Frequently asked questions about the program
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The H&R Block Budget Challenge program is free.
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.
|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|
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.
A total of $200,000 is awarded to students in scholarships.
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.
The H&R Block Budget Challenge is launching its third year.
H&R Block | 816-854-4287 | firstname.lastname@example.org