College Fed Challenge 2020 Rules and Steps

Given the disruptions caused by COVID-19, the Federal Reserve, along with other co-sponsoring Federal Reserve Banks and regional planning universities, have made the following changes to the National College Fed Challenge structure to ensure the competition can be held in 2020.

This new format will allow schools outside the current Fed Challenge districts to compete in a newly created at-large new region.

The College Fed Challenge 2020 will consist of

  1. Virtual video submission of 15-minute presentation*
    1. Use National rubric, but take into account both academic and regional representation.
  2. Virtual and judged Q&A (recorded) using section IV of the National rubric
  3. Virtual event announcing winner in November, which will be posted on-demand

*Note: Boston region is not participating in the video submission portion and any school in the Boston region should use this Boston Fed Challenge page to enter competition.

Key Dates

Registration deadline

September 30, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. EDT

Submit Videos

October 9, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. EDT

Virtual Q&A

November 9-13

Winner Announcement

November 20

Competition Steps

  1. Form a Team
    1. Teams can consist of up to five (additional alternates acceptable) undergraduate students.
    2. Faculty advisers (if applicable) cannot have worked for the Federal Reserve System 2 years prior to advising a team.
    3. All team members must be students registered at a U.S. college or university during the fall of 2020.
    4. Teams cannot consist of students from multiple colleges or universities.
    5. 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.*

    Register Here

    *Note: Boston region is not participating in the video submission portion and any school in Boston region should use this Boston Fed Challenge page to enter competition.

    1. Faculty advisers are required to ensure one submission only is received from each school.
    2. Once registered, teams will receive a confirmation email from Fed Challenge with their teams' unique ID number. Teams must register by September 30, 2020, at 5:00 p.m. EDT.
  3. Develop Your Video Presentation
    1. Teams must prepare a presentation based on content rubric (see National rubric, section III). This may be a video presentation (for example, a recording of a Zoom or WebEx presentation with student video turned on).
    2. Video should be simple presentation recording, remember that presentations are scored on content, not video production quality. (See National rubric, section III).
    3. Presentations should be no longer than 15 minutes.
    4. Paper submissions are not accepted.
    5. Presentations are evaluated based on the National rubric.
    6. Do not identify your school or names in your presentation. For the purposes of fair judging, proposals must exclude any identification of team members, advisers, or school affiliations. This includes school colors, emblems, and logos.
    7. Video submissions should follow the National rubric and include the following elements:
      1. an analysis of current economic conditions (as of the day of the competition); these conditions may include broad macroeconomic conditions as well as conditions experienced in different geographic areas, urban/rural areas, or different demographic and socioeconomic groups (e.g., racial and ethnic groups age groups), borrowers and savers, etc.
      2. a forecast of near-term economic and financial conditions relevant to the formulation of monetary policy;
      3. a discussion of significant risks to the economy that should receive special attention in formulating monetary policy; these risks may include the possible effects (positive or negative) of monetary policies on different segments of the population.
      4. a monetary policy recommendation, encompassing both traditional tools and newer approaches as warranted. Presenters should give supporting reasons for their recommendation.
  4. Submit Your Video Presentation
    1. Each registered team will receive a designated and unique team ID number once registered.
    2. 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 2020 Team #" [ID number given during registration step 2 above].
    3. Send the link to the YouTube video entry to economic-education@frb.gov. Include in your subject line "College Fed Challenge 2020 Video Entry [Team ID Number]"
  5. Participate in Q&As (first round of Q&A will determine regional and national winners)
    1. If selected, your team will receive an email from economic-education@frb.gov to schedule a Q&A.
    2. Your team will be contacted between October 24 and November 6, 2020 if you have been selected for regional and national Q&As.
    3. Eighteen teams (three from each region) will be selected for the virtual Q&A. Six (representative of each region) of these 18 teams will advance to Nationals.
    4. Your team will receive time slot options for Q&A with judges (virtual session will be recorded).
    5. At the designated time, your team will join the online platform sent via invite.
    6. Q&A portion will follow the rubric section IV. Taken from rubric:
    7. Presentations used within video submissions may be shown on screen during the Q&A session; however, no new slides or data should be introduced within the presentation.

Judges' questions will follow for a maximum of 15 minutes. Two of the questions should be the same for each team; the Board will supply one of these two questions and judges may confer/choose mutually the second question that will be the same for each team. The question period is an opportunity to determine the extent to which students are knowledgeable about the Fed, monetary policy, and the information in their presentation. Questions should be of four types:

  • Follow-up questions related to data, analyses or recommendations made during the presentation (e.g., What evidence do you have to support your statement that deflation is more of a risk to the U.S. economy than inflation? How might your recommendation affect the economic circumstances of different areas/groups?)
  • Hypothetical questions (e.g., Suppose the number of new jobs created over the next three months totaled 100,000, would that change your prescription for monetary policy?)
  • Questions about macroeconomic theory (e.g., How much weight should policymakers give the Phillips Curve?)
  • Questions about the Fed (e.g., Once the FOMC reaches it decision, how are policy decisions implemented?)

6. Fed Challenge organizers announce winners

  1. Final winner announced on November 20, at an online event in which semi-finalists and finalists who competed in the Q&A will participate.
  2. The winning team's video submission and Q&A will be posted to the Board's website.
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Last Update: November 02, 2020