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Fall Challenge (Online): Oct 1 - Dec 19, 2023

Spring Challenge (Online): Jan 1 - March 20, 2024

State Finals (In Person): April 10, 2024


What is the ECON Challenge? 

Each year, the Iowa Jump$tart Coalition, with support from the National Council for Economic Education, hosts the Economics Challenge Program. The Challenge is an opportunity for students to demonstrate their knowledge of Economic Literacy by competing with other students across the state in online examinations.  Student participants receive cash prizes, awards, and accolades.

There are three divisions in the Economics Challenge:

  • Adam Smith: For returning competitors, AP, IB, and honors students.
  • David Ricardo: For first-time competitors with no more than one course in economics.
  • Milton Friedman: For middle school students, grades 6-8.

How does the challenge work?

Teams of 3-4 students will have 35 minutes to complete a 30-question online exam covering a broad variety of economic principles.

Students earn 10 points for every correct response and 0 points for each incorrect answer. Every question must be answered to move on, and students are not able to go back to previous questions.

Winners are announced on the Monday following the challenge. 

There will be a cash prize for the top two teams in each division:

  • 1st Place: $25 per student
  • 2nd Place: $15 per student

The top 5 teams in each high school division (David Ricardo and Adam Smith) for each semester will advance to the state finals on April 19.

State Finals Awards:

  • State Champions: $150 per student
  • 2nd Place: $50 per student

Winners from the state championships will represent Iowa in the national competition.

Next Steps

  1. If you are new to the Iowa Economics Challenge, welcome! You will need to select "Teacher Registration" from the menu and create your teacher profile. Once your profile is created, you will be able to log in and begin creating your teams.
  2. If you are a returning teacher, welcome back! Your profile information is saved from your          previous participation, and you can log in to begin creating your teams for this year's challenge!
  3. Teachers sign up their team(s).  *You may sign up multiple teams on your teacher admin page, after you log-in  -- no need to register more than once.

Teacher Drawing

For each registered team that completes the challenge, teachers will be entered into a drawing for a $100 cash prize.

 Teachers can create as many student teams as they'd like.



Research has shown that student clubs and competitions increase student participation, promote attendance, and help students achieve higher grades and standardized test scores.

A very special thank you to this year's sponsors of the Iowa Economics Challenge: