

152) Amanda Hutchison, Boyle County High School, Danville, KY [Aug 2021]

153) Amy Griffin, Westby High School, Westby, MT [Sep 2021]

154) Angela Snakenberg, Hillcrest Academy, Kalona, IA [Sep 2021]

155) Richard Garland, North Kingstown Senior High School, North Kingstown, RI [Sep 2021]

156) Mary Gibb, St. Edmond Catholic School, Fort Dodge, IA [Nov 2021]

157) Nathan Hochmuth, Manitowoc Lutheran High School, Manitowoc, WI [Dec 2021]

158) Michael Schaefer, The Sussex Academy of Arts and Sciences, Georgetown, DE [Dec 2021]

159) Tammy Krug-Pickart, Fond du Lac High School, Fond du Lac, WI [Jan 2022]

160) Rane Case, Wellington High School, Wellington, KS [Feb 2022]

161-165) Jennifer Lehmann, Sewanhaka Central High School District (5 High Schools), Floral Park, NY [Feb 2022]

166) Amy Sullivan, Cedar Crest High School, Lebanon, PA [Feb 2022]

167) Janelle Blakney, Wenatchee High School, Wenatchee, WA [Mar 2022]

168) Jacob Yaeger, Edward-Knox High School, Hermon, NY [Mar 2022]

169) Teresa Veach, Ukiah School, Ukiah, OR [Apr 2022]

170) Samantha Drost, Central Aroostook High School, Mars Hill, ME [Apr 2022]

171) Julie Termine, Burke Central High School, Lignite, ND [Apr 2022]

172) Adam Nancarrow, Haverford High School, Haverford, PA [May 2022]

173) Randi Payne, Northeastern High School, Manchester, PA [May 2022]

174) Larry Ketcham, Lavina School, Lavina, MT [Jul 2022]

175) Austin Kassner, Nicolet High School, Glendale, Wi [Jul 2022]

176) Thomas Driscoll, Beaver Area Senior High School, Beaver, PA [Aug 2022]

177) Teresa Lafountain, Broadalbin-Perth High School, Broadalbin, NY [Aug 2022]

178) Adam Zaid, The Queens School of Inquiry, Flushing, NY [Aug 2022]

179) Jennifer Rubin, Houghton High School, Houghton, MI [Aug 2022]

180) Dawn Beltz, West Middlesex High School, West Middlesex, PA [Aug 2022]

181) DeForrest Nelson, Norman County East School, Twin Valley, MN [Aug 2022]

182-191) Pittsburgh Public Schools, Pittsburgh, PA  (10 high schools) [Aug 2022]

About the Author

Christian Sherrill

Former teacher, forever financial education nerd. As NGPF's Director of Growth & Advocacy, Christian is laser-focused on our mission to guarantee all students a rigorous personal finance course before crossing the high school graduation stage. Having paid down over $40k in student loans in the span of 3 years - while living in the Bay Area on an entry level teacher's salary - he's eager to help the next generation avoid financial pitfalls one semester at a time.

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