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Survey of Arkansas High School Students Underscores Necessity of Financial Education


LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Jump$tart Coalitions biennial financial literacy survey revealed that Arkansas high school seniors correctly answered 47 percent of the questionsonly slightly less than the national mean of 48.3 percent. Jump$tart is a national coalition of organizations dedicated to improving the financial literacy of kindergarten through college-age youth by providing advocacy, research, standards and educational resources.

The 31-question survey revealed that high school seniors have a lot to learn about important financial concepts. Among the findings in the national survey:

  • Forty eight percent correctly said that a credit card holder who only pays the minimum amount on monthly card balances will pay more in annual finance charges than a card holder who pays their balance in full.
  • Seventeen percent correctly answered that stocks are likely to yield higher returns than savings bonds, savings accounts and checking accounts over the next 18 years, even though there has never been an 18-year period when this wasn't true.
  • Forty percent correctly answered that they could lose their health insurance if their parents become unemployed.
  • Thirty six percent think a house financed with a fixed-rate mortgage is a good hedge against a sudden increase in inflation, compared with 45 percent in 2006.

The results of the Jump$tart survey underscore the need for better financial education in and outside of our schools, said Curtis Arnold, founder of and co-chair of Arkansas Jump$tart Coalition for Financial Literacy. Young people must develop a strong financial knowledge base to prepare them for life.

In an effort to increase financial literacy in the state of Arkansas, Governor Mike Beebe recently proclaimed April as Arkansas Financial Literacy for Youth Month. In conjunction, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis' Little Rock Branch is expanding the successful Teach Children to Save Day. Now held over multiple days, the event features employees of the St. Louis Fed's Little Rock Branch, bankers, and other professionals who will discuss with students the importance of saving money to create better, more rewarding lives.

The U.S. Congress designated April as Financial Literacy Month and President Bush in January created an Advisory Council on Financial Literacy.

Federal Reserve Bank Chairman Ben Bernanke said, I am personally convinced that improving education is vital to the future of our economy and all its citizens, and I strongly believe that promoting financial literacy, in particular, must be a high priority.

Anyone interested in joining the Arkansas Jump$tart Coalition please contact Curtis Arnold at (501) 663-0314, ext. 3, or

The Jump$tart Coalition has grown to include more than 180 national partners and 48 affiliated state coalitions. The Jump$tart Clearinghouse, which lists more than 700 titles of financial literacy materials available for all, can be found at A map of state-by-state financial education requirements can be found at under Legislation. More information about Jump$tart and its biennial survey can be found at, including a media press kit in the News section.

With branches in Little Rock, Louisville and Memphis, the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis serves the Eighth Federal Reserve District, which includes all of Arkansas, eastern Missouri, southern Indiana, southern Illinois, western Kentucky, western Tennessee and northern Mississippi. The St. Louis Fed is one of 12 regional Reserve banks that, along with the Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., comprise the Federal Reserve System. As the nation's central bank, the Federal Reserve System formulates U.S. monetary policy, regulates state-chartered member banks and bank holding companies, and provides payment services to financial institutions and the U.S. government.

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