100 Best w!se High Schools Teaching Personal Finance 2016 Rankings Announced

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* The Top 3 schools nation-wide hail from New Jersey and New York *Schools in 43 states now participating, up from 40 in prior year * Average passing rate was 81.6% percent for all participating schools

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Working in Support of Education (w!se), a New York City-based, national educational nonprofit, today announced its fourth annual “100 Best w!se High Schools Teaching Personal Finance” national ranking during a ceremony sponsored by Voya Financial® at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. The schools were honored with banners as well as a trophy for the No. 1 ranked school and No. 1 small, midsize and large schools at the ceremony, which included the following speakers:

  • Carmen Fariña, Chancellor, New York City Department of Education
  • Sharon Epperson, Senior Personal Finance Correspondent, CNBC
  • Chip Wheeler, Director of Community Relations, Voya Financial
  • Phyllis Frankfort Perillo, Founding President and CEO, Working in Support of Education (w!se)
  • Sam Stovall, Managing Director, S&P Capital IQ

The award-winning program provides teachers with a curriculum and instructional resources to teach personal finance and measure students’ financial literacy through w!se’s Certification Test. Students who pass the test are designated Certified Financially Literate™. Schools in 43 states participated in the certification program, up from 40 in the prior year. Since its introduction, the program has become an integral tool to teach personal finance in thousands of classrooms across the United States.

The 100 Best w!se High Schools Teaching Personal Finance recognizes the top performing high schools in w!se’s national network. The Top 3 ranked schools for 2016 are:

  • Passaic County Technical Institute in Wayne, NJ;
  • Aviation High School in Long Island City, NY; and
  • HS for Math, Science & Engineering @ CCNY, New York, NY.

Other high schools among the Top 30 are located in Illinois, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, and Wisconsin. For the complete list of the Top 100 schools, visit http://www.wise-ny.org/100BestRanking2016.htm.

The 100 Best w!se High Schools Teaching Personal Finance ranking seeks to highlight the importance of personal finance education. High school students are on the cusp of making important financial decisions, such as taking on student loans for college and applying for credit cards, making it vital that they are equipped to navigate these new financial frontiers.

“Our certification initiative continues to grow rapidly each year,” said Phyllis Frankfort Perillo, Founding President & CEO of w!se. “Warm congratulations to the 100 Best schools. You are the leaders in preparing young people with the knowledge and skills to make wise financial decisions and to have good financial habits that pave the way to a life of economic well-being.”

“Financial literacy is the key to securing financial independence. We are proud to support w!se and help advance its mission across the country,” said Braeden Mayrisch, program manager for Voya Financial, sponsor of this year’s ranking and ceremony. “Empowering students — our leaders of tomorrow — to better understand and take control of their finances aligns with Voya’s efforts to build financial knowledge and skills among young people and ultimately close the U.S. retirement savings gap. The Top 100 schools, along with their teachers and students, are truly worthy of being honored today.”

w!se developed the ranking with support from an Advisory Board of psychometricians and experts from academia and finance. The predominant factor was the average score on the Financial Literacy Certification Test and the proportion of test takers to the school population.

The Financial Literacy Certification Program now includes more than five and a half million hours of instruction in participating high schools annually. The average passing rate for the 2014-2015 school year was 81.6% percent for students at schools participating in the certification program. All schools participating in the Financial Literacy Certification Program have an opportunity to earn a place on the “100 Best” list each year.

About Working In Support of Education (w!se)

Working in Support of Education (W!SE) is a leading educational nonprofit based in New York City with a mission to improve the lives of young people and at-risk adults through programs that develop financial literacy and readiness for college and the workforce. Our initiatives are built on the five pillars of relevancy, real-world experiences, strong partnerships, volunteerism and assessment. At the heart of our offerings is a family of financial literacy initiatives, comprising the Financial Literacy Certification for high school students, the Certification in Personal Finance for educators, MoneyW!SE for survivors of domestic violence and the Personal Finance Institute for public school parents. These programs differ in scope and target audience, but all share a common thread – the administration of our standardized assessment of personal finance knowledge and a certification for those who master the subject matter. For more information, visit wise-ny.org. Follow w!se on Facebook and Twitter @wisenewyork.

About Voya Financial®

Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings — to get ready to retire better. Serving the financial needs of approximately 13 million individual and institutional customers in the United States, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $11 billion in revenue in 2015. The company had $452 billion in total assets under management and administration as of Dec. 31, 2015. With a clear mission to make a secure financial future possible — one person, one family, one institution at a time — Voya’s vision is to be America’s Retirement Company™. The company is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible — Voya has been recognized as one of the 2016 World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute, and as one of the Top Green Companies in the U.S., by Newsweek magazine. For more information, visit voya.com or view the company’s 2014 annual report. Follow Voya Financial on Facebook and Twitter @Voya.

About Voya Foundation

Voya Foundation's mission is to improve the quality of life in communities where Voya Financial® operates and its employees and customers live. Voya Foundation provides grants and establishes signature partnerships in the areas of financial literacy and children's education and fosters employee engagement to deepen our positive impact on the community. For more information, visit http://www.voyafoundation.com.

Media Contacts:
Ben Rosner

Steven Appel
Working in Support of Education (w!se)

Jeanne LaCour                                                                        
Voya Financial                                                                                                

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