Recap: 2019 National Economics Challenge

The top 134 students out of a total of 10,000 contestants from high schools across the USA and China descended upon New York City to compete in the final rounds of Council for Economic Education’s 19th Annual National Economics Challenge (NEC). Through written exams, a Critical Thinking Round based on persuasive presentations, and head-to-head Quiz Bowls, they battled for the top prizes in two divisions: the David Ricardo Division, for first-time competitors who have taken one economics course, and the Adam Smith Division for AP, international baccalaureate, and honors students (as well as any returning competitors).

Andrew Ross Sorkin, co-anchor of CNBC’s Squawk Box and editor/contributor for The New York Times, hosted the Quiz Bowl Finals. Mary C. Daly, President of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, provided pre-recorded video questions.

For the first time in the history of the NEC, the same high school won both USA divisions. The top two teams in each division from both the USA and China then faced off for the National Championship, before the winners from each country competed in the international round. Winners are as follows:

USA Adam Smith Division: Mt. Hebron High School (MD)
USA David Ricardo Division: Mt. Hebron High School (MD)
CHINA Adam Smith Division: BASIS International School Guangzhou (Guangdong)
CHINA David Ricardo Division: Shanghai Starriver Bilingual School (Shanghai)
International Adam Smith: BASIS International School Guangzhou (Guangdong)
International David Ricardo: Shanghai Starriver Bilingual School (Shanghai)
In between rounds, teams enjoyed a visit to the One World Observatory at the top of the One World Trade Center, as well as guest speaker sessions with CEE Board Chair and Managing Partner of Sage Asset Manager Barry Haimes, and Atlas Merchant Bank Operating Partner and CEE Board Member Larry Kantor, as well as CEE Associate Board members Rachel Lipsky, Consultant at Deloitte Tax, and Rahim Muhammad, Financial Consultant at Charles Schwab.

CNBC covered the event extensively, with student contestants interviewed on Squawk Box, live check-ins during The Exchange and Power Lunch, and a story on the Nightly Business Report. CNBC also streamed the Quiz Bowl Finals live on their website.

A big thank you goes out to every student, teacher, CEE network member, and staff member as well as to CNBC, and Andnow Media who helped to make the 2019 National Economics Challenge a success. Thanks as well to our exclusive partner in China, SKT Education & Beyond, and our sponsors: the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Schwarzman Scholars, and Russell Glass.

Please enjoy the following photos and videos from the event.

POSTED: July 3, 2019 | BY: Alan Yaspan

Recap: 2019 National Personal Finance Challenge

On Friday, May 10, 84 high school students out of a total of 18,000 participants nation-wide, each representing their home state, met at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln to compete in the final rounds of the Council for Economic Education’s 2019 National Personal Finance Challenge.

Each team had two hours to devise a financial plan for a hypothetical family featuring a daughter headed off to college, a business-owning father with dreams of early retirement, growing debts, and other parameters. After preliminary presentations, the top three teams gave final presentations to judges Nebraska State Treasurer John Murante, Omaha Federal Reserve Branch Executive Nate Kauffman, UNL College of Business Dean Kathy Farrell, Voya Finacial’s Vice-President of Diversity and Inclusion Nicole Starks, and veteran financial advisor and former Superbowl-winning football player Tony Veland.

The top three teams placed as follows:
First place: SAR High School (NY)
Second place: BASIS Scottsdale (AZ)
Third place: Madeira High School (OH)

Televised news reports about the National Personal Finance Challenge ran in Omaha and New York City, with print coverage in Alabama, Rhode Island, North Carolina, and Missouri, among others.

The Council for Economic Education would like to thank every student, teacher, CEE network members, and staff that worked to make the National Personal Finance Challenge a success. Special thanks are due to the event sponsor, Voya Financial, and to the Nebraska Council on Economic Education for hosting and organizing the event.

Please enjoy the following videos and photos.

Photos by Garrett Stolz, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

POSTED: July 2, 2019 | BY: Alan Yaspan

Nan J. Morrison guests on Jill on Money podcast

CEE President and CEO Nan J. Morrison was a featured guest on Jill Schlesinger’s Jill on Money podcast, discussing the benefits of introducing K-12 students to personal finance, her best and worst financial decisions, how to “pay yourself first”, and more!

Listen here:

Jill Schlessinger is a Business Analyst for CBS News and the author of The Dumb Things Smart People do with Their Money.

POSTED: May 6, 2019 | BY: Alan Yaspan

Op-ed by Nan J. Morrison, our CEO, published on CNBC along with interview on The Exchange

An op-ed by Nan J. Morrison, President and CEO of the Council for Economic Education (CEE), discussing how the vocabulary of finance is a critical tool for economic mobility was published on CNBC.com. You can read it here.

Concurrent with the op-ed’s publication, CNBC aired an interview with Morrison on The Exchange with host Brian Sullivan. See the clip below.


POSTED: April 23, 2019 | BY: Alan Yaspan

Financial IQ quiz by CEE featured as part of Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow., presented by CNBC and Acorns

April is Financial Literacy Month, and the Council for Economic Education (CEE) is excited to be a part of CNBC’s Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow., a financial wellness and education initiative in partnership with Acorns.

The series was announced alongside the formation of CNBC’s Financial Wellness Advisory Council, intended to “bring together the foremost financial experts, thought leaders and influencers to offer personal finance tips and strategies.” Named among its members are our CEO, Nan J. Morrison, CEE board member Dr. Annamaria Lusardi, and Gabriel Tanglao, associate director of professional development and instructional issues for the New Jersey Education Association as well as a recipient of an Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Teaching Champion Award.

Our first contribution to Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow. is the “Financial IQ” quiz published with an introduction by Tanglao. Find the English version of the 10-question quiz here, and the Spanish version, via Telemundo, here.

On April 1st, Morrison joined CNBC Chairman Mark Hoffman, Acorns CEO Noah Kerner, and other members of the Financial Wellness Advisory Council to ring the opening bell at the Nasdaq.

More content from the Council for Economic Education is planned for the remainder of the Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow. Keep an eye on our social media channels and this site for updates!

POSTED: April 8, 2019 | BY: Alan Yaspan

2018 National Economics Challenge Finalists!

You’ve been waiting for this moment!

The results are in and we are pleased to announce the Finalists for the 2018 National Economics Challenge!


  • Carmel High School, IN
  • The Harker School, CA
  • Hunter College High School, NY
  • Iolani School, HI
  • Iowa City West High School, IA
  • Lexington High School, MA
  • Mt. Hebron High School, MD
  • Thomas Jefferson High School, VA


  • Hunter College High School, NY
  • Iolani School, HI
  • Lexington High School, MA
  • Monta Vista High School, CA
  • Montgomery High School, NJ
  • Mt. Hebron High School, MD
  • Olympia High School, WA
  • Troy High School, MI

These sixteen teams had the highest scores in the semi-final rounds of the Adam Smith and David Ricardo Divisions and will be participating in the Finals in New York City on May 19 – 21. The top two teams from each division will go head-to-head for the title of National Champion. Check out our Facebook page for photos of each team.

You will want to watch this on Monday! Below is the line-up with our media partner, CNBC:

  • CNBC’s Squawk Box will be interviewing the students at 6:30 a.m. ET.
  • CNBC’s Power Lunch will be airing live snippets of the Challenge from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET.
  • The Challenge will also be streamed live in its entirety on CNBC.com starting at 12:50 p.m. ET. Watch here.
Make sure to visit the National Economics Challenge website for more information about the competition.

Congratulations to the finalists and thank you to all the teams who participated this year! Make sure to “follow” us on Twitter and “like” us on Facebook to see what the teams are up to in New York City!

POSTED: May 18, 2018 | BY: Daniel Thompson | TAGS: , , , , , , , ,

More from the CEE