Out of 111,523 competitors and ten weeks of intense work, it was announced that GEHS Alissa (Ali) Schweer received third place in the H&R Block Budget Challenge®. That placement landed her a $20,000 scholarship. Only five scholarships are awarded nationally per semester.
The H&R Block Budget Challenge® is a personal finance simulation played as a competition over ten weeks. Students receive paychecks and bills in real time and are challenged to build a budget that allows them to pay their bills on time, manage their credit card balance, and save money for retirement in a 401(k). The simulation does not use real money, but is extremely realistic including features such as online bill pay, direct deposit, email bill alerts, 401(k) paycheck deductions, late fees, utilization penalties and more.
During the Challenge, students endured personal financial decision-making in a virtual environment. They were presented with multiple options and made choices based on lifestyle, educational plans and employment. H&R Block emphasized three skill areas that they considered most important for the students to understand and practice: balancing current and future cash needs; paying bills on time and on budget; and resourcefulness, understanding and practical application of financial concepts.
To acquire leader board points (one point per dollar saved), the students dealt with regular real-world bills, budgets, 401K accounts, checking accounts, credit-card payments, vendors, and car options (with loans and insurance) in order to demonstrate smart consumerism, savvy investment and on-time repayment.
This is the third GEHS student who has won a scholarship from this program.
“We’re very proud of Ali for being among the top performers in the country in the H&R Block Budget Challenge. Her hard work on this project paid off,” said Pam Gove, GEHS sponsoring teacher. “Financial management skills are so crucial — especially for teens right after graduation who are entering the ‘real world.’ I am thankful for resources like the H&R Block Budget Challenge® that help teach our students to take control of their financial future.”
For this tremendous achievement, Ali has been selected to throw out the first pitch at the Kansas City Royals game scheduled for 7:30 pm, on June 13.
Congratulations Ali Schweer on a job well done.