The H&R Block Budget Challenge: Giving Away Scholarships as Kids Learn Financial Literacy

The H&R Budget Challenge will teach US kids aged 14 and up about real world financial skills as they compete to win scholarships & learn about money. Students need to understand financial skills but it is hard to teach these until students are out in the real world spending real money and making perhaps really lifechanging mistakes. That changes today.  Today the H&R Block Budget challenge is open for registration.

This cool simulation combines real world scenarios in a powerful gamified environment where students and schools are competing for real prizes. (See the rules.)

In this contest, students ages 14 up under the supervision of their teachers are given a pretend “salary” inside the simulation. They have bills to pay and things they need to do with their money. They are challenged to create a budget. As students go through the simulation they are met with real world “challenges:” the unexpected twists and turns that life itself throws at you.

H&R Block is giving away $20,000 Scholarships: 132 of them!

But this experience has a very real world impact. Leading classrooms will win classroom grants. But get this — H&R Block is awarding 132 (22 per simulation) $20,000 college scholarships! (The overall winner will receive a $100,000 college scholarship!)

The Fun Game With a Serious Real World Impact

Parents will appreciate the experience you are giving your students now — in just a few years these 14 year olds and older will be in the “real world” spending very real money. It is better to make mistakes and learn inside this game than to have extremely real consequences in a world where money is hard to come by. For this reason, I think this contest is life changing and can make every participant a winner whether they receive a scholarship or not. Learning to budget makes winners because money management is a struggle for so many.

There are so many things that I love about this program. First of all, I love the gamification aspect of what is being done. While the scenarios are real world, the gaming aspects (as well as real world prizes) are going to make this something that many kids will enjoy. I also appreciate that they will send me curriculum materials to teach alongside the simulation. And yes, I just registered my own classes today.

When does the challenge run?

This will run throughout the school year with six simulation periods: one starting October 3 with the last one starting on February 13, 2015. It is for teachers in United States  public and private schools who teach students aged 14 and older. (See the rules for all the details.)

How Do You Enter Your Classroom in the H&R Block Budget Challenge?

  1. Go to the H&R Block Budget Challenge Website:
  2. Read the guidelines to make sure your school fits the criteria
  3. Sign up your classroom!

Can You Tell Me More?

You can find all of the details on the official rules form, but here's  the overview of the challenge:

[callout]CHALLENGE OVERVIEW: The Sponsor is inviting Eligible Students to compete in a virtual budget Challenge against Eligible Students in their classroom and Eligible Students in schools throughout the country. Each Eligible Student will be presented with a virtual salary and will be tasked with building a budget, paying recurring bills and making decisions regarding real-world expenses such as rent, utilities, car payments and insurance. Throughout the Challenge, students will be thrown spontaneous real-life occurrences such as, but not limited to, a virtual car accident, lost cell phone or pay raise, and will be required to adjust their budget accordingly to deal with such unexpected situations. Eligible Students will also have the opportunity to complete quizzes on various personal finance topics such as interest and 401(k)’s to assist in their Challenge progress. By maximizing 401(k) savings, paying bills on time and responding correctly to quiz questions, while avoiding fees such as, but not limited to, virtual late fees, overdraft fees and finance charges, Eligible Students will increase their individual Challenge score and also increase their classrooms Challenge score average, which can be viewed on the Challenge Leaderboards (as outlined further below)[/callout]

So, get out there and take the challenge! Let's have some fun and change our student's financial future at the same time.

[callout]Disclosure of Material Connection: This is a “sponsored post.” The company who sponsored it compensated me via cash payment, gift, or something else of value to edit and post it. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I believe will be good for my readers and are from companies I can recommend. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.)[/callout]

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Vicki Davis

Vicki Davis is a full-time classroom teacher and IT Director in Georgia, USA. She is Mom of three, wife of one, and loves talking about the wise, transformational use of technology for teaching and doing good in the world. She hosts the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast which interviews teachers around the world about remarkable classroom practices to inspire and help teachers. Vicki focuses on what unites us -- a quest for truly remarkable life-changing teaching and learning. The goal of her work is to provide actionable, encouraging, relevant ideas for teachers that are grounded in the truth and shared with love. Vicki has been teaching since 2002 and blogging since 2005. Vicki has spoken around the world to inspire and help teachers reach their students. She is passionate about helping every child find purpose, passion, and meaning in life with a lifelong commitment to the joy and responsibility of learning. If you talk to Vicki for very long, she will encourage you to "Relate to Educate" or "innovate like a turtle" or to be "a remarkable teacher." She loves to talk to teachers who love their students and are trying to do their best. Twitter is her favorite place to share and she loves to make homemade sourdough bread and cinnamon rolls and enjoys running half marathons with her sisters. You can usually find her laughing with her students or digging into a book.

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1 comment

Dawn Casey-Rowe September 26, 2014 - 6:26 pm

Awesome, thanks for this. I have classes that alternate weeks, so I’ll have to hunt one week down but this’ll be great!!

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