Scots Place in Top Ten in National Budget Challenge by H&R Block

Many high schoolers around the United States are graduating without basic financial skills. As young adults, their first exposure to real-life situations can result in costly mistakes, overwhelming debt, and an unstable financial future.

Students in Mr. John Daly’s Investment and Entrepreneurship class recently participated in a national 9-week personal finance competition that was run by H&R Block. Competing with Saint Andrew’s School were 819 schools, 28,254 students, and 562 teachers from around the United States. The event started on September 21 and culminated on the last day November.

Mr. Day’s classes earned 3rd and 6th place out of the 1,200 classes that participated. Senior Cole Kessler took 4th, and Senior Oliver Zenou got 12th place out of the 28,254 students. Mr. Daly received 4th place out of the 562 teachers accounts.

The competition, officially known as the H&R Budget Challenge, is a teacher-tested, online simulation tool that replicates real-world budgeting and personal finance decision-making. By simulating an adult’s financial life – paying bills, investing in retirement, managing loans and more – students take a personal finance “road test.” This learn-by-doing educational approach allows students to make real-world mistakes without facing real-world consequences.

When asked about their experience with the Budget Challenge, students came away satisfied they had learned something new:
  • “Before doing the Budget Challenge, I had minimal knowledge when it came to budgeting money and managing my personal finances. However, after this simulation, I feel more prepared to manage my own money and avoid fees from the bank.”
  • “I feel more confident in financial management and more interested in it as well. Prior to this challenge, I wasn't very interested, but I enjoyed this challenge, so it sparked interest.”
  • “I am more knowledgeable about managing money and more confident that I will be successful at it in the future.”
Mr. Daly, who has been teaching at Saint Andrew’s for 22 years, couldn’t agree more. He commented that: “This challenge represented a tremendous learning experience in personal finance. Many learned the value of using an EXCEL spreadsheet to keep track of their income and expenses. I am so proud of the students’ hard work and determination... and placing in the top ten nationally is definitely a great honor for the students and our school.”

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A non-profit, independent, co-educational school for grades JK - 12, Saint Andrew's School is both a private day and boarding school located in Boca Raton, educating the best students from across Palm Beach County, Florida, the United States, and throughout the world in the Episcopal tradition.
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