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FDIC Academic Challenge

Last Updated: October 29, 2020
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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 18, 2020:  Competition Opens
  • October 7, 2020:  First Online Q&A Session
  • November 12, 2020:  Second Online Q&A Session - 7-8pm EST
    Call-in number: 1-800-369-1164, passcode: 8896260
  • November 20, 2020:  Deadline for Written Round Submissions
  • February 2021:  Final Round Decisions
  • April 16, 2021:  Finalist Presentations

How to Compete

The topic for the 2020-2021 FDIC Academic Challenge is “The Effects of Community Banks on Local Economic Development.” 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. 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.
  3. Submit your answers using this form by November 20, 2020.

Challenge Materials

Question - PDF (Help)
Guidelines and Permissions - PDF
Dataset (CSV format) (SAS format) (Stata format ) - ZIP (Help)
Data Codebook - Excel (Help)
Grading Rubric for Written/Final Rounds - PDF
Participant Code of Conduct - PDF
Transcript of First Q&A Session - PDF

Data Sources

Call Report Data (Call)
Historical Community Bank Definitions (FDIC)
Bureau of Economic Analysis Regional Economic Accounts (BEA)
Bureau of Labor Statistics Consumer Price Index (BLS)

Questions?  Please write to AcademicChallenge@fdic.gov.