This immersive simulation teaches teens about real‑world money.
According to a 2022 Ipsos poll, 43% of American adults are “financially illiterate” and 51% of American borrowers did not estimate what their payments would be before getting a student loan. A growing partnership between Junior Achievement-Rocky Mountain and Nelnet is working to change that.
Junior Achievement was founded in 1919 to help prepare young people to succeed in a global economy focused on entrepreneurship, financial literacy, and work readiness. Junior Achievement Rocky Mountain opened its brand new Free Enterprise Center – launching its second JA Finance Park in April 2023.
This immersive experience teaches teens about personal finance in a real-world, engaging way. In JA Finance Park, students explore a mini city and participate in financial simulations ranging from budgeting and housing to insurance, transportation, retirement investing, education finance, and more.
This approach has been celebrated by Harvard University’s Global Education Innovation Initiative as a best practice for teaching financial literacy today.
As part of this effort, Nelnet recently made a three-year commitment to host a “storefront” in each of the two Rocky Mountain Finance Park locations (Thornton, Colorado and Centennial, Colorado). Supporting both Finance Parks requires approximately 4,500 volunteers annually.
For the 2022–2023 school year, JA Finance Park helped 11,796 students – and is projected to support more than 24,000 students for the 2023-2024 school year.