Cash Composition Contest

Congratulation to our 2024 Contest Winners:

9-13 year old:

Aubrey D (Eaton County)

Reagan M (Van Buren County)

Olive F (Oakland County)


14-19 year old:

Paige D (Wayne County)

Anna H (Clinton County)

Amy S (Washtenaw County)


The 2024 contest is complete!  Please stay tuned for the 2025 Cash Composition Contest details in the future and keep learning about money management for your financial future!


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 9-19 as of (January 1, 2024) are encouraged to answer this year’s essay question (see below) with an essay of 300 words or less. This year, we have 2 age brackets for the contest; 9-13 and 14-19. The top 3 scoring essays in each age bracket will win $100 gift card.


February 29, 2024: Essay Submission due by 11:59 p.m.

April 1, 2024: Winners Announced

Cash Composition Topic: 

What is a budget? Discuss the different types of income and expenses that make up your budget. How does a budget help you manage money?

Essays are scored on:

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


Participants must :
- Be between 9-19 years of age (as of Jan 1, 2024) living in the state of Michigan.
- Have knowledge of money management pillars of saving, spending, borrowing, and planning appropriate for age and grade level.

Resources to Prepare:

To Apply:

  • Youth under 18 must have parent or guardian permission to apply and participate.
  • The application form must be completed by a parent/guardian unless over 18.
  • 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 February 29, 2024.

Prize Sponsors:

Thank you to our amazing  contest sponsor, Extra Credit Union!
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Download Contest Flyer


Contact Kathy Jamieson at or Laurie Rivetto at