SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Business

March 20, 2013

The Game of Life gets real

Danvers High students learn financial literacy at Reality Check Fair

DANVERS — Seniors learned the hard lesson that their student loans are going to cost them big time someday during a Reality Check Fair held Monday in the Berry Building of North Shore Community College.

“Student loans are huge right now,” said Kathryn Gadzera, a Danvers High business technology teacher who helps with the financial literacy fair, which is organized by People’s United Bank. “So that is what is tripping up a lot of them, now, because the student loans are so much.”

With the help of Danvers High staff and more than 70 volunteers, more than 200 students took part in a life-size version of The Game of Life. The kids pretended they were 25 years old and venturing out on their own for the first time.

Now in its seventh year, Reality Check is a required program that takes some preparation beforehand. About 200 People’s United employee hours go into planning it. In December, students picked an occupation during a one-hour introduction. Students also attended a two-hour presentation last week on credit scores and how to obtain a credit report.

For their chosen occupation, they were given a real-world salary with taxes and Social Security deducted. They were also given a randomly assigned, made-up credit score. They visited various booths to buy furniture, find housing, pick up groceries, enroll in a health insurance plan and decide whether they can afford cable TV, among other things. Their goal was to break even.

“Some students are really blown away when they realize all the things they have to balance,” Gadzera said.

Many students wrestled with student loan debt, Gadzera said. In the simulation, students rolled dice to see how much they would have to pay and whether they would win any scholarships.

“The student loan is the high-dollar figure for the students this year,” said Kevin Noyes, the community development and community reinvestment act officer for Massachusetts with People’s United Bank, and Reality Check’s coordinator.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Business

AP Video
After Fukushima, Japan Eyes Solar Power New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech New York Auto Show Highlights Latest in Car Tech High-flying Tech Stocks a Concern for Investors "Heartbleed" Bug Puts Internet Security at Risk AP Tech Review: Samsung Galaxy S5 Toyota Recalls 1.8M Vehicles in the US Comcast Executive: 'Merger Not a Problem' Microsoft Ends Support for Windows XP Study: Airline Industry Complaints Drop in 2013 Study: Airline Industry Complaints Drop in 2013 Employers Add 192K Jobs; Rate Stays at 6.7 Pct Senators Press Barra About GM's Delay in Recall More Americans See Middle Class Status Slipping GM CEO Faces House Hearing on Recall NHTSA: GM Should 'Fix Vehicles Quickly' GM's CEO Testifies on Faulty Ignition Switches Owner, Families Share Cobalt Stories Jury Selection Begins in Apple-Samsung Case BMW Plans $1 Billion Expansion in South Carolina
NDN Video
Man Accuses 'X-Men' Director Bryan Singer of Sexually Abusing Him As a Teenager Lea Michele & Naya Rivera Feuding? Don't Be A Tattletale: Bad Bullying Tips For Students Jabari Parker declares for the NBA draft Singing Nun Belts Out Cyndi Lauper Swim Daily, Throwback Thursday The trillest thoughts on marijuana "RHOA" Star Charged With Battery Grizzly Bears Get Snowy Birthday Party Weatherman draws forecast when another technical glitch strikes WGN Elizabeth Olsen's Sexy Shoot Bay Area Teen Gets Prom Date With Help From 'Breaking Bad' Star Boston Bomb Scare Defendant Appears in Court Behind The Tanlines Jersey Strong Part 1 WATCH: Women Fight To Marry Prince Harry! Jenny McCarthy Engaged to "New Kid" Kate and Will Land in Oz O’Reilly Launches Preemptive Strike Against CBS Pixar Unveils Easter Eggs From its Biggest Movies Baby Sloths Squeak for Their Cuddle Partners in Adorable Video
Comments Trcker