Financial Literacy Program

Video Essay Contest

Video Essay Contest

Money Smart Week

In support of the 2018 Money Smart WeekTM Illinois - taking place April 21 to April 28, 2018 - the Department of Finance at the University of Illinois, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, presents the eleventh Annual Video Essay Contest.

High School students are encouraged to produce and submit a Video Essay on the topic of Financial Literacy. In 2008 the topic was the student's relationship with a financial institution. In 2009 the topic was the financial crisis. In 2017 the topic was banking and financial services. Every year we explore a different topic.

Students are encouraged to research the topic and to create a video essay that teachers, parents, and other students can use to learn about the topic at hand. The Video Essay can be a dramatization, animation, coordinated stills - whatever the students need to communicate their ideas and lessons about financial literacy.

Heartland Bank

Video Essay Topic 2018

This year the video essay must address some aspect of borrowing or lending money. Possible topics include:

  • What happens when you borrow money?
  • What happens when you lend money to someone?
  • Should students go into debt to go to school?
    What should you know about student loans before you get one?
  • Should you get a credit card?
  • Why is it different borrowing money from your parents than from a bank? Or from a pay-day loan? Or title company?
  • What is a credit score? Why would a student actually want one?

Be Money Smart

Rules Apply

Students need to be money smart. Videos can address any aspect of this year's topic - either in terms of what you need to know and do, to what you should avoid. Videos will be judged on the basis of the message. Is this a video we can show to all our students to help be more aware of how or why they can be money smart.

Note that in order to win, the video MUST comply with all the rules of the contest.

These topics might be of interest to language and social science classes as well as business, investments, and economics classes. For example, a Spanish class could do "Common myths about saving" for Spanish Speakers".


Video Essay Prizes

First Prize: $500
Second Prize: $250

Prizes sponsored by

JBO Teacher Prizes

In recognition for all the extras in supervising the winning video essay: $200.
In recognition for all the extras in supervising the second place video essay: $100.

Teacher prizes are given in memory of Jacques Bernard Oltheten, who would have loved this.

* The committee reserves the right to adjust the prizes based on the quantity and quality of the videos received for submission.