The College Fed Challenge: Student and Teacher Perspectives


Every fall, undergraduate students throughout the Second District begin preparing for the College Fed Challenge. The competition, inspired by the working of the Federal Open Market Committee, requires that students work as a team to research and analyze current economic data, develop a forecast and review potential future economic risks, develop a presentation and answer questions on a recommendation for monetary policy.

Although the work and challenges are considerable, students and advisors unanimously agree that the experience is both rewarding and unforgettable. Here are some thoughts of students and team advisors on their experiences:

Students talk about the challenges they faced . . .

"…how to make the connection between data analysis and providing a policy recommendation."
 "Learning the complexity of monetary policy as well as how the Fed translates its understanding of economic conditions into monetary policy." 
"Preparing for the question and answer portion of the competition . . . [the] judges ask questions about a wide range of issues related to central banking." 
"…… keeping up to date with all the new, incoming data and speeches." 

. . . and what they learned and gained from the experience.

"The role of monetary policy, but also the need for public engagement in monetary discussions." 
"…the challenges the Fed is currently facing in this economic environment. . . . and how monetary policy affects firms and individuals." 
" …how to balance my time and . . . [an] improved work ethic. . . . [and] that winning is not the important part, it is the knowledge you gain from the experience …. " 
" …the best experience of my college career. I’ve met great friends and done a lot of excellent work which I’m very proud of." 

Team advisors reflect on the challenges. . .

"Teaching so much information in such a short time to new students." 
"Anticipating the issues that will be especially important in monetary policy at the time of the competition." 
"Putting in the large amount of time working with the students, teaching, practicing and rehearsing."

. . . and the rewards of participating

"It teaches far, far more deeply and effectively than any class can ever hope to." 
"Good students can be challenged to be really GREAT students." 
"…. the students take over to succeed or fail on their own." 
"This is one of the most rewarding experiences I ever had; it brings me close to my students." 
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