Frequently Asked Questions
Why should your students attend College Dollars & Sense?
The College Dollars & Sense program prepares students for the financial choices and opportunities they will need to manage for successful post-secondary education, including making well-informed decisions about personal finance.
The program includes daily instruction in personal finance, including budgeting, saving, credit and debt, as well as exploring colleges and careers using hands-on activities to motivate students into thinking about their futures. Guest speakers from both higher education and the local business will visit and students will have the opportunity to explore the University of Minnesota and visit a local corporation. *The virtual program will not visit a local corporation.
College Dollars & Sense is a program that prepares students to think about, and plan responsibly for, their futures.
Who is eligible to attend College Dollars & Sense?
Any student in the Twin Cities metropolitan area (defined as Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, and Washington counties) currently in grades 9-11 is eligible to apply for the program. *The virtual program is open to all Minnesota students.
Priority will be given those students who are:
First in their family to attend college
Eligible for Free & Reduced Lunch
Students of color
Past participants are not eligible.
What does it cost to attend College Dollars & Sense?
There is no cost to apply or attend College Dollars & Sense.
In-Person Program: Participants will be provided with breakfast and lunch each day, and can request a MetroTransit pass for the program week to help offset public transportation costs to and from the University of Minnesota.
Any costs incurred over the value of the MetroTransit pass are the responsibility of the participant. We cannot replace lost or forgotten MetroTransit passes.
What does "full participation" in College Dollars & Sense mean?
Full participation includes attendance Monday through Friday from 9 AM to 3:30 PM.
Note: breakfast begins at 8:30AM
For the virtual program, full participation requires attending the virtual meetings and completing the required activities.
What do I need to do to apply?
When students apply, they will need to list the name and contact information for a teachers, guidance counselor, or administrator at their school who agrees to be a contact for the application. This adult will be included on any communication to the student and family to help ensure that students are receiving the information.
We may also ask this adult to help accepted students confirm their participation in the program.
Why do I need information from a teacher, guidance counselor, or administrator to apply?
In order to ensure the student receives all communications about the program and their application status, we require a teachers, school counselor (guidance, college/career, etc.), or administrator to be listed as a contact on the application itself. This person will be copied on all communication to the student and their family to help facilitate the application and acceptance process.
Homeschooled students may leave this section blank (or put NA in the online application).
When will I learn if I am accepted or not?
We will review your application once it is received by our office and will notify applicants of their application status by the end of May.
After a student is accepted, they will need to submit a permission slip and other forms from their parents/guardians in order to fully confirm their attendance.
Where does College Dollars & Sense take place?
In-Person: The College Dollars & Sense program takes place on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota.
Virtual: The College Dollars & Sense program takes place via Zoom.
Will there be any homework?
In-Person: No, all activities are completed during the program day.
Virtual: Yes, plan for 1-2 hours of homework daily. Homework must be completed to receive stipend.
What does a typical day at College Dollars & Sense look like?
A typical day will begin with a morning of lessons on personal finance taught by different engaging and experienced instructors, including both individual, hands-on activities and group exercises. Participants will also explore the University of Minnesota and visit a local company (in-person program only), as well as listen to guest speakers from the local business community.
Am I responsible for getting the University of Minnesota myself?
Yes, each participant may request a MetroTransit pass for the week to help offset the cost of public transit to and from the University (if needed). Any costs incurred above the value of the requested pass are the responsibility of the participant.
Do I need to bring my own food to College Dollars & Sense?
No, every day breakfast and lunch will be provided for participants.
If you have any dietary restrictions, please include that information in your program acceptance form.
Can I stay at the University overnight during College Dollars & Sense?
No, the College Dollars & Sense program does not provide overnight accommodations at the University of Minnesota. Participants will arrive and depart from campus each day of the program.