Reality for Life
In the Spring of 2022, the LS Mathematics and Financial Literacy departments hosted a financial education fair for the graduating senior class. The Reality for Life Fair is a nationally recognized program designed to help students develop personal financial management skills that they will use throughout their lives. Specifically, this was an interactive half day fair during which students played the roles of 25-year-old adults and were assigned professions and annual salaries. Working within a budget determined by their monthly “income” and credit score, students visited multiple booths over a predetermined time to make “purchase” decisions utilizing cash, credit or savings. During the course of the Reality for Life Fair students faced a variety of unexpected occurrences: their ‘car’ breaks down and needs extensive repairs; their ‘pet’ needs to go to the vet; etc. At the conclusion of the day they are required to visit the Credit Counseling Booth where they check their “credit” and determine whether they were indeed living within their budget. This event engages students collaboratively and employs hands-on learning to stimulate students’ thinking about their financial futures.