November 8, 2007

Jennifer Tanner
Communications Specialist

SIFE Hosts Regional Competition

VALDOSTA - Valdosta State University’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team hosted the second annual “Duel in the Swamp” Nov. 1-3 on VSU campus.

The personal finance case study competition was one of eight regional competitions nationwide, which are funded by Take Charge America, a non-profit credit-counseling agency. VSU received $14,429 to host six collegiate teams, who competed for $6,000 in cash prizes and a trip to the national “Duel in the Desert” competition in Tucson, Ariz.

Participating teams included the University of Florida, University of South Florida, Georgia Southern University, Florida State University, Kennesaw State University and Georgia Southwestern University. Each team had four members, who were provided with an original, regionally specific case study about a hypothetical family facing a severe financial dilemma. Competitors had 36 hours to thoroughly research the situation and design a reasonable, workable and creative solution to the problems based on the family’s situation, economics, geography and resources. Students presented their results to panels of expert judges who decided which team best resolved the family’s financial situation.

This is the second year that VSU will host the “Duel in the Swamp.” SIFE Faculty Advisor Wayne Plumly says the school is embracing the opportunity to highlight some of the nation’s most credit-savvy college students.

“We have been a top ten SIFE team for a while, and to be able to take a regional leadership role is very rewarding,” he said. “The Duel is a great learning experience. The students have to coordinate many different aspects of finance with many different types of people.”

Georgia Southwestern University placed first in the “Duel in the Swamp.” They and the VSU team advance to the national finals in Tucson, Ariz. from March 6th �" 8th, 2008. The University of Arizona SIFE team will host the “Duel in the Desert.” Participants will compete with 16 other teams who have hosted or won a regional event.

The “Duel” competitions were developed to increase financial literacy among college students. According to the credit card industry, the average American household is carrying about $9,000 worth of high-interest debt, which doesn’t include mortgages. Nationwide, the Federal Reserve says we’ve amassed $800 billion in credit card debt. To help combat this problem, SIFE students are able to enhance their awareness of money management through this case study analysis.

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