MIAMI COUNTY — Burglary, and the unexpected expenses that come with it, was just one of three no-win financial scenarios the students in the Covington High School-Upper Valley Career Center Satellite course, Personal Financial Management, faced in a 10-week national competition known as The H&R Block Budget Challenge.
The team, CHS-UVCC Lotsa BUCC$, competed Feb. 15 through April 26, in the largest of six 10-week online simulation competitions held in 2017-2018 by the H&R Block Budget Challenge. Out of 51,461 students, grades 9-12, and 2,348 teams, CHS-UVCC Lotsa BUCC$ placed second, with eight of its members earning Top Honors.
Sophomore Joshua Latimer led the team and finished 137th out of 51,461 competitors. Morgan Kimmel, Caleb Roetter-Ditty, Sarah Remley, Madison Jones, Devin Williams, Dylan Lucas, and Madison Hite also earned Top Honors in all three point categories: Credit Worthiness, Knowledge and Skill, and are ranked in the top 200 individuals nationwide. Tyler Owens, Dalton Weer and Madison Kearns finished in the Top 300.
The H&R Block Budget Challenge 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 high schoolers to make real-world mistakes without facing real-world consequences.
Each competition features different “no-win” scenarios that mirror real life. Students must choose the least damaging course of action, and they earn or lose points based on their financial decisions. The difficulty of the scenario the CHS-UVCC Lotsa BUCC$ team faced is easily judged by the span of team scores, ranging from the first place score of +4,873 and the last place score of -27,343. The CHS-UVCC Team came within 116 points of first place, thanks to each member’s dedication, knowledge and skill.
For the past two years, the CHS-UVCC Personal Financial Management classes taught by Gail Young, a UVCC Satellite teacher for CHS, have competed in the H&R Block Budget Challenge, and all five teams have finished in the Top 10 nationwide, with three teams placing second, third and fifth last year out of over ,2300 teams competing.