KANSAS CITY, MO - (Marketwired) September 8, 2014 - Many skills people need to succeed in life are learned early on by doing, from young children tying shoes to teenagers driving cars. But when it comes to teaching teenagers the basics for a strong financial future, they often must figure it out on their own -- and not with the best results. When American teens were tested on personal finance topics, the average score was below 60 percent, according to the National Financial Educators Council.
To help high schoolers learn to manage their money and become financially responsible adults, H&R Block has upped its commitment to teen financial literacy. This school year, high school students and educators nationwide can win $3 million in classroom grants, college scholarships and cash prizes via the H&R Block Budget Challenge. This teacher-tested, online simulation tool is a learn-by-doing educational approach that replicates real-world budgeting and personal finance decision-making.
"We look at people's lives through tax and find ways to help," said Bill Cobb, H&R Block president and chief executive officer. "The statistics back up the need for increasing teen financial literacy, and we are committed to helping prepare young people for all the financial hurdles they'll face."
The H&R Block Budget Challenge, free to high school teachers and home school educators1, simulates an adult's financial life -- paying bills, investing in retirement, managing loans and more. Participants play classroom against classroom and student against student, competing for $3 million in grants, scholarships and cash prizes. To receive a high score, students must maximize their savings and correctly answer financial quizzes, while avoiding fees and other budgetary pitfalls.
Participating teachers will receive lesson plans, educational videos and additional resources that complement the online challenge. The H&R Block Budget Challenge and accompanying lesson plans adhere to Common Core standards for English language arts and mathematics, as well as personal finance benchmarks established by the Council for Economic Education (CEE) and the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.
For complete details and to register for the H&R Block Budget Challenge, visit hrbds.org.
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.
1See full terms and conditions, including eligibility requirements, at hrbds.org.
SOURCE H & R Block