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FDIC Academic Challenge

Last Updated: Sep 9, 2021
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The FDIC Academic Challenge is a team competition for undergraduate students, designed to bring real-world policy questions into the classroom and address questions concerning the banking industry. All students at U.S. universities and colleges are eligible to participate.

About the Challenge

The competition consists of two rounds. In the first round, teams submit a written response to a question on the banking industry. In the second round, finalist teams will be invited to give a presentation of their findings and answer questions from judges who work in the areas of banking and bank supervision.

Participation in the challenge will enhance students’ professional and academic skills by promoting analytical thinking, graphical and oral presentation of information and concepts, and collaboration with peers.

The objectives of the FDIC Academic Challenge include:

  • Increasing understanding of the banking industry and the FDIC’s role of ensuring the stability of our nation’s financial system;
  • Engaging in critical dialogue with undergraduate scholars on the banking trends and policies related to the FDIC’s mission;
  • Promoting interest in future FDIC careers in the fields of economics, accounting, and finance;
  • Building relationships between the FDIC, students, and the academic community.

Key Dates

  • September 9, 2021:  Competition Opens
  • October 6, 2021:  Call-in Q&A Session
  • November 19, 2021:  Deadline for Written Round Submissions
  • February 2022:  Final Round Decisions
  • April 8, 2022:  Finalist Presentations

How to Compete

The topic for the 2021-2022 FDIC Academic Challenge is “The Impacts of COVID-19 on the Banking Sector.” The links below contain the question for this year, a dataset, and a data codebook, as well as the public data sources used in compiling the dataset.

To compete, please complete the following steps:

  1. Each team must consist of 4-5 students and have a faculty advisor. The role of the faculty advisor is to assist students in thinking through the material and to interact with FDIC as needed.
  2. Sign up to receive announcements and updates about the competition by joining our email distribution list.
  3. The competition consists of two rounds. In the first round, teams submit a written response to a question on the banking industry. In the second round, five finalist teams will be invited to Washington D.C. to give a presentation of their findings and answer questions from a panel of judges who work in the areas of banking and bank supervision.
  4. Submit your answers using the submission form by November 19, 2021.

Please see below for additional information about the FDIC Academic Challenge, including the format of the competition and the topic for the 2021-2022 Challenge.

Challenge Materials

Question - PDF (Help)
Dataset (CSV Format) (Stata Format) - ZIP (Help)
Data Codebook - Excel (Help)
Guidelines and Permissions - PDF
Grading Rubric for Written/Final Rounds - PDF
Participant Code of Conduct - PDF
Academic Challenge Frequently Asked Questions - PDF
2020-2021 Winning Team Presentation
Transcript of Q&A Session - PDF

Data Sources

Call Report Data (Call)
Johns Hopkins University CSSE COVID-19 Data (JHU)
Small Business Administration (SBA)
U.S. Census Bureau Household Pulse Survey (Census)

Taking on the Challenge

Hear from former FDIC Academic Challenge participants as they describe their experiences and discuss the benefits of taking on the Challenge.

Questions?  Please write to AcademicChallenge@fdic.gov.