Media Advisory: Students to test their money skills in regional competition

Release Date: March 23, 2017 This content is archived.


BUFFALO, N.Y. — Why is your credit score important, and how can you protect it? What should you consider before renting or buying a home? How do you calculate your debt-to-income ratio?

These are a few of the issues a record 1,113 high school students across Western New York will face in this year’s MoneySKILL® Mania competition, sponsored by the University at Buffalo School of Management and M&T Bank.

Now in its 10th year, the financial literacy competition tests students’ understanding of basic money management concepts — including budgeting, credit, income, insurance and saving — so they can effectively use this knowledge in their daily lives. The top-scoring student from all schools will win an Apple iPad Air, while the second- and third-place students will each win $250 for college. Additional prizes are awarded for the top three teachers overall, and the top student in each competing school.

Why it’s important: As high school students prepare to attend college, enter the workforce or serve in the military, it’s critical for them to understand how to manage their finances — a skill young people lack, research consistently shows. Last year, a PwC study found only a quarter of millennials had basic financial knowledge.

The competition aims to increase awareness of MoneySKILL, a free, online curriculum that teaches personal finance through interactive, self-directed modules. More than 700,000 students nationwide have registered to use MoneySKILL since it was developed in 2004 by Lewis Mandell, professor emeritus of finance in the UB School of Management, for the American Financial Services Association (AFSA) Education Foundation.

What: While the competition plays out at individual schools throughout March, journalists are invited to see MoneySKILL Mania in action at Buffalo Public School 212, where Barbara Trietley incorporates the program into her career and financial management class. Through the course, students develop skills in résumé and cover letter writing, goal-setting, interviewing and financial literacy.

Who: Students will participate in a fun, interactive game that tests MoneySKILL concepts, during which media are encouraged to capture photos and video. Trietley can discuss how she teaches personal finance using MoneySKILL, and representatives from the UB School of Management and M&T Bank will speak on the benefits of financial literacy education.

When: 9-10 a.m. on March 30.

Where: Buffalo Public School 212 Leonardo da Vinci High School, 320 Porter Ave., Buffalo. (Enter through the front door and proceed to the main office on the second floor. Street parking is available on Porter and Fargo avenues.)

The UB School of Management and M&T Bank have partnered for more than a decade to provide outreach, teacher training and the MoneySKILL Mania competition to help regional high school students improve their financial literacy. In that time, more than 22,000 local students have registered to use the MoneySKILL program.

M&T Bank Corporation is a financial holding company headquartered in Buffalo, New York. M&T’s principal banking subsidiary, M&T Bank, operates banking offices in New York, Maryland, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Connecticut, Virginia, West Virginia and the District of Columbia. Trust-related services are provided by M&T’s Wilmington Trust-affiliated companies and by M&T Bank.

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, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report 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

Media Contact Information

Matthew Biddle
Assistant Director of Communications
School of Management