KANSAS CITY, MO - (Marketwired) - September 09, 2015 - Today's high school students are in a whole new class. The first of Generation Z to be college bound, these teens are self-confident and entrepreneurial, but many don't have the basic financial skills they need to set themselves up for success.
Now in its sophomore year, the H&R Block Budget Challenge gives Gen Zs the personal financial education they need through a free, interactive, real-life simulation. The program replicates an adult's financial life, like paying bills, saving for retirement and repaying student loans, from the safety of a classroom. And as an added incentive to master these critical skills, students compete for $3 million in college scholarships and classroom grants.
In its inaugural year, the H&R Block Budget Challenge reached more than 90,000 students in all 50 states, with participating students saving almost $100 million in 401ks and paying more than $300 million in bills in the virtual simulation.
"We are acutely aware that concerns about money are universal and personal finance education early on can play an important role in developing a secure future," said H&R Block Chief Marketing Officer Kathy Collins. "The H&R Block Budget Challenge makes financial literacy a reality for teens and gives thousands of students a chance to win life-changing college scholarships."
Gen Z teen finance expert and actor Rachel Fox has joined with the H&R Block Budget Challenge to help reach more teens about the importance of financial literacy. One of TIME Magazine's "25 Most Influential Teens" and a go-to source for financial management tips for teens, Fox will be taking the H&R Block Budget Challenge and documenting her experience on her Fox on Stocks blog.
Helping students sharpen their personal finance skills without real-world financial consequences is the driving force behind the H&R Block Budget Challenge. With financial literacy rates nationwide hovering below 60 percent according to the National Financial Educators Council, H&R Block is committed to giving young people the knowledge and confidence they need to manage their personal finances.
Visit the H&R Block Budget Challenge Newsroom for photos, videos, and more information about the program.
Editor's Note: Former participants -- including students and teachers -- are available to share their personal experiences with the H&R Budget Challenge.
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 $7 million in grants and scholarships. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom, www.HRBDS.org or follow us on Twitter and Instagram, @TeenMoneyTips and our Facebook page, HRBDS.
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.
 See full terms and conditions, including eligibility requirements, at www.HRBDS.org.
SOURCE H&R Block