The Pando Initiative began Reality U in 2002, so we are well-versed in how to make this event great for your students! Over the years, the students have learned how important it is to do well in school, plan ahead, and to carefully consider their lifestyle decisions. Teachers surveyed after 4-6 weeks witnessed marked improvement among students, especially those who struggle in the classroom:

Classroom attendance
up 96%

up 77%

Classroom participation
up 50%

how Reality U works

Reality U brings a bit of “reality” to students, teaching them about personal finance in an interactive and engaging way.

Students imagine their life as a 26-year old and complete an on- line lifestyle survey, including questions about their occupation, marital status, use of credit cards, and their current grade point average. This information is entered into our trademarked software program that links their answers to a unique scenario that is individualized for each student. These scenarios are distributed to them the day of the event.

Each scenario includes the student’s monthly income, credit score, student loan information, as well as marital and family status. The students are to transfer this information into their student passport and then make purchases at the thirteen booths that represent services and/or products that adults typically must purchase or consider each month. (All products/services reflect current economic values of the area.)

Students have the opportunity to learn how their decisions impact their bottom line as they try to make decisions that won’t result in their check register falling below zero! Sometimes they must return a “purchase” and make a different decision. This event actively engages the students to help them understand the importance of education to their financial future. It also engages the community in supporting student learning and developing their understanding of the world of work.