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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:

Written Financial Planning Case Study

Financial Planning Case Study Presentation

"How Do You Know?" Challenge, a game-show style financial planning knowledge contest

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 2016 Winners:

​First Place

​Second Place

​Third Place

​William Paterson University

​University of Akron

​Kansas State University

Matthew Callander, Stephanie Spies, Eric Vartanian

Tao Guo, Ph.D., Academic Advisor

Adrianna Demjanjuk, Joseph Johnson, Benjamin Schwarz

Suzanne Gradisher, JD, MBA, MTax, Academic Advisor

​Lindsay Adams, Nolan Keim, Stephen Phillips

L. Ann Coulson, Ph.D., CFP®, Academic Advisor

Congratulations to all 2016 Competing Teams:

California State University Northridge; Kansas State University; Ohio State University; Texas Tech University; University of Akron; University of Georgia; Utah Valley University; William Paterson University​


Thank You 2016 Judges:

Kim Selby, CFP®
Lisa M. Pender, CFP®, ChFC®, RP®
Matt Jorgensen, CFP®
David Bresler, CFP®, CRPC®
Andrew Head, CFP®
Tom C. Nelson, PhD, CFP®

2017 Competition Timeline Coming Soon! 


  • ​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.

  • 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


New in 2016: Ameriprise Financial is excited to host the top three teams at the 2017 Registered Program Conference. While at the conference, teams will present a case study to faculty and firms.  


2016 Competition Materials

Financial Planning Challenge 2016 Registration Form (Due May 16)

Financial Planning Challenge 2016 Guidelines

Phase 1: Written Financial Planning Case Study​

Phase 1: Case Grading Rubric​​ 

Phase 2: Presentation Grading Rubric   


2015 FPC Winners

​First Place

​Second Place

​Third Place

​Kansas State University

​University of Akron

​Utah Valley University

Hannah Rice, Cole Foster, Mariah Bausch

Advisor: L. Ann Coulson, Ph.D., CFP®

Cinara Foor, James Dawson, Aaron Gates

Advisor: Suzanne Gradisher, JD, MBA, MTax

Lauren Loucks, Kevin Michels, Mark Whitaker

Advisor: Hyrum Smith, Ph.D., CFP®

​Congratulations to all 2015 Competing Teams:

Kansas State University; Texas A&M University; Texas Tech University; University of Akron; University of Georgia; Utah Valley University; Virginia Tech; William Paterson University


2015 Case Study
Watch the 2015 Phase 2 Case Study Presentations
Watch the 2015 Phase 3  "How Do You Know?" Challenge

Thank you to the 2015 Judges: Peggy Doviak, Ph.D., CFP®;  Kristine Beck, Ph.D.; Matt Jorgensen, CFP®; David Bresler, CFP®, CRPC®; Andrew Head, CFP®;  Kim Selby, CFP®



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​