Cash Composition Contest


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, 2022) are encouraged to answer this year’s essay question (see below) with an essay of 300 words or less. The top scoring essays will each win $100 with the submission of a W-9.


April 11, 2022: Essay Submission due by 11:59 p.m.

May 13, 2022: Winners Notified

Cash Composition Topic: 

When it comes to saving, paying yourself first is important. What does “pay yourself first” mean to you? Delayed gratification plays a large role in achieving savings goals. How do you practice delayed gratification? What strategies would you provide a friend who is struggling with saving?

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, 2022) 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 11, 2022.

 Prize Sponsors:200x200


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

For a great read, check out last year's winning essays!