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 9-19 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


Congratulation to our 2023 Contest Winners:

Samantha H. -Cass County

Conner S -Cass County

Marissa H- Berrien County

Brooklyn H-Oakland County

Jordan D- Berrien County