Reality U
  • Reality U brings a bit of “reality” to students through a 75-minute interactive and engaging personal finance simulation. After completing an online lifestyle survey, students will be provided a unique and individualized future scenario, imagining their life as a 26-year-old.


    Each scenario includes the student’s monthly income, credit card debt, student loan information, as well as marital and family status. Students are given a checkbook register to track their monthly purchases from the 12 booths representing services and/or products that adults typically must purchase or consider each month.

Volunteers Needed - November 21st and 22nd

  • To sign up as a volunteer, please visit and select Lawrence Public Schools. Please sign up for as many sections as you are able to attend.


    Questions?  Contact Amber Nickel, USD 497 Work-Based Learning Coordinator at or 785-218-2280

  • Volunteers are an essential piece of Reality U’s success as they staff the booths and provide students with information about available products/services they will purchase.  You will be provided everything you need to share with the students at your booth, including a full description of the products/services.  Below is a brief description of the activities at each booth and the "ideal" volunteers for each area

  • Financial Services Booth – The students have the option to open a savings account and investments for the future at the financial services. Payment on student loans is also included in the financial services booth. 

    Volunteer Ideas: local banks, credit unions, financial aid departments from local Colleges 

    Child Care Booth – Some students will have children of varying ages. Since they are working adults, child care is necessary. They cannot rely on the grandparents for childcare. Fees are based on the age(s) of the child (ren). 

    Volunteer Ideas: afterschool programs, Head Start, childcare programs, YMCA 

    Utilities Booth - This booth includes gas, electric, water, and trash removal. Rates should be current regional costs. Rates vary according to the size and age of the housing. 

    Volunteer Ideas: local utility provider 

    Phone & Fun – This booth includes cell phone, Wi-Fi, and cable television choices. It also includes internet connections as well as dining out, movies, video rentals, concerts, vacations, etc. Students select the frequency and type of entertainment monthly. 

    Volunteer Ideas: wireless carriers, cable/phone service providers 

    Housing Booth – Information sheets are provided to the students to make housing selections. Both rental and homes for purchase are available. The total purchase price is broken down into monthly payments that include the mortgage payment, taxes, maintenance cost, and insurance. 

    Volunteer Ideas: real estate agents, local banks, credit unions 

    Car Insurance Booth – Information regarding insurance choices are aligned with the vehicle purchased at the transportation booth. Life insurance premiums are available for purchase. A student’s driving record is determined by the roll of a pair of dice. Options include a clean driving record, a warning, traffic violations (texting), and Driving Under the Influence. 

    Volunteer Ideas: local car dealers, local banks

  • Supermarket Booth – Monthly groceries are based upon the type of food purchased (generic to name brand) and the family size as well as eating out expenses. 

    Volunteer Ideas: Community Foundations, United Way, local nonprofits 

    Shopping Center Booth – Information sheets indicate general costs associated with haircuts, beauty products, etc. Clothing is also included, and rates are based on family size, career, and personal preference. 

    Volunteer Ideas: small business owners, retail shop workers 

    Transportation Booth – Vehicle choices as well as cost of maintenance, fuel and repair costs are included on a variety of makes and models. 

    Volunteer Ideas: local banks, credit unions, car dealers 

    Chance – All students roll dice to determine the booth outcome. Each number has a corresponding outcome (e.g. saving $ with coupons, broken arm, speeding ticket, tax refund). 

    Volunteer Ideas: local churches, PTO members  

    Medical Center – This booth includes medical and dental information with rates based upon current costs. Students that don’t have insurance may experience the consequences of paying the full amount for medical care. 

    Volunteer Ideas: local hospital employees, local health insurance providers 

    Q&A – This booth provides advice for students who go “negative” during Reality U. They are counseled regarding their spending decisions. Students are encouraged to live according to their income and to make appropriate adjustments. 

    Volunteer Ideas: school employees, school board members

  • To sign up as a volunteer, please visit and select Lawrence Public Schools.  Please sign up for as many sections as you are able to attend.


    Questions?  Contact Amber Nickel, USD 497 Work-Based Learning Coordinator at or 785-218-2280