Professor talking in front of class in Bloomberg finance lab

High School Programs in Financial Literacy

Programs designed to introduce High School students to a variety of financial topics

Each program listed below is organized to run for one class period, typically 45-60 minutes. Extracurricular organizations are also great avenues for these programs. We are happy to chat if you wish to run a program for more than a classroom of students at a time.

Life in College: Time and Money

Financial hardships are usually cited as the #1 reason students drop out of college. Current North Central College students will talk with your students about life in college from their perspective. North Central students share what they wish they would have known before they started college.

Our student won’t speak at your students; they will speak with your students. This session is designed to be half college student led and half conversational Q&A with your students. These sessions will encourage your students to make healthier financial decisions and empower them with useful strategies to manage their stress which can lead to collegiate success.

Topics covered will include student loans, budgeting & credit cards, internships, participating in clubs and sports, and dealing with academic rigor.

Financial Reality Fairs

The Center will team with a local credit union to run a fun and interactive program with your students as they practice making real life financial decisions and receive valuable feedback.

“Mad City Money is an interactive budgeting simulation directed towards high school students. Students take on a “new life” including a career, children and debt! They are challenged to purchase a house, clothes, transportation, home goods, and so much more.

Through this experience, we want the students to feel what it is like in the real world, even if it is just for a couple of hours! It is our hope that by the end of this event, students will walk away with a little more life experience. With your help, we can better prepare them for success!” – Great Lakes Credit Union

This program will take more advanced notice than the other programs given we will be working with a credit union.

College students talking to high school students

Personal Finance Games

Help put the FUN into FUNancial Literacy!

Empower your students through fun and relevant interactive personal finance games. Current North Central students will lead your students through personal finance games. Students will practice making financial decisions through entertaining activities. We believe that learning happens even when you don’t realize you’re learning!

We continue the fun through discussing takeaways and debriefing lessons learned with your students.

Examples of games we can run with your students (subject matter in parentheses):

  • The Budget Puzzle (budgeting, saving) – Great for general audience

In this lesson, students complete a hands-on activity in which they must decide how to spend a hypothetical income. Along the way students learn about the tradeoffs involved in financial decision making.

  • Credit Score Challenge (credit scores, credit cards, budgeting) – Great for general audience

In this lesson, students play a simple board game to learn about the importance of credit scores and the factors that affect one’s credit score. 

  • Get a Clue about Investing, based off the popular game Clue (Investing, stocks, bonds) – Best for a finance specific class or group

In this lesson, students play a board game to become familiar with a variety of financial assets and investment accounts.

  • The Free Trade Game (relative value, gains from trade – more economics related) – Great for general audience in economics

In this lesson, students will play a game to show the value of free trade. Each student will be given [fake] resources/ goods that they can then trade with other students to hopefully make themselves better off.

  • Net Worth – The FUN Money Game, based off the popular game Uno (debt, budgeting) – Great for general audience

In this lesson, students will aim to strategically get rid of debt and collect assets while unleashing financial doom on other players. Become debt free to end the game, but remember, the player with the highest net worth wins!

  • Occupational Uno, based off the popular game Uno (employment, education, salaries, job barriers) – Great for general audience in economics

In this lesson, students will play a card game to learn about different occupations and their related median wages, entry-level education requirements, and near-term anticipated change in employment.

  • ThriveTime for Teens (budgeting, investing, stocks, time management) – Great for general audience

In this lesson, students will play a reality board game where students are led through life after high school. Students will be faced with money and life decisions like buying cars, managing expenses, giving back to their community, paying for college, using credit cards, buying stocks, and starting businesses.

Bloomberg Financial Lab

Visit North Central campus in Naperville for an evening spent in the state of-the-art Bloomberg Financial Lab utilizing the software platform that provides trusted real-time and historical data, market-moving news, and analytics to help business and financial professionals make informed investment decisions. Students will be able to sit at and actually use the same terminals Wall Street professionals use.

Bloomberg is the industry standard for finance and business, offering a wealth of information and analysis and more than 10,000 screens of data. The lab’s workstations are equipped with dual monitors and Bloomberg’s unique keyboards.

We have prepared activities for students during their session in the Lab, however we are happy to align your visit with certain topics or activities you run in your classroom. We can also cover the dinner expense, along with college SWAG.

students in bloomberg lab

Financial Literacy Speaker Series

Visit North Central campus in Naperville for an evening seminar on a personal finance topic. Learn something new, have a free dinner, win some raffle prizes, pick up some college SWAG. 

Session topics include student loans, budgeting & credit cards, investing, renting vs. buying, life/health insurance, cryptocurrency, taxes, managing money in relationships, among others. 

Events are regularly scheduled, approximately 6 times a year. We have sign-in forms to track attendance, we are happy to share the attendance from individuals from your organization.

Groups and parents are welcome to attend! We suggest a few days’ notice for attendees to ensure we have enough food.

Speaker Series in Old Main

Empowering Individuals to Make Healthy Financial Decisions

At North Central College, part of our mission is leveraging our resources to better our community. Our goal is to educate our internal and external communities on a variety of Financial Literacy topics, which include personal finances, budgeting, student loans, investing, and much more.