The financial industry has struggled to restore its image since its destruction six years ago. One common approach to do so has been developing programs to inform students about financial education. Tax preparer H&R Block released its $3 millions in college scholarship money to give to high school students who get all the answers right in an online budget game.
Block is following the lead of numerous national banks that sponsor some form of financial education. Visa has also made big commitments to the cause as well. This push has been a way to teach young people practical monetary skills while improving the financial industry’s damaged reputation.
Block is not a bank nor a credit company. However, the company is still passionate about teaching youth about finances. “It’s appalling how clueless many teens are about money,” says Block CEO William Cobb. He is not shy about admitting that Block’s “budget challenge” is as much about smart marketing as it is about helping teens get smart about money. The challenge concludes on Tax Day, April 15. But Cobb says educating high school kids about student loans and more is also “the right thing to do”.
Block’s program is constructed around an online game that simulates real life problems and situations. It is apart of a class with a teacher that teaches lessons for youth personal finance. The push for the high school students is a college scholarship. The first challenge will begin Oct. 3 and last for nine weeks. Five more challenges will run through mid-April next year. Students need about 30 minutes to set up their profile and about 30 minutes per week after that in order to compete.
Although its goal is to teach, the Block program seems not only engaging but fun. Participants will have access to a leaderboard to see where they stand amongst their competitors. Youth will need to figure out what the best choices are and to try to make sense of the world of money so they can make good choices in the future.
For more information read on at http://time.com/money/3306372/financial-education-college-scholarship-hr-block/