I just heard the most amazing news! Sean Lawrence, a Michigan high school senior, just won $120,000.00 in college scholarships through the H&R Block Budget Challenge! Can you believe it? And no, I did NOT make a mistake and add too many zero’s to the number! HE WON OVER A HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS. (Sorry for the yelling but I really can’t help myself!) And he did it by having the best financial skills out of 93,980 other high school students who participated in the Challenge.
One of the things I love the most about the challenge (other than the awesome scholarships you can win) is that the people over at H&R Block understand the real problem. Teens are graduating from high school with very little training or education on how to manage their money, how to create a budget, or how to reach their financial goals. We can do Algebra – but not balance our checking account!
The Challenge simulates an adult financial ‘life’ by giving the student a virtual salary. The teenager has to pay their bills and work on saving within their means. This includes investing in retirement, managing loans and making sure their bills are paid on time.
Being involved in a real world simulation like this helps teens understand the realities of life as an adult and how to manage their money really well. The fact it is hands on and shows real consequences makes it even more valuable as students will be fined late fees and other penalties if they miss payments and such.
H&R Block will award $3 million in classroom grants, college scholarships and cash prizes via the Challenge. Points are earned for Behavior (participation and engagement), Knowledge (correct answers on quizzes), and Skill (earn points for savings and lose for late fees). There are 132 scholarships available and the top 22 students in each of the six cycles wins $20,000. The overall winner who demonstrates they are the most ready for living and budgeting in the real world wins $100,000.00.
This is an amazing program to participate in and has the potential for huge scholarship money. And you don’t have to write an essay because it’s more like a fun game to play! (Yay – I know you all are cheering with me!) If you are planning to go to college debt free like I am this could make all the difference for you. But the truth is that the Budget Challenge is an amazing opportunity. It can make a difference for the rest of your life if you learn the skills you need to manage money wisely even if you don’t win a scholarship!
Wouldn’t it be amazing if a member of the TeensGotCents community won a scholarship in the upcoming Challenge? Registration will open August of 2015. Let me know if you plan to participate!
This is a sponsored post by the H&R Block Budget Challenge.