Congratulations to Andrea Jackson from Franklin Public School (Franklin) and Claire Margetts from Chadron High School (Chadron).
Each of the 150 national Honorable Mention winners (listed here) will receive a $500 award from NGPF to be used for educational purposes. NGPF will announce the ten PAYBACK Challenge Finalists next Thursday, May 3rd.
This essay contest attracted over 500 submissions from students in all fifty states. After playing the award-winning game, PAYBACK, students wrote a 250 word essay with the following prompt:
“How could you use the online game, PAYBACK, to have a conversation with your parent/guardian about paying for college?”
Teachers from over 500 classrooms nominated the best student essay. NGPF staff then reviewed these essays, judging them based on the following criteria:
● Indicates an understanding of key concepts learned by playing the game PAYBACK.
● Addresses concerns their parents/guardians may have about this sensitive topic.
● Takes a creative approach to engaging parents/guardians in a conversation about college.
Each of the Honorable Mention winners will receive a $500 award from NGPF to be used for educational purposes. NGPF will announce the ten PAYBACK Challenge Finalists next Thursday, May 3rd.
“Over 60,000 students played PAYBACK during the contest period,” noted NGPF Founder, Tim Ranzetta. “Reading through hundreds of essays demonstrated how PAYBACK spurred so many thoughtful conversations between students and their parents/guardians. We applaud the educators who provided their students with the opportunity to grapple with these challenging decisions BEFORE they leave high school. Congratulations to the winners and to all those who participated!”
Here’s how a few students explained what they learned after playing PAYBACK:
"After completing the game, I discussed strategic ways to lower college costs with my parents. I presented choices I made during the game, which spurred conversations of how to collectively save money."
"Payback serves as an excellent tool. It showed me that paying for college is not only possible but manageable, and moreover, help initiate the conversation that desperately needed to happen between my parents and myself. College doesn't have to be impossible."
"Payback is a simulation of the real college experience. It shows that college is truly a constant balance of focus, connections, happiness, and debt and that only with the right tools will one be successful."