Essay writing for college funding: Put your money story to good work

Continue to reduce your college costs by telling your financial story and submitting it to the Cashcourse “My Story Essay Contest."

According to Collegeboard’s Grants and Scholarships page, post-secondary students received a total of $123.8 billion in scholarships and grants in 2014-15. A previous Michigan State University Extension article, “Continue funding your education by applying for scholarships,” highlighted the value of continuing your search for funding through essay contests for scholarships.

The National Endowment for Financial Education is currently offering such an opportunity through their CashCourse program. This contest asks you to share your story by describing one of your earliest money memories, what you learned from it and how it shaped your approach or attitude towards your future financial life. Sharing your story gives you the chance to win the grand cash prize of $1,500. Second place receives $750 and four runner up places will receive $250.

The contest ends Nov. 17, 2017. Criteria for the essay judging includes completeness (35 percent), creativity (35 percent) and writing quality/grammar (30 percent). Participants should focus on creativity as this will be the category that determines ranking in the case of a tie.

To participate in the National Endowment for Financial Education “My Story Essay Contest,” you must be:

  • A legal resident of the 50 United States or the District of Columbia.
  • At least 18 years of age.
  • Currently enrolled in a not-for-profit accredited college or university.
  • Currently enrolled in CashCourse (setting up an account is free and easy).

You may enter the contest online during the contest period by going to My Story Essay Contest.

Once you sign up for a free CashCourse account, it can assist you in your pursuit of reducing your college costs. Cashcourse is a customizable online tool that can help college-age students build the financial skills they need to get through school and prepare for the future. It offers a place for college-age students to:

  • Build a budget.
  • Create a student loan repayment plan.
  • Get answers to their money questions from financial experts.
  • Utilize quizzes and calculators to make financial decisions.
  • Track their progress on money-related tasks to keep on a good path.
  • Gain access to relatable articles and resources.

The National Endowment for Financial Education’s mission is dedicated to inspiring empowered financial decision-making for individuals and families through every stage of life. The National Endowment for Financial Education also offers great online programs centered on money management that include Smart About Money and On Your Own.

MSU Extension and Michigan Credit Union League also partner with the National Endowment for Financial Education’s High School Financial Planning Program to train instructors and support financial education that takes place around the topic of financial education in the state. MSU Extension offers additional money management resources and upcoming events related to money management.

Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H Youth Development help to prepare young people for successful futures. As a result of career exploration and workforce preparation activities, thousands of Michigan youth are better equipped to make important decisions about their professional future, ready to contribute to the workforce and able to take fiscal responsibility in their personal lives.

To learn about the positive impact of Michigan 4-H youth career preparation, money management and entrepreneurship programs, read the 2016 Impact Report: “Preparing Michigan Youth for Future Careers and Employment.”

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