The annual H&R Block Budget Challenge begins this week on September 8. During the nine-week online simulation curriculum that is free to teachers, hundreds of thousands of students countrywide exercise “their financial knowledge through paying bills, saving money in their 401k, paying for expenses and taking quizzes to earn points.”
The H&R Block Budget Challenge helps both teachers and students who want access to financial literacy education. Despite a growing desire for financial literacy courses from K-12 students and teachers, most states do not have requirements and therefore many schools lack the resources to offer specialized courses.
Consistent studies have found a need for improving financial literacy education on a national level.
Recent studies have found that educators want to teach the subject but lack the resources, that students want to learn money management skills before entering the real world, and that a majority of the country’s adults fail to answer basic finance-related questions correctly.
H&R Block claims that students who take the nine-week course are less likely to make costly and careless financial mistakes later.
"In addition to the importance of savings, Budget Challenge students learn the costly consequences of poor financial decisions, like bank overdraft fees. More than 90 percent of Budget Challenge participants said they’re more likely to check account balances before writing checks rather than adding to the more than $6 billion in overdraft and ATM fees collected by large banks last year alone,” said the company in a statement.
10 participating students will also have the chance to win $20,000 college scholarships "based on their real-world readiness after completing the program.”
In order to enroll in the challenge, students must be 14 years of age or older and must be full-time students in grades 9-12. For more information, visit hrblock.budgetchallenge.com.
Nicole Gorman, Senior Education World Contributor