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By Mike Castrilli, Director of Financial Literacy at W!se

Working in Support of Education (W!se) is a leading national educational nonprofit 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. Based in New York City, our initiatives transform the lives of Americans across the United States. We are spearheading a national effort to empower people, especially the underserved, to lead lives of financial well-being, succeed in college and excel in an increasingly competitive global workplace.

W!se has been a national Jump$tart partner, and manages the New York Financial Literacy Coalition, the New York State affiliate for the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.

What We Offer

At the heart of our offerings is a family of financial literacy initiatives, comprising Financial Literacy Certification for high school studentsCertification in Personal Finance for educators, and MoneyW!SE for survivors of domestic violence. 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.

  • Financial Literacy Certification: W!se’s Financial Literacy Certification program helps high school students become financially literate before entering college or the workforce. Schools participating in the program teach personal finance during school hours and then administer our national standardized Financial Literacy Certification Test. To support instruction, we provide professional development and resources. Students passing the Certification Test become Certified Financially Literate (CFL™). This certification, approved by state departments of education, is evidence that students have acquired the knowledge and skills for future financial success. W!se offers teachers and schools recognition based on students’ performance on the Test. Our highest accolade, the annual ranking of the “Wise 100 Best High Schools Teaching Personal Finance” is the first ranking of its kind in the country.
  • Certification in Personal Finance for educators: This Certification is for secondary school teachers of personal finance. Teachers who pass the Test earn a Certification in Personal Finance (CPF) and receive a CPF certificate — a national credential demonstrating proficiency to teach personal finance.
  • MoneyW!SE for survivors of domestic violence: MoneyW!SE provides low income women and domestic violence survivors an opportunity to become financially literate through a 12-week course on personal finance. The Course culminates in the MoneyW!SE Financial Literacy Certification Test. Participants who pass the standardized Test become Certified Financially Literate, a credential that helps them at their jobs and search for work.

See what W!se has in the Jump$tart Clearinghouse!

What’s New

  • Recognizing the challenges schools face when students are learning remotely and need to proctor a test securely, we developed an enhanced virtual proctoring solution. This new technology allows schools to administer our Certification Test seamlessly within our testing platform without the need for an external video classroom provider.
  • This Fall, we will be launching a new financial literacy mobile app and updated practice test website. These resources will enable students to take practice tests on the newly enhanced website or conveniently on their phones via the app.
  • The 2021 “100 Best W!se High Schools Teaching Personal Finance” ranking was announced in April at a virtual ceremony sponsored by Voya Financial®. The High School for Math, Science, and Engineering in New York City earned first place. The keynote speaker was Dr. Annamaria Lusardi, Founder and Academic Director of the Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center and University Professor at The George Washington University


Connect With W!se


David Anderson
(212) 421-2700

Michael Castrilli
(212) 421-2700

Connect With Jump$tart

Friday Five


Coalition Corner

Attention NEC Scholarship Applicants:
The first round recipients of teacher scholarships to attend this year’s #JumpstartNEC were sent by email yesterday. Applicants are encouraged to check their email and spam folders. Teachers who did not receive a scholarship in the first round are automatically wait-listed.  Unclaimed scholarships will be awarded to wait-listed applicants the week of September 20. Congratulations to all the recipients and thank you to all the sponsors!

Tomorrow marks 20 years since the 9/11 attacks. Jump$tart would like to take this time to send our heartfelt prayers to all of the families of those who lost their lives in this tragedy. We also remember and honor those that responded with courage and commitment in service to our country.

Sunday is Grandparents Day and we hope you have a great day celebrating with your family. Please take a moment to read this article from our friends at Mass Mutual.