Competition creates finance fanatics in area high schools

Students from the Personal Finance Academy at Hamburg High School show off the money they won for a class party by participating in the 2013 MoneySKILL @ School personal finance competition.

Release Date: June 12, 2013

Cynthia Shore, senior assistant dean for alumni and external relations, presents Christopher Sanfilippo from Orchard Park High School with an iPad for achieving the highest individual score in the 2013 MoneySKILL @ School personal finance competition.

Students from Harkness Career and Technical Center show off the money they won for a class party by participating in the 2013 MoneySKILL @ School personal finance competition.

BUFFALO, N.Y. -- More than 400 students put their personal finance skills to the test in this year’s “MoneySKILL® Mania @ School,” a financial literacy competition for high school students sponsored by the University at Buffalo School of Management and M&T Bank.

Now in its sixth year, MoneySKILL Mania was designed to increase awareness of MoneySKILL, a free, interactive Internet curriculum designed to educate students to make informed financial decisions on a variety of personal finance issues, including income, money management, spending, credit, saving and investing.

In past years, the School of Management hosted the MoneySKILL Mania competition at UB’s North Campus. But with with fewer resources available for schools to send students to UB, the MoneySKILL Mania competition took place in the high schools this year.

Cynthia Shore, senior assistant dean for alumni and external relations, says the move was a success.

“When we held the competition at UB we could only host 100 students,” she says. “This year, we were able to get more than four times the number of students involved through MoneySKILL Mania @ School. We’re thrilled that more students than ever before had the chance to hone their personal finance skills in a fun and challenging way.”

Christopher Sanfilippo from Orchard Park High School was the highest scoring individual student and was awarded an Apple iPad. Trevor Colley from Bolivar Richburg High School and Shane Curren from Dunkirk High School took second and third place, respectively, and each won a $250 prize. The student with the highest score at each remaining school won a $50 Amazon gift card.

In addition, two schools were chosen in a drawing from each class that submitted a photo of their students playing MoneySKILL Mania @ School. Hamburg High School and Harkness Career and Technical Center were the winning schools and each received about $200 for a class party.

In total, 16 private, public and charter high schools participated in the competition: Bolivar Richburg High School, Brocton Central High School, Cattaraugus Little Valley High School, Clarence High School, Dunkirk High School, Fredonia Central School, Genesee Valley Central School, Hamburg High School, Harkness Career and Technical Center, Health Sciences Charter School, Hutch Tech High School, Iroquois High School, Lancaster High School, Orchard Park High School, Sacred Heart Academy and W.D. Ormsby Center.

MoneySKILL was developed by Lewis Mandell, professor emeritus of finance and managerial economics in the UB School of Management, in collaboration with the American Financial Services Association Education Foundation.

Tests of the financial knowledge of teenagers consistently show poor performance. For example, in the latest Jump$tart Survey of Financial Literacy among High School Students, a survey of 12th graders, participants answered an average of only 48.3% of the test questions correctly. Over the past 10 years, scores have ranged from a high of 57% to the 2008 low of 48.3%—all within the range of a failing grade.

M&T Bank and the UB School of Management have partnered since 2006 to provide outreach, teacher training and the MoneySKILL Mania competition in an effort to help Western New York high school students improve their financial literacy.

M&T Bank Corporation, founded in 1856, is one of the top 20 commercial bank holding companies in the nation, with $83 billion in assets and more than 725 branch offices in New York, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia and Washington D.C. More information is available at

The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal for the quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides its graduates. For more information about the UB School of Management, visit

The University at Buffalo is a premier research-intensive public university, a flagship institution in the State University of New York system and its largest and most comprehensive campus. UB’s more than 28,000 students pursue their academic interests through more than 300 undergraduate, graduate and professional degree programs. Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo is a member of the Association of American Universities.

Media Contact Information

Kevin Manne
Assistant Director of Communications
School of Management