RACINE, Wis. — High school students in Racine are getting a dose of financial reality.

It is being done in order to give them a clear picture of the importance of money management in the years after graduating high school or college. Last week juniors at Case High School took part in the Reality Check program, put on by Educators Credit Union. The program helps them navigate the financial decisions they will need to make as an adult, like buying a car and budgeting for childcare. It is designed to help them learn about the impacts of their decisions.

Victor Frasher, who helps lead the Reality Check program for the credit union, says the activity sends a clear message. 

“I think high school students really don’t understand is how impactful your credit score is going to be on your adult life, so in the scenario we have set up for them, if their credit score is too low, they can’t buy a house, just like in real life,” says Frasher.

Students are randomly assigned an income as well as life circumstances such as marriage, divorce, and children, and they need to purchase necessities while staying within budget.

Junior Evan Fallenbeck was among those who took part. For him, it was the expenses of raising a child that took him aback. 

“I did not expect childcare to be so expensive," Fallenbeck said. "It was like $1000 a month to send your kid to day care. That was pretty expensive."

Reality Check curriculum has been used by districts across southeastern Wisconsin over the past 16 years. In the past, the program was presented in person, however this year it was shifted to a virtual platform.