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 for each of the last six years, 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.

Spring Term information meeting TBA- See Professor Curtis if interested!


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.

Past Competition Results


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 team advanced to the afternoon round, finishing 2nd overall, coming within points of would-be National Champions Harvard.

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

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

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

2009 - Dartmouth team finished in the top 5 schools in the Boston competition.

2008 – Dartmouth team finished in the top 5 schools in the Boston competition.