Illinois Personal Finance Challenge

The Illinois Personal Finance Challenge (IPFC) recognizes students who demonstrate high levels of comprehension and application of personal finance concepts and skills. It also acknowledges educators like you for outstanding practices in teaching personal finance. 

The IPFC competition provides an individual test score for each student, making it a great assessment tool for student understanding and application of economic & financial literacy concepts.  This is true whether the content is taught in a traditional classroom setting or through ISBE preferred inquiry-based activities.

Middle School

When you teach personal finance topics in your classroom, students learn how our market economy works and how to successfully navigate their own financial decisions. Add an element of competition and watch the incentive to learn increase dramatically!  

High School

High school students are required to take a consumer education/personal finance course or coursework. The IPFC competition is the perfect way to immerse your students in content and to assess how well they are meeting the Illinois economic and financial literacy learning standards.

Teachers of the following courses will be most interested in participating:

  • Business
  • Career and Technical Education
  • Economics
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Family and Consumer Science
  • Personal Finance

Online Competition

Illinois teachers, register on the Personal Finance Challenge website during the January - February enrollment period. The competition is not restricted by geographic location or budgetary constraints. There are no fees involved and students from all over the state may easily participate. Teachers may engage as many teams as desired – and typically do have multiple classes participate.

The online competition provides accessible testing, so that every school in the state can participate. Students participate in teams of three or four, answering 30 randomized questions in a randomized online test. To prepare students, teachers are provided the rules of the program and resources that support the Illinois economics and financial literacy learning standards. The program aligns well with inquiry-based activities in the classroom.

Middle school: top-scoring teams for the middle school competitions receive medals and certificates.

High school: the top-scoring high school team from each of five regions in the state, plus the next five highest-scoring teams in the state advance to a state finals competition at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago in April. Teachers have access to all individual online test scores and may partially reconstitute a winning team advancing to the state finals.

State Championship Round

High school: at the state competition, the student teams take a set of three written tests and compete in a Case Study presentation to a business professional. The two teams with the highest team scores after the four rounds of competition advance to the final Quiz Bowl.

National Finals

High school: the first-place Illinois Championship team advances to represent Illinois in the National Personal Finance Challenge (NPFC) held at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln during May. The NPFC will be a Case Study format with no written tests.


The Illinois Personal Finance Challenge is a program of Econ Illinois brought to you through support from our partners and donors, with special recognition to Illinois State Treasurer Michael W. Frerichs for his endorsement and generous support.