Friday, August 20, 2010

Game Time: Higher One issues 'Money Makeover' challenge to college students

To help college students improve their money management skills and become financially fit, Higher One has launched an online competition that's meant to be fun and interactive.

Higher One is a financial services provider in New Haven, Conn. that works with colleges and universities to provide financial aid refunds quickly, tuition and bill payments online, on-campus and community purchases with ID cards and programs for learning the basics of financial management.

The company was founded by Yale University students in 2000. It now provides its services to more than 4.8 million students at higher education institutions nationwide.

"Our 'Money Makeover' contest is not only a fun and interactive way to bring financial literacy to our students, but will teach them lifelong skills of financial management that will span beyond the competition, and even beyond college," said Mary Johnson, financial literacy and consumer advocacy program manager for Higher One. "The contest reinforces the importance of setting and actively working toward financial goals-both short and long term-and teaches students the essential skills of budgeting and managing their money along the way."

Here's how the contest works: Students will be asked to submit short video entries that demonstrate why they need a financial makeover and identify the specific goals that they would like to achieve.  Up to five 'Featured Bloggers' will be selected to share their challenges and progress toward their goal.

Peers will be able to follow the Featured Bloggers on their journeys and vote for the individual who they believe has shown the most improvement.

The competition is open to all students currently attending a college or university that uses Higher One’s services in addition to all existing Higher One OneAccount holders. Visit for details and official rules.

  • Four Featured Bloggers will get a cash prize of $500 to put toward their goal.
  • One grand prize winner will receive $2000.
Higher One, in partnership with NYSE Money Sense, the online financial resource of NYSE Euronext, will offer expert information and tips to help students control their debt, create and follow a budget and effectively manage their money.

"We are excited to be a part of the Higher One Money Makeover contest and to team up with a company that has made financial literacy a priority," said David Cautin, chief digital officer of NYSE Euronext.  "Money management skills are essential for the financial future of our students, our economy and our nation. Higher One’s contest will bring awareness to campuses across the country and teach financial literacy to our next generation of leaders."

Featured Bloggers will be announced soon - Oct. 11 - and the blogging and voting period will begin.

The grand prize winner will be announced on Nov.19.

"You don’t have to be a Featured Blogger to undergo a money makeover," Johnson said. "Whether a contestant, participant or observer, everyone will have the opportunity to learn invaluable skills about money management and pave the path to a successful financial future."

NYSE Euronext launched NYSE Money Sense, a resource to help people better understand and manage their personal finances, in April 2010. The interactive site includes: a five-lesson course replete with Certification Test, answers to basic Financial FAQs, a guide to other online financial resources and a first-person blog by a young New Yorker trying to get her finances in order.

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