Financial Literacy: Video Essay Department of Finance at the University of Illinois
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MSW Video Essay Contest 2014

In support of the 2014 Money Smart Week TM Illinois - taking place April 5 through April 12, 2014 - the Department of Finance at the University of Illinois, in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, presents the Seventh Annual Video Essay Contest.


The Essay Contest
  for the YouTube generation

View, Enjoy, and Rate

Submissions due Friday April 4, 2014

Video Essays
View, Enjoy, and Rate

Free Resources
Last Year's Videos
Money Smart Week Dollar Logo

Video Essay Contest Structure

XtraNormalLogo and Link Traditional video essays and video essays built with XtraNormal or the equivalent will compete in the same category, so the emphasis is on how the video delivers the message. The XtraNormal opens the Video Essay Contest up to students without access to the video and editing technology of their own. In this time of education on a shoestring, that should help a lot.

XtraNormal is a free software that translates typed dialog into animated movie. This opens the Video Essay Contest to schools and students that would normally not have access to the videographing and editing software required to produce a traditional video essay. Follow the XtraNormal link for details.

The rules regarding content and form are identical for each segment of the contest. Mixed video (traditional and Xtranormal content together in the same entry) will be included in the tradional segment for judging purposes.

Video Essay Topic 2014

student with video camera

This year the video essay must address some aspect of money management for students. This includes any topic relevant to Financial Literacy approved by the supervising teacher.

Be Money Smart

Students need to be money smart. Videos can address any aspect of earning, saving, or spending money, either in terms of what you need to know and do, to what you should avoid. Videos will be judged on the basis of their message. Is this a viseo we can show to all our students to help be more aware of how or why they can be money smart.

These topics might be of interest to language and social science classes as well as business, investments, and economics classes. For example, a Spanish class could do "What I need to know about Banking" for Spanish Speakers".


Video Essay Prizes

First Prize: $500
Second Prize: $250

Prizes sponsored by


JBO Teacher Prizes

  • In recognition for all the extras in supervising the winning video essay: $200.
  • In recognition for all the extras in supervising the second place video essay: $100.

Teacher prizes are given in memory of Jacques Bernard Oltheten, who would have loved this.
The prize committee reserves the right to adjust the prizes based on the quantity and quality of the videos received for submission.

Money Smart Week is an registered service mark of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

The Video Essay Contest is an annual event. The best video modules become permanent residents on a Financial Literacy web site so than anyone and everyone can learn the lessons - or at least mini-lessons - offered by our students. © Copyright 2007 Department of Finance, University of Illinois