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High School Students to Compete in Personal Finance Challenge

High School Students to Compete in Personal Finance Challenge

For more information, contact:
Claudia Utley, Communications Director
February 17, 2020

For Immediate Release
For Release to Statewide Media 

First Security Bank to fund one-day competition led by Economics Arkansas  

LITTLE ROCK–First Security Bank of Searcy will be the first-ever title sponsor of the Arkansas Personal Finance Challenge, hosted by Economics Arkansas, for high school students this spring. During a one-day competition on April 8 in Little Rock, student teams will be tasked with developing a financial plan for a fictitious family and presenting their recommendations to a panel of judges. The winner will receive cash prizes and advance to the National Personal Finance Challenge at the University of Nebraska in May. 

“It is vitally important that today’s business owners invest in the personal finance education of tomorrow’s workforce,” said Reynie Rutledge, president and CEO of First Security. “As a banker, I am so pleased to make this commitment to Economics Arkansas to host the 2020 Arkansas Personal Finance Challenge for the state’s high school students. Learning early in life how to budget money and how to set financial goals helps every Arkansan build better futures for themselves and their families.” 

Economics Arkansas, a non-profit educational organization, has partnered with the Little Rock and Memphis, TN, branches of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis to host the challenge. Participation is free of charge, but teachers must register their teams by April 1 at All students in Arkansas public, private or home-based school in grades 9-12 are eligible to participate. They will compete in teams of three or four students who must be from the same high school and enrolled for high school credit at some time during the 2019-20 school year. Each teacher may register up to two teams. 

No advance qualification or test is required. On the day of the challenge, the student teams will be given a case study about a US family’s fictitious financial situation to develop recommendations to address financial topics such as decreasing debts, reaching a savings goal, minimizing taxes or other related subjects. They will have 90 minutes to draft a six-minute PowerPoint presentation, which they will present in up to three rounds to a panel of judges. Teams will be scored in content knowledge, teamwork and communication skills/overall effect. First-place team members will each receive $100 cash; second-place team members will each receive $75 cash, and third place team members will each receive $50 cash. The champion team will also win an all expense paid trip to the University of Nebraska—Lincoln College of Business to compete in the 2020 National Personal Finance Challenge on May 4. The top five teams of the national competition will be awarded trophies, banners and prize money ranging from $125 to $2,500. 

More information, including complete rules and a sample case study, is available at

The Arkansas Personal Finance Challenge is part of the National Personal Finance Challenge hosted each year by the National Council on Economic Education, an educational and advocacy non-profit organization headquartered in New York, NY, to advance economic and personal finance literacy.  

Economics Arkansas (through the Arkansas Council on Economic Education) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan, educational organization founded in 1962 by Dr. Arch Ford and led by Dr. Bessie B. Moore to promote economic literacy in Arkansas. Its mission is to equip PreK-12 schools with standards-based resources and professional development to teach economics, personal finance and the free-enterprise system using practical, innovative and inspiring methods so that Arkansas students may master an understanding of economics and personal finance and apply that knowledge for success in the free-enterprise system. It is affiliated with the National Council on Economic Education.