Financial Literacy: Video Essay Department of Finance at the University of Illinois
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MSW Video Essay Contest 2015

In support of the 2015 Money Smart Week TM Illinois - taking place April 18 through April 24, 2015 - the Department of Finance at the University of Illinois, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, presents the Eighth Annual Video Essay Contest.


The Essay Contest
  for the YouTube generation

View, Enjoy, and Rate

Submissions due Friday April 10, 2015

Video Essays
View, Enjoy, and Rate

Free Resources
Last Year's Videos
Money Smart Week Dollar Logo

Video Essay Topic 2015

student with video camera

This year the video essay must address some aspect of saving for and by students. Possible topics include:

  • Starting Early: How and why should I save.
  • What are the obstacles to saving?
  • What banking or institutional innovations could make saving easier.
  • Common myths about saving.
  • Making sense of saving for college.
  • What happens if I don't save?

Be Money Smart

Students need to be money smart. Videos can address any aspect of earning, saving, or spending money, either in terms of what you need to know and do, to what you should avoid. Videos will be judged on the basis of their 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 prize committee reserves the right to adjust the prizes based on the quantity and quality of the videos received for submission.

Money Smart Week is an registered service mark of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

The Video Essay Contest is an annual event. The best video modules become permanent residents on a Financial Literacy web site so than anyone and everyone can learn the lessons - or at least mini-lessons - offered by our students. © Copyright 2007 Department of Finance, University of Illinois