JA Economics for Success®


JA Economics for Success lays bare for students the heart of a successful economic life: choosing the right career and managing money properly.

Following participation in the program, students will be able to explore their skills, interests, values, and the world of work to make informed education, career, and life decisions. The program also will expand their knowledge of personal finance—including smart budgeting, wise credit use, and minimizing financial risk—so they can apply strong financial management skills regardless of their income.

The program, which targets students in middle school, is composed of six 45-minute sessions. Materials are packaged in a self-contained kit that includes detailed plans for the volunteer and materials for 32 students.

Session-specific, student-friendly materials are included to increase student interaction and emphasize JA's experiential approach to learning.

JA programs correlate to state social studies, English, and math standards, and to Common Core State Standards.

Pillars of Student Success Entrepreneurship:  Financial-Literacy:  Work-Readiness: 
Program Implementation Program Grade-Level
Classroom-Based Middle School
Program Concepts Program Skills
Budget, Credit, Credit card, Credit score, Co-pay insurance, Debit card, Decision making, Deductible, Goal setting, Gross income, Higher education, Interest, Interests, Needs and wants, Net income, Opportunity cost, Policy, Premium, Risk, Self-knowledge, Skills, Values, World of work Analyzing information, Critical-thinking, Inquiry and critical thinking skills, Interpreting data, Math calculations, Oral and written communication, Problem solving, Reading for understanding, Self-assessment, Working in groups and pairs presentation, Oral and written communication, Organizing information, Reading for understanding

Program Sessions

Activity One: Mirror, Mirror

Students make choices to better understand the concept of self-knowledge—the awareness of their skills, interests, and values—as they consider education, careers, and other life choices.

Activity Two: Be a Success

Students learn how to set goals for their financial future. They play the Be a Success Game to see the connection between personal finance, education, and careers. 

Activity Three: Keeping Your Balance

Students receive Occupation Cards and observe how different jobs provide different monthly salaries. Based on those monthly salaries, students evaluate the opportunity costs when making budget decisions. 

Activity Four: Savvy Shopper

Students examine how consumers pay for goods and services. They discuss the advantages and disadvantages of using debit and credit cards.

Activity Five: Keeping Score

Students examine how a credit score is determined and learn about the positive and negative consequences of a credit report.

Activity Six: What's the Risk?

Students demonstrate that life involves risk and that insurance helps to reduce the financial consequences of loss or injury.