4-H Cash Composition Contest 2023

In support of Financial Literacy Month (April), Michigan State University Extension and Michigan 4-H are sponsoring the Cash Composition Contest. Youth residing in Michigan, aged 9-12 years old as of Jan. 1, 2023, are encouraged to answer this year’s Essay Question (see below) with an essay of 300 words or less. The top scoring essays will win a $100 gift card.

2023 Essay Question:
What is the difference between a need and want?  Discuss how you determine if something is a need or a want. How can you make sure you have enough money to get your needs and still enjoy some of your wants? Share how needs and wants might change throughout one's life.

Essays are scored on:
  • Quality of Writing
  • Organization and Information
  • Grammar and Mechanics


April 30, 2023: Essay Submission due by 11:59 p.m. ET

May 31, 2023: Winners notified by this date

Who Should Enter:

Any youth 9-12 years old (as of Jan 1, 2023) residing in the state of Michigan. Open to both 4-H and non 4-H members.  For more information on joining 4-H, check out the Michigan 4-H website.

To Enter:

Youth must have parent or guardian permission to apply and participate.

  • The application form must be completed by a parent or guardian.
  • Youth must write an essay (300 words or less) on the assigned topic above.
  • Essay response will be typed or pasted into the application form on registration page. It is recommended that youth write their essay in Word or a Google doc prior to completing the registration/submission form.
  • The essay must be the work of the student submitting the essay.
All essays become the property of the Michigan State University Extension 4-H Youth Development Program and may be used by contest coordinators to promote financial literacy.

Thank you Extra Credit Union for sponsoring this year's contest!

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It is recommended that youth write their essay in Word or a Google doc prior to completing the registration/submission form.

Registration for 4-H Cash Composition Contest 2023 is open.

Registration closes at 11:59 p.m. on April 30, 2023.


Michigan State University is committed to providing equal opportunity for participation in all programs, services and activities. Accommodations for persons with disabilities may be requested by contacting the event contact two weeks prior to the start of the event. Requests received after this date will be honored whenever possible.

Contact Information

For information please contact Laurie Rivetto at rivettoL@msu.edu or Kathy Jamieson at jamies13@msu.edu.