Academy Student Bryan Dunbar Awarded $20,000 H&R Block Budget Challenge Scholarship

Posted On On: June 5, 2015 Categories Filed Under: Member News

WORMLEYSBURG, PA – Harrisburg Academy junior, Bryan Dunbar ’16, was awarded a $20,000 college scholarship through the H&R Block Budget Challenge, a nation-wide competition.  Dunbar participated in the spring 2015 online competition, which is designed to help students learn and practice money management skills in a real-world simulation.  Students pay bills, manage expenses, invest in retirement accounts, and more, with the goal of balancing an effective budget.


As part of the simulation, a leaderboard is generated each day based on participants’ cash flow, timeliness in paying bills, and application of financial concepts.  Dunbar scored above thousands of other participants to earn the $20,000 scholarship, which will be earmarked for him now and provided to him after he enrolls at the college or university of his choice next spring.


“The great thing about Bryan’s accomplishment is that it was not just an individual effort for him but a family effort and a class effort.  He used the many resources available to him to succeed in the challenge,” said Keo Oura Kounlavong-Sabath, the Academy’s director of college counseling.  “It will certainly give him an advantage as an applicant to his first-choice college, the University of New Haven.”


Dunbar participated in the challenge as part of the Academy’s college preparation class that is mandatory for all juniors.  Although the scholarship recognizes Dunbar as an individual, he participated in the simulation as part of a team with the rest of the junior class, which ranked 89th out of 678, in the top 15 percent of participating teams.


“My favorite part was just becoming that organized and figuring out how to have a financial plan,” said Dunbar, who relied on resources not only from the challenge and his classmates, but from his father and brother, as well.  “I really like knowing that I can do it and that it’s not as scary as everyone makes it out to be.  It’s a great feeling knowing you can do something like this before you even leave high school.”


Established in 1784, Harrisburg Academy is the 17th oldest non-public school in the nation and Harrisburg’s only independent school. Our coed, diverse school community inspires students from age three through 12th grade by providing an academically challenging and globally minded liberal arts education focused on dynamic classroom experiences, strong student outcomes, and a commitment to character development.  The Academy proudly stands as the first school in the greater Harrisburg area to offer the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program and merit scholarship.


For more information about Harrisburg Academy please visit our website at or contact Mary S. Campbell at 717-763-7811 or via email at