12May, 2017

Question: What Are The New Interest Rates on Federal Student Loans?

By |May 12th, 2017|Current Events, Paying for College, Question of the Day, Research, Student Loans|

Answer: 4.45% for federal direct student loans effective July 1, 2017 (up from 3.76% for 2016-17 school year).

Why the increase? Student loan interest rates are now tied to the 10 Year Treasury Bond interest rate.

From Bloomberg:

New undergraduate loans from the Department of Education are due to carry an interest rate of 4.45 percent, up from 3.76 percent for the academic year ending in June. Rates on some graduate loans are set to rise from 5.31 percent to 6 percent, while rates on loans to parents and guardians are due to experience a jump from 6.31 percent to 7 percent.

Question for students:

11May, 2017

Interactive: How Did The U.S. Government Spend A Few Trillion Dollars In FY2016?

By |May 11th, 2017|Budgeting, Chart of the Week, Interactive|

I thought Econ teachers might like this interactive website. Steve Ballmer, former Microsoft CEO and owner of the L.A. Clippers (A $2 billion purchase) has done a public service by harmonizing data from federal, state and local governments and putting it all on a website, USA (note that this interactive may move here this summer).

So, how did the federal government spend $3.85 trillion in FY2016? Note that on the website, you can scroll your mouse over the individual elements to get additional information.

11May, 2017

The Need for Financial Education Is Everywhere…!

By |May 11th, 2017|Current Events, Personal Finance, Policy, Teaching Strategies, Uncategorized|

As we embark on an advocacy strategy that you will see unfold in the weeks and months, I become more convinced everyday that there is a groundswell of grassroots support for making financial education as much a part of K-12 as the three Rs. I also am beginning to recognize the gaping hole that exists for financial programs targeting underserved populations.   This kind of fits the innovation model described in this Clay Christensen Harvard Business Review article where a disrupter targets markets that aren’t being served adequately today. As the list below shows, there seems to be a shortage of financial education providers customizing their product offering to adequately meet the needs of specific populations.

In the last few days alone, NGPF has received unsolicited inquiries from individuals serving diverse populations who are interested in expanding financial capability:

10May, 2017

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To NGPF’s Jessica Endlich and Sonia Dalal About Their New One-Semester Course

By |May 10th, 2017|New Products, Podcasts, Teaching Strategies, Tips for Teachers|

Today on the podcast we hear from NGPF’s Jessica and Sonia about the new One-Semester Course that they are creating. We often hear from teachers that NGPF has great content but also that there is SO much of it.  Given how busy you are, we wanted to make it easy for you by developing the “greatest hits” of NGPF that you could fit into a semester course. Putting their problem-solving hats on, Jessica and Sonia are in the process of developing a One-Semester Course of exactly 90 lessons (18 weeks) of exactly 45 minutes each that you can use to teach your course in the fall. They have created the first four units of this course, provided PD in webinar format, and now join me on this NGPF podcast. We will go under the hood to learn how this new curriculum is being developed, the timeline for its rollout and how they incorporated teacher feedback to continue to improve their product. Enjoy!


10May, 2017

Schools in the News

By |May 10th, 2017|Current Events, Featured Teachers, Financial Literacy, Schools In News, This Week In Financial Literacy|

  • Inspiring Educator: Ami Amero (WCSH6) [Editor’s note: You can listen to Ami’s story on this NGPF podcast]

This week’s Maine Education Association Inspiring Educator is Ami Amero. Amero has been teaching history at Forest Hills Consolidated School in Jackman for the last 20 years. During her time there, she started a personal finance class to help students with real life finance after graduation. That class is now a requirement for all Forest Hill students to graduate. Amero is now asking local representatives to draft legislation to have the personal finance course a statewide requirement for all high school graduates.

  • Twin Falls High School personal finance class learns about home buying (

9May, 2017

Interactive: How Does Your Disposable Income Compare to Peers in Other Countries?

By |May 9th, 2017|Current Events, Interactive, Math, Question of the Day, Research, Teaching Strategies, WebQuest|

From the Guardian comes an interesting interactive which displays long-term trends in disposable income among different age groups in different countries. Students start by entering an age and a country (all G-8 countries are represented) and then see a series of charts that show three different analyses:

9May, 2017

Writer’s Workshop: Write A Letter To A CEO (And Get A Response)

By |May 9th, 2017|Activities, Activity, Article, Current Events, Research, Teaching Strategies, Writing assignment|

A recent Ron Lieber column in NY Times got me thinking about a useful skill that all young people should have: how to advocate for oneself in a manner that people in power will respond to.

Here’s the crux of his column:

8May, 2017

Question: How Much Money Do You Need To Earn In Your State to Be “Happy?”

By |May 8th, 2017|Career, Chart of the Week, Question of the Day, Research|

Answer (from Advisor Perspectives):

5May, 2017

What I Am Reading This Week (Ending May 5th)

By |May 5th, 2017|Uncategorized|

A few articles that caught my attention over the past week:

  • What If Your Credit Score Measured Your Financial Potential–Not Past Mistakes (Fast Company)?

Munir’s New York startup, RevolutionCredit, has a tagline of “Be More Than a Score”–which has an anti-Orwellian ring to it. His big idea is to use behavioral science to predict how someone might behave in their personal finances, augmenting the past-facing number kept by the credit bureaus, all other indicators be damned. “Most of the credit scoring models that exist today, in the U.S. or outside, are mainly transaction-data-based,” he says. “This means they are mostly backward-looking and negative selection. The RevolutionCredit model is both forward-looking and positive-selection based.”

  • How the guy who got crushed in his $1 million bet with Warren Buffett makes excuses for his lame performance (Bloomberg):
5May, 2017

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks To Educator Nick Simmons of Hopkins Academy (Hadley, MA)

By |May 5th, 2017|Audio Resource, Featured Teachers, Podcasts, Taxes, Teaching Strategies|

Thanks to Nick Simmons for his recent appearance on the NGPF Podcast. I learned about Nick’s work at the Hopkins Academy in Hadley, Massachusetts from a recent feature in the local paper describing his passion for personal finance. In this podcast, Nick shares his methods for teaching challenging topics like taxes and investing and how he uses technology in creative ways. You will also learn how his advocacy work made personal finance education a requirement at his high school. Enjoy!
4May, 2017

Flash Survey Results: How Do Educators Structure Their Personal Finance Class?

By |May 4th, 2017|Survey Results|

Here at NGPF, we’re always looking to learn more about educators and their personal finance classes. For this survey, we wanted to learn more about how educators structure their day-to-day lessons. Do they start off with a Bell Ringer? Do they end with a question or Exit Ticket? How do they assess student performance?

Now, with data in hand, we wanted to share the results from the 212 educators who responded (thank you!):

4May, 2017

A New Way to Teach Spreadsheets

By |May 4th, 2017|Featured NGPF Lesson, Teaching Strategies, Uncategorized, Video Resource|

In case you missed it in late March, NGPF’s diving in deep to spreadsheet work. Read on…


A recent study from Burning Glass Technologies reveals that:

  • 78% of middle-skill jobs include spreadsheets as a baseline requirement
  • Digitally intensive jobs are growing 2.5 times more rapidly than non-spreadsheet required jobs
  • Digitally intensive jobs pay 18% higher than non-digital jobs

Your students need these skills!



We’re always looking to help, so here’s what we’ve done for you and your students:

  1. Created a YouTube playlist of 10 How-To videos, each under 5 minutes, teaching your students basic spreadsheet skills
  2. Categorized 30 NGPF Activities, Projects, and Case Studies that embed spreadsheet skills
  3. Embedded links directly in each NGPF activity to the coordinating How-To video(s) required to complete the spreadsheet, providing on-demand support for your students who need it. Samples:


We focused on spreadsheets during our March webinar, and you can get all of the archived resources from that PD event here.

Do you LOVE spreadsheets? Wish you could teach more spreadsheets? Need support? Tell us