Student Reality Store

Bio: The Student Reality Store®• is a fun simulation that helps students in grades 7-12 connect academic achievement with the kind of lifestyle they envision for themselves after graduation. Students are assigned salaries based on their actual GPA. Then, they proceed from table to table (staffed by our volunteers) to buy housing, transportation, groceries, insurance, furniture, clothing, electronics, vacations, utilizes, child care, pets, electronics, and other real life elements. The simulation demonstrates how fast a monthly paycheque gets spent, and the need to develop and follow a budget and make wise financial decisions. In follow-up surveys students consistently report having a greater appreciation of the importance of grades and education, as well as of the many challenges, complexities, and opportunities they will face as adults. This is a fantastic opportunity for students to think seriously about their future by experiencing some of the financial challenges they will face as adults. Additionally, this exercise encourages students to consider career fields and to think seriously about the level of education they will need in order to live the kind of lifestyle they imagine for themselves as an adult. A primary goal of the Student Reality Store is to reinforce the importance of good grades. In the Student Reality Store we assume that a higher GPA predicts a higher postsecondary education level, which in turn predicts a higher income. Students can choose an education level based on what their current GPA suggests they will attain. Students make choices about whether they are married or not and how many children they have, and are assigned a monthly income which they spend on the necessities and luxuries as a 28-year old starting out in their life and chosen profession.

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