National Consumers League

National student financial literacy competition opens 2016-17 season

September 12, 2016

Contact: NCL Communications, Cindy Hoang, cindyh@nclnet.org, (202) 207-2832

Washington, DC–Today marks the official launch of the 23rd season of LifeSmarts, with a new competition going live at the online home of the program, LifeSmarts.org. LifeSmarts, a program of the National Consumers League (NCL), is a national scholarship competition and educational program for middle-school and high-school students that tests knowledge of real-life consumer issues and aims to create a future generation of savvy-consumer adults.

“We are very excited to launch our 23rd season of LifeSmarts,” said national Program Director Lisa Hertzberg. “LifeSmarts gives students the skills they need to succeed as adults. We see students gain knowledge, confidence, leadership skills, and teamwork. The competition is a lot of fun, and the impact of LifeSmarts is lifelong.”

LifeSmarts focuses on five main content areas: consumer rights and responsibilities, personal finance, technology, health and safety, and the environment. Students are quizzed on their knowledge of these subject areas during online competition. Top-performing teams then advance to statewide competitions, and state champion teams advance to the national championship held each year in a different American city. The 2017 National LifeSmarts Championship will take place April 21-24, in Pittsburgh, PA. Winning teams receive scholarships and other prizes.

Last year, students answered more than 3 million consumer questions about credit reports, recycling, nutrition, social media, state lemon laws, and everything in between. By being consumer savvy and quick on the buzzers, the LifeSmarts team from Dallas High School in Dallas, PA took home top honors last April at the 22nd national event in Denver.

In addition to state and national competitions, LifeSmarts recognition and awards occur throughout the program year:

  • Teams of students vie for cash prizes in the online TeamSmarts quiz, which focuses on a specific LifeSmarts content area each month.
  • Six $1,000 scholarships will be awarded this winter to winning LifeSmarts students who become Safety Smart Ambassadors, using the joint UL and LifeSmarts program to present safety messages to younger children in their communities.
  • Partnering with FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) and FCCLA (Family, Career, and Community Leaders of America), LifeSmarts offers special competitive events for student members of both student leadership organizations.

“We are excited to continue to grow the LifeSmarts program into new states and regions, to continue to educate students about financial literacy and being responsible consumers, and to create a new generation of savvy, market-ready consumers and workers,” said Sally Greenberg, executive director of NCL. “Too often traditional high school curriculum fails to teach students vital information that will be crucial once students go to college, get their first job, or move out of their parents’ house.”

In addition to hosting the official LifeSmarts competition, LifeSmarts.org provides resources for teachers to supplement existing lesson plans. These include daily quizzes, educational videos, social media competitions, focused study guides, and scholarship opportunities. LifeSmarts lessons closely align with courses taught in family and consumer sciences, business, technology, health, and vocational education. Math and English teachers have also had success with LifeSmarts, as have homeschool and community educators.

Major LifeSmarts contributors include: Experian, McNeil Consumer Healthcare, Underwriters Laboratories, Western Union, LifeLock, Comcast NBC Universal, Intuit, American Express Company, and others. Visit LifeSmarts.org for more information. LifeSmarts: Learn it. Live it.

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About the National Consumers League and LifeSmarts

The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America's pioneer consumer organization. Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad. For more information, visit www.nclnet.org.

LifeSmarts is a program of the National Consumers League. State coordinators run the programs on a volunteer basis. For more information, visit: LifeSmarts.org, email lifesmarts@nclnet.org, or call the National Consumers League’s communications department at 202-835-3323.