College National Fed Challenge

College National Fed Challenge

The College National Fed Challenge competition is an academic competition similar to the National Fed Challenge high school competition. The College Fed Challenge is a yearly team competition for undergraduate college students inspired by the working of the Federal Open Market Committee. The competition is intended to encourage students to learn more about the U.S. macro economy, the Federal Reserve System and the implementation of monetary policy. The College Fed Challenge also aims at promoting interest in economics and finance as subjects for advanced study and as the basis for a career.[1]



College Fed Challenge Mission

- The College Federal Reserve Challenge of the Federal Reserve System is a yearly academic competition sponsored by several reserve banks and is administered by the Eastern Economic Association. The College Federal Reserve Challenge consists of teams of three to five students from nearby colleges and universities. Each team is responsible for creating a presentation 20 minutes in length to be delivered in front of a panel of judges consisting of academics and professional economists. Concluding the presentation, a 15 minute question and answer session ensues between the collegiate group and the panel. By advancing through three rounds of local competition, successful teams win recognition, with the first place team continuing to Washington, D.C. to compete against other regional winners at the Board of Governors.[1] In addition to the educational benefits and confidence arising through rigorous competition, students benefit from opportunities to apply their economic experiences in the real world. These skills learned can be applied to acquire internships, discover potential career paths, and hone skills of public speaking, logical thinking, writing, and analysis. Instructors of undergraduate institutions benefit through the use of a venue to develop enthusiasm for the study of economics and to integrate their curriculum with an active learning experience.[1]


  • To develop an understanding of the components of a modern economy and their long-term contribution to economic growth and development, while appreciating the short-run fluctuations which lead to business cycle activity.
  • To comprehend the role of the Federal Reserve System in creating monetary policy designed to promote economic stabilization in furtherance of achieving the dual mandate of price level stability and maximum employment while assuring moderate long term interest rates and financial system stability.
  • To understand the short-run and long-run interactions of monetary policy with regard to unemployment, inflation, economic growth, fiscal policy, and exchange rate stability.
  • To promote an understanding of current political and economic issues which impact on overall economic and financial system activity.
  • To increase students' awareness and understanding of the unique role of the Federal Reserve in the economy.
  • To develop students' research, cooperation, presentation, and critical thinking skills.[1][2]

Complete list of goals.


Teams of 3-5 students present current macroeconomic and financial information to a panel compiled of professional economists, bankers, financial analysts, and academics. Each team is afforded 15 minutes to analyze and present various macroeconomic theories which if implemented, could lead to economic prosperity. At the end of the 15 minute presentation the team must formulate a monetary plan for the Federal Reserve Bank to implement. A 15 minute question and answer session involving the presenting team and the panel follows the 15 minute presentation. Panel members quiz the students on current events, economic definitions, and macroeconomic policy during the 15 minute session.[1][2][3] Teams compete in two rounds at the regional competition which takes place at a nearby Federal Reserve Bank. Winners of the regional competition advance to the final round in the national competition, held in Washington, DC. The winning team informally meets the Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, and shakes his hand.[4]


The panel of judges score each team after the 15 minute question and answer session. A maximum of 50 points are awarded accordingly. Judges use a scoring rubric which analyzes the team's “Knowledge of the Fed, current state of the economy, and monetary policy”, “Responses to Judges questions”, “Quality of the presentation”, “Research and analysis”, and “Teamwork and cooperation”.[2]

Participating Federal Reserve Banks

The following Federal Reserve Banks participate in the College Fed Challenge:[4][5]

  • New York, NY
  • Chicago, IL
  • Washington, D.C.
  • Richmond, VA
  • Boston, MA
  • Philadelphia, PA
Portrait of Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Federal Reserve

Past Champions

Northwestern University won the first three Nationals competitions, from 2004-2006. In 2007 and 2008, the team from Harvard University placed first in Nationals. In 2009 the team from Lafayette College won. In 2010 the team from Bentley University placed first in Nationals.[6]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d e “Ramapo College of New Jersey EEA:Fed Challenge 2010 Competition,”, 08 November 2010, [1]
  2. ^ a b c “The College Fed Challenge Handbook,” The Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond, 30 May 2007, [2]
  3. ^ “Harvard College Fed Challenge,”, 08 November 2010
  4. ^ a b “Lafayette, Reigning National Champion in College Fed Challenge, Will Host Regional Competition,”, 08 November 2010, [3]
  5. ^ “College Fed Challenge National Championship,”, 02 December 2008, [4]
  6. ^

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