MSU Federal Credit Union Holds Financial Reality Fairs for Students in Greater Lansing
One of MSU Federal Credit Union’s core values is giving back to the community. This year, MSUFCU’s Financial Education Department hosted multiple Financial Reality Fairs for high school students in the early college program at Lansing Community College and Haslett High School. Financial Reality Fairs provide the opportunity for students to learn about finances and budgeting in a real-life setting.
During MSUFCU’s Financial Reality Fairs, students have the opportunity to choose a career that aligns with their future career goals. After selecting a career, students are given an income, student loan debt (if their career requires college or trade school), and a random credit score.
Students are then directed to navigate through several different booths that are staffed with employee volunteers from MSUFCU. Students have to make financial decisions on housing, food, transportation, and more. They even have the opportunity to visit the charity booth and earn a tax credit for bringing in a nonperishable food item. All nonperishable food items that are collected during the Financial Reality Fairs are donated to the local foodbank on behalf of the students.
After students have visited all of the Financial Reality Fair booths they will total up their expenses and work with an MSUFCU financial counselor to see if their budget came out positive or negative. This one-on-one time allows the students to talk through different expenses and financial decisions with MSUFCU employees.
One Haslett High School student noted after going through the Financial Reality Fair that, “This was really fun, I enjoyed learning about finances by playing a game, I am going to go home and thank my mom and dad. Adulting is really expensive.”
Another Haslett High School student said, “Things cost way more than I expected, and it helps us get ready for the real world.”
MSUFCU employees also enjoyed the opportunity to interact with the students. MSUFCU Financial Educator, Courtney, stated “It's always fun to see the students who come in excited to go through the Reality Fair, but my favorite part is watching the students come in who do not think it will benefit them and then slowly watch them get more and more into it. You can see their brains working and processing through the decisions, and then their excitement once we finalize their budget to see where they ended up based on those decisions is priceless. It can be a real wake up call for some, and then reassurance for others who are already thinking about their financial future.”
If your school is interested in learning more about MSUFCU’s Financial Reality Fairs, please reach out to our Financial Education Department at [email protected]