Given the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the Federal Reserve Board of Governors have made changes to the Fed Challenge format to ensure the competition can be held in 2020.
The College Fed Challenge is a competition designed to bring real-world economics into the classroom. Teams play the role of monetary policymakers by analyzing economic conditions and recommending a course for monetary policy.
Teams can compete in one of two divisions–Maiden Lane or Liberty Street–depending on the level of economics-related courses taken by students.
Schools in the Federal Reserve's Second District are eligible to compete.
The College Fed Challenge is an unforgettable experience in economic analysis, monetary policy decision-making, public speaking and teamwork.
Fed Challenge participants develop skills—the ability to think analytically, to make effective presentations, to work as a team, to think on their feet—that are valuable in both their academic and professional careers.
To compete, teams of three to five students give a presentation on the economy and participate in a Q&A with the judges.
Judges are New York Fed economists and staff who are experts on economics and monetary policy.
The College Fed Challenge is designed to meet the following goals:
- to increase understanding of macroeconomics and the Federal Reserve's role in setting U.S. monetary policy and ensuring financial stability;
- to promote interest in economics as a subject for study and the basis for a career; and
- to foster a cooperative relationship among students, teachers and the New York Fed.
Schools can participate in only one of two divisions. Information about each division is below. For questions or clarifications about eligibility, please contact Chaeri Han at firstname.lastname@example.org or Graham Long at email@example.com.
Students who have not taken a 200-level (or higher) class in economics.
September 30, 2020
October 9, 2020
November 9-13, 2020
November 18, 2020
Rules and Steps
1. Form a Team
- Teams can consist of up to five (additional alternates acceptable) undergraduate students.
- Faculty advisors (if applicable) cannot have worked for the Federal Reserve System 2 years prior to advising a team.
- All team members must be students registered at a U.S. college or university during the fall of 2020.
- Teams cannot consist of students from multiple colleges or universities.
- Multiple teams cannot register from the same college or university.
2. Register Your Team
Teams must register here with the following information: school/university name, adviser(s) name(s), students' names, alternates' names, primary contact, and Fed Challenge region.
Faculty advisers are required to ensure one submission only is received from each school. Once registered, each team will receive a confirmation email from the New York Fed with their team's unique ID number. Teams must register by September 30, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
3. Develop Your Video Presentation
- Teams must prepare a presentation analyzing the case study.
- Video should be simple presentation recording, remember that presentations are scored on content, not video production quality.
- Presentations should be no longer than 20 minutes.
- Paper submissions are not accepted.
- Do not identify your school or names in your presentation. For the purposes of fair judging, proposals must exclude any identification of team members, advisors, or school affiliations. This includes school colors, emblems, and logos.
4. Submit Your Video Presentation
- Each registered team will receive a designated and unique team ID number once registered. This will be an email from the New York Economic Education team.
- Registered teams should upload their videos to YouTube as unlisted and submit their unlisted video link by email by October 9, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. EDT. In YouTube, please title your submission video with the following convention: "College Fed Challenge Maiden Lane Division 2020 Team #" [ID number given during registration step 2 above].
- Send the link to the YouTube video entry to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include in your subject line "College Fed Challenge Maiden Lane 2020 Video Entry [Team ID Number]"
Format (Updated for 2020 virtual competition)
Round 1: Virtual video submission of 20-minute presentation
Teams analyze a case study and make presentations to a panel of judges who are experts in economics and monetary policy. Presentations should consist of the following elements:
- An analysis of current economic conditions as presented in the case study.
- A monetary policy recommendation encompassing the team's analysis of the data. Teams should provide justification for their monetary policy action.
- Demonstration of communication and teamwork among the team.
Presentations will be judged using the rubric provided here .
Round 2: Virtual and judged Q&A of the team
Teams will be asked questions by a panel of judges about the case study and their analysis
The winner of the Maiden Lane Division will be announced at a virtual live event on November 18, 2020.
The Federal Reserve Bank of New York is partnering with the Board of Governors and other co-sponsoring Federal Reserve Banks to conduct the 2020 College Fed Challenge program. For information about dates, competition format, rubrics, and registration, please visit the Board of Governors College Fed Challenge website.
A team consists of three to five students who attend the same school. A team can be formed in a number of ways:
- As part of an extracurricular activity. The team is made up of student volunteers who work on the Fed Challenge as an out-of-class activity. An advantage of extracurricular recruiting is having returning participants, who can relate, first-hand, their experiences from the previous year's Challenge.
- As the result of a class- or school-based competition. The class is divided into teams. Each team makes a presentation before the rest of the class; the team with the best presentation goes on to represent the school. An alternative is the "all-star" approach, in which the five best presenters in class are chosen. Or team selection can be extended to all the classes in a school by choosing either a best-of-school team or a team of the school's best presenters.
- By teacher selection. A teacher assembles a team on the basis of overall performance, some in-class assignment or expressed interest in the subject.
Other class members can get involved by taking part in team activities such as:
- gathering and analyzing data and useful background information;
- researching important concepts and issues that are likely to be important to monetary policy, preparing charts and other parts of the presentation;
- judging practice sessions and providing feedback; and
- serving as an alternate team member in case a team member is unavailable on the day of the competition.
Faculty advisors must register their teams online. Please see the division menus above to find the appropriate registration link.
- Schools must be in the Second Federal Reserve District which includes New York State; Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Somerset, Sussex, Union and Warren counties in New Jersey; and Fairfield County in Connecticut.
- One team from each school is allowed to enter.
- All correspondence, including sign-up and materials distribution, will be done electronically through the New York Fed's website or email. It is the responsibility of faculty advisors and students to check the website for notices and posted materials and to read all email messages carefully. There will be no exceptions to this policy.
Faculty advisors will be asked to fill out all information about the team in the online registration system.
In order to foster an efficient and respectful environment to successfully participate in the College Fed Challenge, students, faculty advisors and judges are reminded to follow the Code of Conduct:
- The New York Fed College Fed Challenge is an educational program that aims to encourage students to learn more about the Federal Reserve System and to spur interest in economics and finance as the basis for a possible career.
- Participants should conduct themselves professionally, respectfully and with integrity during all the events that constitute the New York Fed College Fed Challenge.
- Participants should not engage in verbal or physical behavior that, according to reasonable sensibilities, stigmatizes or victimizes an individual on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion or disability.
- Participants should not engage in verbal or physical behavior that threatens or harms any individual involved in the New York Fed College Fed Challenge.
- Students and faculty advisors should not approach the judges with questions, comments or concerns about the judging process, feedback or scoring of teams. These questions, comments and concerns should be referred to the New York Fed Outreach & Education staff onsite who will address them.
- Failure to follow the code of conduct may result in the participant's or the team's immediate disqualification from the College Fed Challenge and from other current and/or future educational programs organized by the New York Fed.
How many competition dates are there?
- There will be a preliminary round consisting of a video submission. The finals will be a virtual Q&A with a panel of judges on a day and time set at a later date.
What are brackets and how are teams assigned to them?
- A bracket is a group of teams that compete against each other in a competition round. All teams in a bracket are scored by the same judges. The winner of each bracket will advance to the next round of competition. Teams are assigned at random to brackets and to one of the two preliminary competition dates.
Who are the competition judges and how are they assigned to brackets?
- Judges are New York Fed economists and staff who are experts on economics and monetary policy. Judging panels are assigned at random to the brackets.
If you have additional questions, contact the program manager, Graham Long, at email@example.com.