Cash Composition Contest

Cash Composition Contest 23 

About the Contest

In support of Financial Literacy Month (April), Michigan State University Extension and 4-H are coordinating the Cash Composition Contest. Youth residing in Michigan, age 9-12 as of (January 1, 2023) are encouraged to answer this year’s essay question (see below) with an essay of 300 words or less. The 5 top scoring essays will each win $100 gift card thanks to the generous sponsorship by Extra Credit Union.


April 30, 2023: Essay Submission due by 11:59 p.m.

May 31, 2023: Winners Notified

Cash Composition Topic: 

What is the difference between a need and want?  Discuss how you determine if something is a need or a want.   How can you make sure you have enough money to get your needs and still enjoy some of your wants? Share how needs and wants might change throughout one's life? 

Essays are scored on:

  • Quality of Writing
  • Organization and Information
  • Grammar and Mechanics


Participants must:
- Between 9-12 years of age (as of Jan 1, 2023) living in the state of Michigan.
- Have knowledge of money management pillars of saving, spending, borrowing, and planning appropriate for age and grade level.

To Apply:

  • Youth must have parent or guardian permission to apply and participate.
  • The application form must be completed by a parent/guardian.
  • Youth must write an essay (300 words or less) on the assigned topic above.
  • Essays must be submitted on the contest registration page.  

Submit Essay Here

  • The essay must be the work of the student submitting the essay. It is highly recommended that youth write their essay prior to completing the registration/submission form.

All essays become the property of the Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development Program  and may be used by contest coordinators  to promote financial literacy.

All submissions must be received by 11:59 pm (EST) on April 30, 2023.

Prize Sponsors:

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Contact Kathy Jamieson at or Laurie Rivetto at

Download Cash Composition Contest Flyer


Congratulation to our 2022 Contest Winners

Elijah Caron - Marquette County
Estevan Mendez - Macomb County
Matthew Lemnaru - Ottawa County
Madyson Smith - Macomb County