Dollars and $ense

Information on Rice County Dollars and $ense

Started in the fall of 2011, Rice County Dollars and $ense teaches low-income and minority youth in Northfield and Faribault how to make smart choices about money. Through a variety of services offered by Dollars and $ense, students gain financial literacy skills and prepare themselves to make sound financial decisions in their pursuit of postsecondary education.

Dollars and $ense’s primary services include:

  1. Providing fun and engaging workshops with games and activities that teach 6th-12th graders about core aspects of personal finance. Topics include needs and wants, budgets, credit cards, debt and paying for college. These workshops are held during school, at afterschool programs and during summer programs.
  2. Holding Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) workshops for students and their families. The FAFSA is a key component to receiving financial assistance to pay for college.
  3. Partnering with community organizations on parent events.
  4. Offering a youth Individual Development Account (IDA) program for junior and senior high school students.

Youth IDA Program
As a new initiative, the youth IDA program helps juniors and seniors learn how to save money for college, while having their savings dollars matched 3-to-1 by local and federal sources. Participants’ matched dollars can only be used toward postsecondary education expenses. In addition to learning the valuable skill of saving money every month, participants must also attend financial literacy workshops and engage in career exploration with local college access organizations. After two years in the IDA program, participants can save up to $960 and access $2,880 in matching funds.

For more information about Rice County Dollars and $ense, including how to bring Dollars and $ense financial literacy workshops into your program, please contact Joy Amunrud at or (507) 664-3528.
Rice County Dollars and $ense is currently funded by a grant from Women In Northfield Giving Support.