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You are Viewing an Archived IssuePosted: 05/02/12
nation in finance exam
by CHRIS GRAYRomeo students have proven they are some of the smartest financial planners in the nation.
Observer Staff Writer
A total of 37 Romeo students scored in the top 20 percent out of 80,024 students that took the 2012 National Financial Capability Challenge.
The exam, created by the U.S. Department of Treasury and the U.S. Department of Education, tests the financial knowledge and capability of high school-aged students.
Questions range from Social Security and loan interest rates to smart shopping and what type of insurances cover which types of damages.
Those in the top 10 percent are entered into a drawing to receive one of 25 $1,000 scholarships, with the winners' schools receiving a $1,000 grant.
The top two students from each school are recognized with an official certificate from the program.
Dawn Borlinghaus is the financial management teacher at Romeo High School. She said this is the first year she administered the test to her students.
Of her 98 students, 34 scored in the top 20 percent nationwide. The average score for Borlinghaus' students was 76 percent, beating out the national average of 69 percent.
"I'm so happy to be bringing financial literacy to students in such a critical time, and I'm so happy to see it sticking," she said.
A total of 80,024 students participated in the testing this year, with 18,518 students placing in the top 20 percent.
Locally, senior Ryan Blancke answered all 40 questions right on the test. He joins 582 other students in the nation that earned a 100 percent.
He said a lot of the questions on the test were things he learned about in class.
"I just took my time on it," he said. "I was happy . . . I thought I did really well, there was only a couple I wasn't quite sure on."
He said he wasn't sure if he would pursue a career in finance upon graduating, but was considering a field using mathematics.
"I feel like I know what I'm doing with things like my college tuition," Blancke said about the class. "I learned a lot of good things that I wouldn't have known."
Following Blancke were four students who tied for the second highest score in the class at 95 percent: Alexander Blankenburg, Connor Doyle, Jessica Liebau and Christie Sinicki.
Sinicki, a senior, said she plans to go into teaching after graduating, but feels the preparation the test and class gave her will aid her in the future.
"(The exam) made me realize how useful this class has been," she said, adding she learned about credit card use and loans.
Borlinghaus said the exam is just one part of giving students the tools they need in order to be financially successful in their lives.
"For me, as an educator, with every fiber of my being I believe so strongly that this class gives students power over their own lives," Borlinghaus said.
Julie Morgan, economics instructor at the Romeo Engineering and Technology Center, also administered the test for the first time, with three of her students scoring in the top 20 percent.
She said finances are taught at the end of the year in her class, so she was impressed with the knowledge her students already had.
"Financial literacy is very important, and to have our kids score so well was a real honor for our town and our district," Morgan said.