About The Curriculum

Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances, a curriculum by the nonpartisan research and civic engagement group Public Agenda, educates college students and concerned citizens on the escalating problem of the federal budget deficit and the national debt and ways this problem might be solved.

The curriculum, distributed via the budget deficit and national debt education site FacingUp.org, operated by PublicAgenda.org, is available for use free of charge courtesy of a grant from the Peter G. Peterson Foundation.

The curriculum includes discussion guides, webinars, a reading list, multimedia, links to resources in the government and elsewhere, as well as a collection of interactive games in which students can try their own hand at balancing the budget, in tournaments within their own class or competing against other classes.

Another key feature of the curriculum is its flexibility: Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances can be used for an entire course, for one or more lessons within an existing college course (for example, economics, political science, etc.), for extra credit, or for a free-standing campus or civic event.

How To Get Started

Faculty members can get started using the curriculum by registering at FacingUp.org. Professors with questions may also contact Andrew Yarrow of Public Agenda via e-mail at ayarrow@publicagenda.org or by phone at 202-719-9777.

Civic groups and individuals interested in becoming more informed about the financial crisis and what they can do to help may also register at FacingUp.org to begin using reading materials, discussion guides and interactive games and more for study groups and special events.

For media inquiries, photos or assistance in finding someone to interview about Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances, please contact Melissa Feldsher of Public Agenda via e-mail at mfeldsher@publicagenda.org or by phone at 212-686-6610, extension 50.

Classroom Profiles

"Chasing The Future With A Big Sack Of Debt," by Allison Rizzolo, reporting on students at the University of Pennsylvania

"The Ripple Effect," by Meagan Murray, reporting on students at Emporia State University in Kansas

"Stepping Into Policymakers' Shoes," by Francie Grace, reporting on students at George Mason University in Virginia

Students Talk About The Nation's Fiscal Crisis

Quotes from students who participated in the Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances curriculum


Register for webinars with tips for professors and discussion leaders - both students and civic leaders - on how to get the most out of the Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances curriculum

View an introductory video on the pilot phase of the curriculum

View interactive games, lesson plans for budget-balancing tournaments and other classroom materials

View PowerPoint slide presentation

About Us

More about FacingUp.org

More about PublicAgenda.org

News Coverage

Why Teach about Federal Finances in Modern U.S. History Courses - Perspectives on History - November 2009

Intergenerational Dialogues About America’s Fiscal Future Refute Kids vs. Canes Conflict - Generations United's "Together" magazine - September 2009

Video of the July 17, 2009, Students Face Up to the Nation's Finances event at the Scripps Howard Center in Washington, D.C., with Andrew Yarrow of Public Agenda briefing student journalists on developing stories about federal finances, entitlements, health care and national debt.

Viewpoint: A Call For Intergenerational Equity, by Andrew Yarrow and Donna Butts - Baltimore Sun - May 20, 2009

Financial Sense NewshourAndrew Yarrow interview on the federal budget deficit, May 16, 2009

Coming Together: Intergenerational Dialogues On The Deficit, Social Security & Beyond - PublicAgenda.org - May 1, 2009

Public Agenda's Andrew Yarrow speaks about the nation's budget crisis at Richard Stockton College in New JerseyWNBC-TV 40, April 16, 2009

Sweat Equity: Welcome to the World of Budgetball - American (University) Today, April 9, 2009

"The Perils Of Living For Today," by Andrew L. Yarrow and Addison Wiggin – Baltimore Sun, April 8, 2009

"Fiscal Discussion Unites Generations" - Centre (Pa.) Daily Times, April 8, 2009

"Students Face Up To Nation's Debt" - Daily Pennsylvanian, January 14, 2009

"New Initiative Aims to Teach, Engage Students In Averting U.S. Fiscal Crisis" - Public Purpose, November 18, 2008

"The National Debt: Has it gotten too big?" - CQ Researcher, November 14, 2008

"Viewpoint: The plague of economic illiteracy" - Baltimore Sun, November 09, 2008

"Calling All Professors: The Fiscal Future Curriculum" - Nota Bene, National Academy of Public Administration, October 2008

"In the Economic Crisis, an Opportunity for Citizens" - PublicAgenda.org, October 2008

"$10.1-trillion national debt? Let's cut taxes!" - Los Angeles Times, October 2008

"Why Liberals Should Care About Deficits" - Baltimore Sun, September 2008

"Sex, Drugs and the Federal Budget?" - Wall Street Journal, July 2008



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