Media Room

The latest news, press releases and program assets all under one roof. For press inquiries, please contact H&R Block Media Desk at mediadesk@hrblock.com or 816-854-4287.

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently asked questions about the program

What is H&R Block Dollars & Sense?

H&R Block created Dollars & Sense in 2009 to give young people the skills and confidence needed to manage personal finances. Financial knowledge is a necessity, not a luxury.

Through curriculum and grants to supplement the cost of personal finance education as well as scholarships to help pay for higher education, H&R Block Dollars & Sense helps give teens the financial foundation needed to be successful after graduation.

What is the H&R Block Budget Challenge?

The H&R Block Budget Challenge is a teacher-tested, online simulation that replicates real-world budgeting and personal finance decision-making. This learn-by-doing educational approach allows high schoolers to make real-world mistakes without facing real-world consequences.

Now in its third year, the H&R Block Budget Challenge gives classrooms and students the opportunity to play against each other and compete for student scholarships.

How is the H&R Block Budget Challenge different from Dollars & Sense?

The H&R Block Budget Challenge is part of our Dollars & Sense teen financial literacy platform. Since 2009, H&R Block Dollars & Sense has provided curriculum, grants and scholarships to teens, teachers and parents through programs like the H&R Block Budget Challenge.

Why is financial literacy an important issue for H&R Block to support?

Teens are graduating high school and entering the real world without basic financial skills. like budgeting, paying bills and saving.

H&R Block is committed to helping teens take control of their financial future to ensure they’re real-world ready after graduation.

Investing in a financially fit next generation is an investment in everyone’s future.

Who is eligible to play H&R Block Budget Challenge?

Classes at an accredited high school or home study program facilitated by a teacher are eligible to participate. Teachers can visit hrbds.org to register and create their classrooms up until one week prior to the simulation start date.

What’s the cost to participate?

The H&R Block Budget Challenge program is free.

When are the H&R Block Challenge Simulations?

There are six simulations throughout the school year (see schedule below), and teachers must register and create classes one week prior to each simulation start date.

  Simulation   Class Creation
Period Start Date End Date Close Date
1 September 8 November 17 September 1
2 September 22 December 1 September 15
3 October 6 December 15 October 29
4 January 12 March 23 January 5
5 January 26 April 6 January 19
6 February 9 April 20 February 2

How do students play the H&R Block Budget Challenge?

In the game, students are given a job with a salary and have to make real-world decisions like do they want a roommate or to live alone? What deductible do they want to take on auto insurance? How much do they want to put aside for retirement? Students must build their personal budget and then start receiving bills that must be paid on-time, just like in the real-world.

Students earn points during the simulation for maximizing savings and minimizing fees.

How much scholarship money is awarded?

A total of $200,000 is awarded to students in scholarships.

  • 10 opportunities for student scholarships of $20,000.

How are student scholarship winners decided?

It’s Budget Challenge’s mission to help get students Real-World Ready and tackle financial life as an adult. If students can demonstrate the target levels of Behavior, Knowledge and Skill in the simulation then they are ready to manage their own personal finances in the real world.

At the end of each semester (Fall 3 simulation period and Spring 3 semester period), the five students with the highest overall Real-World Ready scores receive a $20,000 scholarship.

The Real-World Ready score is determined by:

Behavior: Out of a 100% possible engagement score, calculated by login frequency, frequency of late bill payments and quiz participation.

Knowledge: Out of a 100% total quiz score, calculated by how well students answer important financial questions.

Skill: Based on a possible 200% simulation score, calculated by how well the student saves, avoids late fees and performs on quizzes. Students earn a point per dollar saved in their 401(k) or earned in interest, while losing a point per dollar in fees and penalties incurred. Students earn bonus points by answering quizzes and surveys.

Which schools and students have won grants and scholarships in the past?

Check out a full list of 2014-2015 grant and scholarship winners and 2015-2016 grant and scholarship winners

How many years has the program been going on?

The H&R Block Budget Challenge is launching its third year.

Where can I find the latest news and Budget Challenge updates?

In addition to the H&R Block Dollars & Sense Newsroom, follow us on Facebook at HRBLOCK for updates from the H&R Block Budget Challenge.

Media Contact

H&R Block  |  816-854-4287  |  mediadesk@hrblock.com

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