October 2015

Financial Literacy and Economic Education Information for Pennsylvania Educators
New Financial Education Resources Available on iTunes U


The Making Cents project is excited to announce the newest addition to the Pennsylvania Learns line up of iTunes U courses: Personal Finance for High School. In just the "soft-launch" stage, the course has already received thousands of downloads from all over the world and been featured as a "Standout Course" by Apple on the iTunes U app. 


This "course" is really a collection of online resources that can be used by teachers or students who want to augment personal finance lessons with digital resources. It includes links to videos, apps, games, articles, and podcasts and is organized to align to the PA Model High School Personal Finance Course. 


To locate the course, use the iTunes U app or access iTunes U through iTunes on a computer and then search for Pennsylvania Learns. The Personal Finance for High School will be the first resource listed. 


Please email Making Cents project coordinator, Hilary Hunt, if you need assistance with the course, have resources you would suggest adding in a future update, or would be interested in participating in a team of educators on versions for PreK- grade 8. 

Upcoming Making Cents Webinars 
The 2015-2016 Making Cents Webinar Series is underway! There are five more opportunities to participate. Check out the dates and topics below. Register now for one or many of the available sessions. 

Each webinar provides valuable content information as well as free curriculum resources to help teach core personal finance concepts.  

All Making Cents webinars are available at no charge and provide Act 48 for participants with a valid PPID. Two sessions are held each day to accommodate various schedules: 3:00pm - 4:30pm and 6:30pm - 8:00pm. Registration is available here

Date Topic
November 12th  Earning Money
  • Brian Farester from the Public School Employees' Retirement System (PSERS) will discuss understanding retirement benefits as a school employee
  • Brian Page from Budget Challenge will share this innovative and free budgeting game with scholarship opportunities for student winners
  • Susan Sharkey from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) will highlight their High School Financial Planning Program and new MoneyTeach website
January 29th  Borrowing Money
February 18th  Financial Services
March 12th  Risk Management
April 22nd Saving and Investing

As specific speakers and topics are announced, they will be posted on the Making Cents Project website. Archived versions of previous sessions are also available there.
Join the Budget Challenge

Budget Challenge® is an award winning and patented personal finance simulation where young people can experience how to manage money in a real life setting. 

The "learn-by-doing" approach puts students in the driver's seat in the Road Test for Personal Finance®.  Students receive paychecks and bills in real time and are challenged to manage their payments and save money for retirement in a 401k.

This competition-style, web based simulation integrates traditional standards-aligned material with modern technology. Budget Challenge® has teamed up with H&R Block to make this program free to schools with a chance for students to win up to $3 million in scholarships. Awarding over 130 separate $20,000 college scholarships for students makes this an opportunity that can really change their lives. 

As reported in a recent Time.com article, Budget Challenge® participants were surveyed and found to have benefited from using the program. 
The teacher registration and class creation deadlines for spring simulations are in January and very early February, but you can register today! Registration details for the free 10-week H&R Block Budget Challenge® simulations are found at:  www.hrbds.org
Online Financial Education Survey


If you are a current or retired classroom teacher or administrator, please take just five minutes and complete a survey on financial
education in Pennsylvania. Do you think personal finance should be taught in PA Schools? Answer this and other questions here.  

C Bowen
Expand Your Knowledge:
Ne w EMV Chip Enabled Credit Cards
by Cathy Faulcon Bowen, Ph.D.

If you use credit cards, by now you may have noticed yet anot her change with them that started occurring earlier this year. A small glossy looking rectangular chip is being added to new and reissued credit cards. Such EMV chip credit cards are named for their developers, Europay, MasterCard, and Visa. These cards use a new encryption or code for each in-person transaction and thereby make it more difficult for thieves to copy and use credit cards for fraudulent transactions.
EMV Chip
Chip enabled cards have been used in other countries since the early 1990's. Why the change now in the United States? EMV chip technology is becoming the global standard for credit card and deb it card payments. In addition, as of October 1, 2015, the cost of fraudulent transactions in stores not using chip-enabled card readers will become the responsibility of merchants instead of credit card issuers. In short, merchants will now bear the cost of fraudulent purchases made in-person.
So what changes can consumers expect when using EMV credit cards. In stores with chip readers, the chip end of credit cards must be inserted in a card reader.  You will wait (less than a minute) and after being prompted by the card reader, sign for the transaction and remove your credit card once the transaction is complete.  Eventually, as the U. S. migrates to using the EMV technology, consumers will be asked to use a PIN instead of signing for transactions.  If you happen to be in a check-out line and several customers are using chip enabled cards, it will take a little longer to check out but probably not as long as it would if everyone was writing paper checks! The magnetic strip still remains on chip-enabled cards so transactions can be processed if merchants have not switched to chip card readers. 
Finally, EMV credit cards will do no more to deter online fraudulent transactions.  With the shift to EMV card readers for in-person transactions, an increase in online fraud is expected in the U. S. as scam artists look for easier targets. It is thus becoming even more important to practice caution when shopping online. Monitor your monthly credit card statements and check your credit report annually at http://www.annualcreditreport.com.  Savvy, educated consumers are still the best defense against fraud in the marketplace!
Calling all Superintendents and Principals: 
A Webinar for Administrators
Are you interested in how your school can do more in the area of financial education either through a standalone course or integrating more personal finance into existing courses? Do you wonder how and why some schools are making an extra effort to make sure every student graduates with a firm understanding of personal finance concepts? Or, do you want to see how your teachers can learn more about teaching personal finance using free resources available through the Pennsylvania Department of Education and Penn State's Making Cents Project?

If you answer yes to any of these questions, watch the recording  of our recent webinar specifically for administrators. 
Presenters included:
  • Hilary Hunt, Making Cents Project 
  • Dr. Andrew Hill, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia
  • David Christopher, Juniata Valley School District  
This 60-minute webinar is available in the Making Cents archives at  http://www.makingcentspa.org/webinars.html .

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About this Message 

Making Cents is a cooperative effort by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania State University. If you find the content useful, please consider forwarding it to your colleagues. 

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Team Members:

Sally Flaherty, PDE

Cathy F. Bowen, PSU

Hilary Hunt, Consultant

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Find even more resources from The Making Cents Project at www.makingcentspa.org!