Cash Composition Contest


In support of Financial Literacy Month, Michigan State University Extension and 4-H are coordinating the Cash Composition Contest. Youth residing in Michigan, age 9-13 as of (January 1, 2021) are encouraged to answer this year’s essay question (see below) with an essay of 300 words or less. Five finalists will be selected to go on to an interview round and be named this year’s Michigan Money Smart Youth Ambassadors. In this role, they will have opportunities to share their financial knowledge with others across the state and gain leadership skills.


Prizes include:

1st place:  $400

2nd place: $350

3rd place: $300

4th place: $250

5th place: $200



April 5, 2021: Essay Submission due by 11:59 p.m. 

The committee will select five winning essays to move on to the interview round.

April 21, 2021: Finalists Notified

The five finalists will be notified, and interviews scheduled for the week of April 26, 2021.

Cash Composition Topic: 

What is the difference between an investment and savings? What would be a good investment for you? What would be a good investment for your community to create a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment?  Why? Please discuss how your community and you would benefit from these investments.



Candidates Must:
- Between 9-13 years of age (as of Jan 1, 2021) living in the state of Michigan.
- Have knowledge of money management pillars of saving, spending, borrowing, and planning appropriate for age and grade level.
- Be comfortable responding to questions about how they practice good money management skills in their daily lives.
- Not be a previous winner of this essay contest. 

To Apply:

- Student must have parent or guardian permission to apply and participate.

- The application form must be signed by a parent/guardian.

- Student must write an essay (300 words or less) on the assigned topic above.

- Essays must submitted on the contest registration page at:

- The essay must be the work of the student submitting the essay.

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 Monday, April 5, 2021.


Contact Kathy Jamieson at or Laurie Rivetto at