Eligibility and Timelines

The Illinois Economics Challenge (ILEC) is an online competition where student teams test their knowledge of economics. This annual competition takes place during the spring semester.

Student Eligibility

Students must have previously taken or currently be enrolled in a qualifying course to meet eligibility criteria for participation in the Illinois program. They must be actively coached by a secondary teacher, parent, or club advisor for necessary academic support.

Qualifying Courses Include

  • Advanced Placement (AP Micro, AP Macro, or AP Micro and Macro)
  • International Baccalaureate (pre-IB and IB)
  • Honors, two-semester, or any other advanced courses in economics (including courses taught by a secondary teacher where students earn college credit).

To participate, teachers register online from January 1 - February 22. After the brief online registration, teachers need to download, complete and submit an ILEC Teacher Registration Form to Econ Illinois by February 27. Once the registration form is received, an email is sent on how to form student teams online.

Additional rules can be found on the ILEC Resources page.

Students who do not qualify for ILEC, but who have taken a consumer education, one-semester economics or personal finance course may participate in the Illinois Personal Finance Challenge.


For more information, please contact Debbie Kerman at (815) 753-0354 or dkerman@niu.edu. 

Economics Challenge Timeline

January 2019
ILEC registration opens

February 22, 2019
Initial ILEC online registration closes

February 27, 2019
Teacher registration forms due in Econ Illinois office via email, fax, or mail

March 1-15, 2019
IILEC online competition available for student testing

March 22, 2019*
Deadline for winning teachers to submit state finalist information

April 9, 2019
The ILEC State Finals

April 17, 2019
The National Economics Challenge Semi-finals

May 18-20, 2019
National Economics Challenge Finals

*May occur during spring breaks – please plan to meet the deadline!