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​​​​The Financial Planning Association® (FPA®), Ameriprise Financial and CFP Board are pleased to host the Financial Planning Challenge.  






This distinctive competition is designed exclusively for undergraduate degree programs registered with CFP Board. In this challenge, teams compete to advance through three phases:

          1. Written Financial Planning Case Study
          2. Financial Planning Case Study Presentation
          3. "How Do You Know?" Challenge

In the first phase of the competition all student teams will be given profiles for two hypothetical clients and must prepare a comprehensive financial plan. After the first phase is judged and awarded, the top eight teams will advance to the next phases of the competition to be held in in the fall. All teams must orally present their case studies to a panel of judges and participate in the "How Do You Know?" Challenge. The top three winning teams will be awarded a monetary scholarship for their school.​ Judges will be selected by each presenting organization and will assess student teams on demonstrating the CFP Board Financial Plan Development Course requirement.

Congratulations to the 2017 Winners:

​First Place

​Second Place

​Third Place

Utah Valley University

University of Illinois
at Urbana-Champaign

Texas A&M University

Gerika Ballard, Joshua Scott,
Brian Miller

Hyrum Smith, CFP®, PhD, CPA
Academic Advisor

Case Study Submission

Seth Elam, Michael Sacco,
Eric Schaefer

Craig Lemoine,CFP®, Ph.D.  
Academic Advisor

Case Study Submission 

Sidney Avila, Justin Nnabuife,
Paul Schuder

Christopher Moore, MBA, CFP® Academic Advisor

Case Study Submission

Congratulations to all 2017 Competing Teams:

The University of Akron; California State University, Northridge; University of Georgia; University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Texas A&M University; Texas Tech University; Utah Valley University; Winthrop University

2017 Case Study​ 

2018 Competition Timeline Coming Soon

2018 Competition Materials Coming Soon

2018 Financial Planning Challenge Guidelines

Phase 1: Written Financial Planning Case Study​

Phase 1: Case Grading Rubric​​ 

Phase 2: Presentation Grading Rubric   


  • ​Teams may consist of up to three undergraduate students. Students may not participate in more than one team.

  • All participating students must be enrolled in an undergraduate degree program registered with CFP Board as of May 1.

  • Students considered graduate students by their school may not participate.

  • Each team must be represented by an Academic Advisor throughout the competition.

  • Students are prohibited from seeking advice from professionals or from persons not participating in the challenge.

  • Limit one team per school.


    • 1st place team overall:  $10,000 scholarship for their school, plus one hour of Career Coaching from Caleb Brown at New Planner Recruiting. In addition, the members of the winning team will receive a full scholarship to FPA's highly acclaimed Residency Program.

    • 2nd place team overall:  $5,000 scholarship for their school

    • 3rd place team overall:  $1,000 scholarship for their school

2016 Financial Planning Challenge Finalists:

First Place:
​William Paterson University

Second Place: ​
University of Akron

Third Place: ​
Kansas State University

2016 Case Study​


2015 Financial Planning Challenge Finalists:

​First Place:

​Kansas State University

​Second Place:

​University of Akron

​Third Place: ​Utah Valley University

2015 Case Study
Watch the 2015 Phase 2 Case Study Presentations


2014 Financial Planning Challenge Finalists:

First Place: University of Akron

​Second Place: Utah Valley University

​Third Place: William Paterson University

2014 Financial Planning Case Study​