One exemplary high school and its students won $227,500 in scholarships and grants
Kansas City, Mo. — Jan. 19, 2015 — As part of its commitment to teen financial literacy,
H&R Block recently awarded $1.4 million in classroom grants and student scholarships through its H&R Block Budget Challenge. The online simulation allows students to experience paying bills, managing expenses and more in the safety of a classroom—where a mistake is not nearly as costly as in the real world.
“Our goal is to arm teens with the personal finance skills and confidence they need to succeed when they are out on their own,” said Bill Cobb, H&R Block president and chief executive officer. “H&R Block Budget Challenge is an investment in American teens.”
Seventeen classrooms received a total of $112,500 in grants and 67 students each received $20,000 college scholarships. But of the 32,000 high school students in more than 2,000 classrooms nationwide that competed, one exceptional high school in Alabama demonstrated a true mastery of the Challenge.
Guntersville High School teacher Sherry Brown and and her students secured $227,500 in prizes. The school, in a town of approximately 8,000, received two grants—the maximum allowed—and 11 of its students won $20,000 scholarships. Brown, who teaches economics and government, is incredibly proud of the way her students embraced the game.
“This program sparked a fire inside my students that was simply amazing to witness. It has increased their financial understanding and desire to learn, and taught them financial responsibilities. Through the H&R Block Budget Challenge program and ‘power of doing,’ they realized they could make better decisions,” Brown said.
Another $1.6 million in prizes will be awarded this semester and teachers can still register.
H&R Block Budget Challenge helps to address the need for more financial education. Only 7 percent of high school students1 are financially literate and fewer than 30 percent2 of adults report being offered financial education at school or college.
Fortunately, there is still time for classrooms to get involved in the H&R Block Budget Challenge and compete to win big. At the conclusion of the program in April 2015, H&R Block will award an additional $1.6 million in grants, scholarships and cash prizes, including a $100,000 grand prize college scholarship to the student who is most “real-world ready” — bringing the company’s total investment in teen financial education to $3 million for the 2014-2015 school year.
Three classroom simulations remain in this year’s H&R Budget Challenge program for 2015 and teacher registration is open for the following two simulations:
- Jan. 30 – April 2 (Teacher registration ends Jan. 23)
- Feb. 13 – April 16 (Teacher registration ends Feb. 6)
Teacher registration closed Jan. 9 for the Jan. 16 – March 19 simulation. For more information or to register, visit hrbds.org.
About H&R Block Dollars & Sense
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world’s largest consumer tax services provider. More than 650 million tax returns have been prepared worldwide by and through H&R Block since 1955. H&R Block Dollars & Sense helps increase financial literacy among teenagers through curriculum and resources, grants to supplement the cost of personal finance education and scholarships to help young Americans pay for higher education. Since 2009, H&R Block Dollars & Sense has donated more than $4 million in grants and scholarships. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom or hrbds.org.
Based out of Cincinnati, Ohio, ProperLiving, LLC owns and operates the Budget Challenge Personal Finance Simulation, which received a U.S. patent in May 2013. The program teaches not only financial principles, but practical personal finance behaviors, knowledge and skill. The real-time simulation exposes students to the nuts and bolts of receiving a paycheck, paying bills and maximizing savings within a typical household budget. The repetitive tasks of receiving and paying bills, combined with consequences of action or inaction, produce real financial habits and confidence.
1 George Washington University School of Business 2 U.S. Financial Capability 3 See full terms and conditions, including eligibility requirements, at hrbds.org.