Top Opportunities for students to learn personal finance and business before college!

Posted October 28, 2019 by Joshua neubert

Today’s students far too often lack what many of us consider “common life skills” involving personal finance, and unfortunately awareness of personal finance skills  is shrinking among students nationally. Personal financial skills are critical for students to learn at an early age. Without these skills people spend their lives slaving for money, while never being able to get out of debt. Never able to get ahead. What’s worse, without the proper education in this area, when children watch their parents doing this and always owing more than they get from their hard work, the children become likely to repeat that behavior as adults.

As it stands today, few schools provide adequate banking, economics, and personal finance education to our students. However, as we see in many areas of education, extra-curricular opportunities like contests, challenges, and competitions can help students supplement this critical need. Here are a few ways we have found to help your students gain this important life skill. If you’re looking to help students get ahead in this critical area that everyone needs, no matter what their interests, don’t miss out on these great opportunities.


Featured program: Lights, Camera, Save!

This video contest encourages teens to educate themselves and their peers about the value of saving and using money wisely by submitting a short creative video about personal finance. The top three national winners receive $1,000$2,500, and $5,000 to fund their savings goal! Each winner’s school also receives a scholarship for a teacher to attend the Jump$tart National Educator Conference. This is a perfect way to help your teens learn more about critical skills in saving money! Deadline for submitting a video is December 3rd! Learn more about how to submit here.


  1. Conrad Challenge: this competition is not specifically about personal finance, but rather about business and entrepreneurship. However, it provide a great step by step process to help students understand how business, and thereby financial matters work! Learn more about the Conrad Challenge on our database post.
  2. FCCLA Knowledge Matters Virtual Business Challenge: like the Conrad Challenge, this Virtual Business Challenge provides FCCLA students a great way to learn fundamentals of business and finance. Learn more on our database post.
  3. Jumpstart Coalition: this organization provides great materials and programs to help educators and students learn more about financial literacy. Check out their programs on the JumpStart website.
  4. LifeSmarts: this competition provides a fun quizbowl type program in which students are asked about various Lifesmarts topics like personal finance. Competitions are held at regional locations across the country that feed into a National competition. Learn more about this competition on our ICS database post.
  5. Lights Camera Save!: our featured program for personal finance includes great information to help students learn how to save! It also connects students with banks in their local region to teach more about savings accounts and provides real $$$ to help get them started saving! Learn the details on the Lights Camera Save website! Don’t miss this opportunity to help your students get creative with saving!
  6. National Economics Challenge: this challenge is one of the best national competitions for learning about the basics of economics and finance. Students will learn a wide variety of topics to rise through the ranks and gain the national spotlight. Learn more about the challenge from the Council for Economic Education on our ICS database post.
  7. National Personal Finance Challenge: This challenge, also from the Council for Economic Education is focused more specifically on personal finance. Students will have a shot at getting started on the right foot by joining this program. Learn more on our ICS database post.
  8. Practical Money Skills: This site has some fun games and other projects for kids that teach the basics of money skills and personal finance. While not strictly competitions, the gaming aspect makes it more fun and engaging for students of younger ages.
  9. The Stock Market Game: the stock market game has been a long standing fun way to engage students in the basics of investing through stocks. LEarning this aspect of finance will certainly benefit students from a young age on.


Don’t miss out on any of these amazing programs. We’re particularly thankful for to our sponsors at the American Bankers Association for their support in highlighting the importance of personal finance education through great contests and competitions for students. Make sure to check out their featured program, the Lights, Camera Save! student video contest!