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Bentley University Students Take First Place for the iOme Challenge Money Smart Week Video Contest Focused on Improving the Savings Rate Among U.S. Citizens

Contact: Helen Henrichs, 781-891-2277,

May 29, 2012

Bentley University seniors Carl Forziati, Emily Maher, and Aly Ostler, and junior Dylan Sumiskum finished first in the nation for the 2011/2012 iOme Challenge Money Smart Week video contest, which this year focused on how to improve the savings rate in the U.S. The 60-second video, shot by senior Joe Nascembeni, was judged on style, creativity, strength of the message, content, originality, and the ability to educate while calling to action.

 “The United States has one of the lowest gross household saving rates among developed countries,” says faculty adviser John Tommasi, a senior lecturer in economics at Bentley. “While the government has launched several initiatives, students have suggested ways to bring them to a more effective level, and also recommend new ideas.”

 As part of the challenge, the team also submitted a 10,000-word essay that explored the reasons behind the low savings rate in the U.S., and described ways to curb spending and encourage saving.

 In addition to proposing more government support for savers, the report also suggests consumer level grass roots initiatives that go beyond government bureaucracy and accounting principles geared toward professionals.

 Recommendations include:

  • Using social media such as Facebook and viral videos to rebrand saving as “cool” to young adults between the ages of 18 to 24.
  • Creating an Online Lottery Savings Network (OLSN) to close the gap between instant gratification and long term goals by rewarding savers with lottery prize. It is concentrated on helping social networking households save their money while lending it to small and medium enterprises who need investment for their projects.
  • Designing a plastic card (similar to the look of a credit card) that reminds consumers to save or think about their spending before they pull out a credit card to make a purchase.

 iOme is a national effort that challenges college students to change the world by investing now in their own lifelong financial security.

Type: Campus News | Tagged as: Student competition