The College Fed Challenge at Dartmouth

General Description of the Program

Dartmouth participates in an academic competition called the College Fed Challenge. The College Fed Challenge is "intended to help students become more knowledgeable about the Fed and the decision-making process of the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve's monetary policy-setting group." Dartmouth has sent teams to the Boston Fed Challenge Regional Competition since 2008, under the advisement of Senior Lecturer Elisabeth Curtis and Visiting Assistant Professor Frank Zarnowski.

Beginning in the fall of 2010, the Economics Department at Dartmouth College has offered course credit (Econ 78) every Fall for students interested in participating in the Fed Challenge research and competition. Fed Challenge is open to select students (by permission of advisor/instructor) who are interested economics majors or intended majors. Duties include conducting research on current economic conditions and trends, assembling and analyzing data to support policy recommendations, attending and participating in course meetings in Fall term and working on the final "script" that will be presented at competition by the Fed Challenge Team in November in Boston. There is potential further travel if the team wins the Boston competition—the Boston winner will be invited to travel to Washington DC shortly after the Boston trip to compete at the National Fed Challenge competition.

Fed Challenge Team members must have the following qualifications: strong communication/public speaking skills, good analytical thinking, ability to do independent research AND work well with others in a team setting, ability to stick to deadlines and make the time commitment to prepare for competition. Course prerequisite: Econ 22.

Additional information Boston Regional Fed Challenge website

Competition Structure

Up to 20 schools in the New England District are allowed to submit teams for the Boston Fed Challenge competition (usually on a Friday in early November). This group often includes schools like Harvard, Yale, Brown, and MIT. Each school's team is assigned to compete in a morning round against a randomly chosen group of three to four other teams. The four winners of the four morning rounds go on to compete against each other in an afternoon round, and the winner of the afternoon places first at Boston and is invited to compete at Nationals (usually early December, soon after Thanksgiving) at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington DC.

Recent Competition Results

The 2020 team, finding itself virtual for the first time ever at the Boston District Competition, made it into the top 3 and went on to be judged by economists selected by the Board of Governors.  Dartmouth was chosen as the Boston District Champion, putting them in the running for the top spot at the National College Fed Challenge competition.  Another round of judging, pitting Dartmouth against all the other District champions in the competition, resulted in Dartmouth being crowned National Fed Challenge Champion on November 20, 2020.  For the press release please see

Fed Challenge Team 2020, National Champions: Ayan Agarwal, Vitor Berganton de Souza, Tench Coxe, Bill Cui, Autumn Dinh, Utsav Jalen, Kira Koehler, Jimmy Nguyen, Zach Olson, Michael St. George, Alice Zhang, Alina Zhang.


Fed Challenge Team 2020


The 2019 team took Second Place at the Boston competition, losing in a close contest to Harvard. 

Team members: Laura Walk, Jackson Baur, Isabella Pesavento, Zack Port, Dhruv Uppal, Hwikeun Kim, Naren Radhakrishnan, Autumn Dinh, Jonathan Song, Alexander Kokoshinskiy, Andrew White


Past Competition Results

2018 - Dartmouth's 2018 Fed Challenge Team advanced to the afternoon round, finishing honorable mention in the Boston competition.

Presenting team          Research team

Utsav Jalan                  Junyang Cui

Simrit Singh                Michael Bodek

Ayan Agarwal             Peiyao XU

Matthew Hayes           Se Hyuk Bang

Jonathan Lu                Lucas Albuquerque De Godoy


2017 - Dartmouth's 2017 Fed Challenge Team - another year of strong performance.



2016 - Dartmouth's 2016 Fed Challenge Team 
            1st place at the Boston District Competition 
            2nd place at the National Fed Challenge Competition
            at the Board of Governors in Washington DC, Thursday Dec. 1, 2016]



2015 - Dartmouth's 2015 Fed Challenge Team



2014 - Dartmouth's 2014 Fed Challenge Team
             2nd place runner up at the Boston District Competition on Nov. 7, 2014: 


Dartmouth's Fed Challenge team in the news:

2013 - Dartmouth's 2013 Fed Challenge team advanced to the afternoon round, finishing 2nd overall, coming within points of would-be National Champions Harvard.

2012 - Dartmouth's 2012 Fed Challenge team advanced to the afternoon round, finishing 2nd overall, losing only to Bentley University.

2011 - Dartmouth's 2011 Fed Challenge team loses to 2nd place finisher, Bentley, in the morning round.

2010 – Dartmouth's 2010 Fed Challenge team finished 3rd in the morning round against Harvard, Yale, Brown and MIT.

2009 - Dartmouth's 2009 Fed Challenge team finished in the top 5 schools in the Boston competition.

2008 – Dartmouth's 2008 Fed Challenge team finished in the top 5 schools in the Boston competition.