Five Champlain Valley Union High School students put their knowledge of personal finance and economics to the test in last month’s Treasury Cup Challenge.
The students’ preparation paid off because the team, coached by CVU educators Tamie-Jo Dickinson and Colleen Wedge, scored a second-place finish in the competition. Mount Mansfield students took home the top prize, and South Burlington High School rounded out the top three finishers in the ninth annual competition.
“The Vermont Treasury Cup Challenge encourages students to learn about personal finance, economics, and consumer affairs,” said State Treasurer Beth Pearce. “I commend these students for putting their knowledge to the test. This is a rigorous competition that requires focus and determination. Our hope is that, by challenging students, we help spark an interest in personal finance concepts that will last a lifetime.”
The competition was held in Montpelier last month, and teams from throughout Vermont competed. Along with Dickinson and Wedge, students who participated include Max Pudvar, Jack Caswell, Will Ravell, Amelia Pflaster, and Preston Webb.
Pudvar said the competition tested students’ knowledge already gleaned from their CVU classes. “The only preparation we really did was review some material from past years,” said Max. “The really exciting part about the whole thing was that we all already had the knowledge from other classes. I’m pretty sure most of us had already taken economics and personal finance so to have that background was huge.” Pudvar added, “Our business department has done a great job making sure we all retain important information and preparing us for the future which helped us at the event.”
Teammate Will Ravell noted that teamwork was the key to success. “The biggest takeaway that I took from the competition was the strengths that everyone can bring to a team.”
The competition itself is a double-elimination tournament, with teams comprised of four to six students. When in the heat of the competition, questions and answers fly back and forth in a quiz-style atmosphere. Students fielded questions in round one on topics ranging from the responsible use of credit and ways to budget money to understanding taxes and the purchase of a house. In the next set, students talked about the economy, rate of inflation, the Gross Domestic Product, the importance of the unemployment rate, how the stock markets work, and monetary policy. The final lightning round allowed students to compete to answer questions, covering both personal finance and economics.
Because of their second-place finish, students on the CVU team each received a $250 college savings account. First-place finishers each got $500 accounts earmarked for college.