On Friday, Gov. Terry E. Branstad, Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds and Iowa Student Loan leaders recognized senior scholarship winners at a special award ceremony held at the John and Mary Pappajohn Education Center. Twenty Iowa high schools seniors who each achieved a $1,500 college scholarship were recognized.

The Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship managed by Iowa Student Loan was offered through a completion held between December 2014 and February 2015 among registered high school seniors. The twenty winners were selected through two online financial literacy tutorials and an online financial literacy assessment test.

Gov. Terry E. Branstad appreciated the students’ knowledge regarding financial responsibility.

“It’s crucial for students to minimize debt and for policymakers to find ways to try to hold down the cost of higher education,” Branstad said.

“Financial literacy is now part of our Iowa academic standards and colleges and organizations like Iowa Student Loan have increasingly have stepped up to help students understand the long-term implications of debt,” he added.

Iowa Student Loan board chair Christine Hensley said that they witnessed firsthand the pressures Iowa students and families were facing to finance higher education.

“One of the goals for this program was to provide a scholarship that any Iowa high school senior could qualify for — a scholarship that wasn’t merit- or need-based. And we also wanted it to educate them on ways to minimize their borrowing and reach the financial potential of a college degree,” Hensley said.

Branstad gave each winner an award certificate. The winners can spend the scholarship money at the college or university in fall 2015.

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