Press Releases


For Immediate Release
April 10, 2006 Contact: David Mancl
608:261-9540

Financial Literacy Slightly Above Average Among Wisconsin’s High School Students

Jump$tart Survey Examines Money Management Knowledge

(Madison) April 10, 2006 - A nationwide survey conducted for the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy reveals that high school students in Wisconsin got more than half of the answers correct on the personal finance survey.

On average, students in Wisconsin answered 53.1 percent of the questions correctly, which is higher than the national average. This topped the national average which is 52.4, up from the 52.3 percent in 2004, 50.2 percent in 2002 and 50.9 in 2000.

The results were part of Jump$tart’s 2006 nationwide survey measuring high school seniors’ level of knowledge of personal finance basics, and comparing these to the results from similar surveys conducted in 2004, 2002, 2000 and 1997 by the coalition. The researcher for all five studies was Lewis Mandell, Ph.D., professor of finance and managerial economics at the University of Buffalo School of Management.

“Although encouraging, these results indicate that, despite the attention now paid to the lack of financial literacy, the problem is not about to resolve itself any time soon,” said Dr. Mandell.

By subject area, Wisconsin participants got 59.9 percent of the Income questions correct, 46 percent of the Money Management questions correct, 43.5 percent of the Savings questions right, 58.1 percent of the Spending answers correct and 53 of the Debt questions correct. By subject area, the national averages were: Income – 59.2, Money Management – 46.4, Savings – 42.6, Spending – 56.9 and Debt – 51.8.

“Wisconsin students continue to have a great need for financial education,” said David Mancl, chair of the Wisconsin Jump$tart Coalition and Director of the Office of Financial Literacy at the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions. “We must continue to promote financial literacy and that is why Governor Doyle’s Council on Financial Literacy is so needed. Students don’t seem aware of the challenges they will face in a just a few years when they begin buying big ticket items such as cars and houses. They also don’t realize how much control they have over their own retirement.”

"I'm delighted that our Wisconsin coalition was able to generate enough participation in this survey to enable us to provide state-specific results and I commend them on the effort," said Laura Levine, executive director, of the national coalition. "The increased levels of participation this year indicate that educators across the country are beginning to recognize the importance of financial literacy and the need for financial education. I hope we see improvement in performance in the near future."

About Wisconsin Jump$tart
The Wisconsin coalition was founded in 2000 and is operated entirely by volunteers. The coalition is made up of over 100 local and regional organizations. The coalition web site is: www.wijumpstart.org.

About Jump$tart
In its 10-year history, the Jump$tart Coalition® has brought visibility and—through its biennial survey of high school seniors—research-based data to the financial literacy movement. Jump$tart is a Washington, DC-based not-for-profit organization that seeks to improve the personal financial literacy of students in kindergarten through college. It is mentioned prominently each year in Congressional resolutions proclaiming April “Financial Literacy for Youth” Month. The coalition has grown to include more than 170 national partners and 44 affiliated state coalitions. One of its premier services is the Jump$tart Personal Finance Clearinghouse, which lists more than 580 titles of financial literacy materials available for all and can be found at www.jumpstartclearinghouse.org.
More information about Jump$tart and its biennial survey can be found at www.jumpstart.org, including a media press kit in the “News” section.