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


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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 2018 Top Eight Teams:

Fort Hays State University

Kansas State University  

Texas A&M University

Texas Tech University

University of Georgia

Utah Valley University

Western Kentucky University

William Paterson University

New this Year!

In recognition for the hours of research, application and presentation preparation, CFP Board will provide each team member hours toward the Experience requirement leading to certification. Students participating in phase 1 will be awarded 20 hours.

2018 Competition Timeline

May 18 – Phase 1 Case Submission and Registration Deadline

July 16 – Top 8 Student Teams Announced

Week of July 23 – Academic Advisor Conference Call

Oct 2 – Onsite Orientation

Oct 3 – Phase 2: Financial Planning Case Study Presentations

Oct 4 – Phase 3: "How Do You Know?" Challenge

Oct 3-5 – Students Participate in Annual Conference Networking and Learning Opportunities

2018 Competition Materials

2018 Financial Planning Challenge Guidelines

2018 FPC Registration Form
2018 Financial Planning Challenge Case Study Final
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.


The top eight (8) student teams based on their Phase 1 score will be announced on July 16, 2018. These teams will advance to the final phases of the competition held in conjunction with FPA Annual Conference 2018. Teams will be provided roundtrip airfare/transportation, lodging, $75 gift card, complimentary FPA Annual Conference registration, 1 year of FPA membership plus 60 hours toward the Experience requirement leading to certification.


In addition, the top three (3) teams will be awarded the following:

  • 1st Place Overall:  $10,000 scholarship for their school, one hour of Career Coaching from Caleb Brown at New Planner Recruiting and full scholarship to FPA's highly acclaimed Residency Program.

  • 2nd Place Overall:  $5,000 scholarship for their school

  • 3rd Place Overall:  $1,000 scholarship for their school


Previous Finalists and Case Studies

2017 Financial Planning Challenge

Finalists: First Place - Utah Valley University; Second Place - University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; Third Place - Texas A&M University

2017 Case Study​ 


2016 Financial Planning Challenge

Finalists: First Place - William Paterson University; Second Place - The University of Akron; Third Place: Kansas State University

2016 Case Study​


2015 Financial Planning Challenge

Finalists: First Place - Kansas State University; Second Place - The 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 - The University of Akron; Second Place - Utah Valley University; Third Place: William Paterson University

2014 Financial Planning Case Study​