New Grants & Teacher Scholarships Available! Apply by June 1

Two opportunities for Wisconsin teachers and schools to get financial assistance for improving their financial literacy programs are now accepting applications! The state Department of Financial Institutions’ Office of Financial Literacy is offering $100,000 in statewide grants, and the Wisconsin Bankers Foundation has $3,000 in scholarships available for teachers who will be attending NIFEL classes this summer at Edgewood College. Read more detail about each program below, and apply today!

DFI Grant Program

On May 10, the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) announced a $100,000 statewide grant program to encourage Wisconsin’s K-12 school districts to incorporate personal finance education into their curricula.

The grant program is funded by DFI, which through its Office of Financial Literacy is charged with promoting financial literacy in Wisconsin. The Office of Financial Literacy works in concert with the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy to measurably improve the financial literacy of Wisconsin’s citizens. DFI is working closely with the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) on administration of the grant program.

Governor Walker last year signed into law 2017 Wisconsin Act 94, which requires all Wisconsin public school districts to incorporate personal finance into their curricula. According to data compiled by DFI, more than 70 percent of all Wisconsin high schools now require students to take a course in personal finance in order to graduate.

The application deadline for the grant program is June 1, 2018. DPI began accepting online nominations on May 9, 2018 at Award recipients will be notified the week of July 23, 2018. The program is open to all public and parochial schools in Wisconsin.

Applications will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  • The nature of the expected outcome of the project and the degree to which they are measurable.
  • The number of students impacted by the project.
  • Sustainability and the degree that the proposal includes parents, volunteers, and other members of the community.
  • Matching financial support from the school or other partners in the community.
  • Degree the project is realistic, innovative, experiential, educational and engaging.
  • Degree it enhances student experiences and curriculum delivery.
  • Level of innovation and creativity to enrich existing services and programs.
  • Cost-effectiveness.
  • All proposals must indicate how they support approved academic curriculum and integrate Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards on Personal Financial Literacy.

You can find Wisconsin’s Model Academic Standards on Personal Financial Literacy here on MyMazuma, as well as curriculum that fits the bill.

NIFEL Scholarships

The National Institute of Financial and Economic Literacy (NIFEL) is held every summer at Edgewood College in Madison. NIFEL offers three courses/conferences each summer. The three graduate sessions are designed to increase teachers’ effectiveness in educating their students and build their confidence in teaching a wide array of financial topics.

A 2009 National Endowment for Education survey found that only 37% of K-12 teachers have taken even one college personal finance course. Quite simply, a lack of qualified educators exists. The NIFEL program gives teachers skills to fill this shortage. The simple system is the most successful training program of its kind in the U.S. Since its inception in 2000, it has given over 1,300 educators from 13 states expertise and a career edge — FAST.

The class schedule for 2018 is:

Innovation & Entrepreneurship | June 25-28
Investor Education, Economics and Insurance | July 16-20
Credit and Money | July 9-11

Each class has three graduate credits available. Learn more at

The Wisconsin Bankers Foundation is now accepting applications for four $750 scholarships to help teachers attend one or more of these classes. Applications are due by June 1, so apply today! Download the application form here.

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