10 Investing Competitions for High School Students
- Why Should You Enter an Investing Competition?
- Investing Competitions for High School Students
- How Do Investing Competitions Affect My Admissions Chances?
Have you watched the movie Wall Street more than once? Is Warren Buffet your idol? Do you read the Wall Street Journal daily? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should consider participating in an investing competition. There are many investment challenges aimed at high schoolers which allow them to play the market using hypothetical funds, test themselves against other students, and gain a deeper understanding of the intricacies of the stock market.
Why Should You Enter an Investing Competition?
Investing competitions teach high schoolers a variety of skills and provide them with hands-on stock market experience. Participants in high school investing competitions develop an understanding of the basics of the stock market and both company and industry analysis. They also help high schoolers gain a greater knowledge of principles like risk and diversification. Some programs, like the Yale DHSRI High School Investment Competition, even introduce students to more advanced topics like Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Investing.
In addition to learning about the stock market, investment competitions also help high schoolers build a variety of valuable skills that will last long after the competition is over. Soft skills like teamwork, communication, and leadership generally play a significant role in the dynamics of high school investment competitions, as do skills like critical thinking and problem-solving.
Investing Competitions for High School Students
The Wharton Global High School Investment Competition challenges students in grades 9-12 across the globe to try to win the business of a potential client by creating a strategy that helps them achieve their long-term goals. Working in teams of four to seven students, participants develop an investment strategy, analyze industries and companies, and build a portfolio using $100,000 in virtual funds. Unlike the majority of investment competitions, winners are chosen on the strength and articulation of their team’s strategy, rather than the growth of their portfolios.
The Global Stock Pitch Competition is an annual event hosted by the Young Investors Society. Participants, either working alone or in teams of two, are tasked with analyzing a publicly traded company (at times even meeting with the company’s management), recommending whether to “buy” or “sell” its stock, and ultimately defending their position in a written report.
Stevens Trading Day—hosted by the Stevens Institute of Technology—is open to students 16 and older from across the globe. Participants create a mock portfolio using $1,000,000 in hypothetical funds. The creators of the top 25 highest-performing portfolios are invited to Stevens’s Hoboken, New Jersey, campus for a series of talks, lectures, and activities—including a live-trading event where the top traders compete for prizes.
This high-profile investment competition for high school and middle school students pairs members of Congress with students, teachers, and schools to instill a deeper understanding of personal finance and economics. Up to two public middle schools or high schools per Congressional district may participate in the challenge annually and selected schools can field up to ten teams of three to five students. Capitol Hill Challenge teams manage a theoretical $100,000 portfolio of stocks, bonds, mutual funds, impact investments, and cash—the top ten performing teams earn national recognition and a financial award.
This high school investment competition is run by the Dwight Hall Socially Responsible Investment Fund (DHSRI) at Yale University, the nation’s oldest undergraduate-run socially responsible investment fund. The competition provides participants with instruction in basic investing skills along with the principles of Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) Investing. The competition challenges students to manage a virtual $100,000 portfolio for 90 days and write a final report.
This national investment competition run by the University of Texas Dallas (UT Dallas) Naveen Jindal School of Management is open to rising 9th through 12th graders. Participants start with a balance of $1,000,000 in virtual currency and are charged with investing it in stocks and ETFs (exchange-traded funds). Whoever makes the most money over the course of the contest wins a cash award, while all participants take away a better understanding of investing and personal finance.
Dates: 11/1/21-2/25/22 (2022-2023 dates are pending)
The Ithaca College High School Investment Competition brings real-world investing tactics to northeastern students in grades 9-12. Students are grouped into teams of three to six and challenged with building a virtual $1,000,000 portfolio containing between five and 20 stocks. The team with the best-performing portfolio at the end of the challenge is declared the winner and the three top teams take home monetary awards.
This investing competition for current high school students in the Northeast tasks them with virtually investing $50,000. The goal of this challenge is to give high schoolers firsthand investing experience and provide them with a glimpse of how the economic system works in a fun and collaborative way. Last year’s challenge winners received gift cards to Barnes and Noble.
The Kansas High School Stock Pitch Challenge tasks participating Kansas high schoolers—working in teams of three to five—to research and report on a company and make “buy” or “sell” recommendations. Teams submit three reports over the course of 90 days while receiving feedback from judges. The top five teams are invited to Kansas State University’s College of Business for a networking event and to present their findings to a panel of industry and faculty judges.
Dates: 2022-2023 dates haven’t been announced
Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge Nebraska—the largest Junior Achievement Stock Market Challenge in the nation—gives students a taste of the stock market by tasking them with investing $1,000,000 in mock funds in 26 fictitious companies. Trading days last just 90 seconds and condense two months of trading into an action-packed two hours. In addition to the challenge, students will also complete classroom lessons on the basics of the stock market and the importance of saving and investing.
How Do Investing Competitions Affect My Admissions Chances?
The influence your participation in an investing competition has on your admission chances varies—everything from the prestige of the competition to the value a college places on extracurricular activities like investing challenges will affect its impact.
The four tiers of extracurricular activities are a good guide for understanding how colleges view your activities outside of the classroom, such as investing competitions. Top-tier activities (tiers one and two) are reserved for the competitions held in the highest esteem, with the best reputations, and most intense competition, like the Wharton Global High School Investment Competition. Tier-one and tier-two extracurricular activities can hold a lot of sway with admissions offices and dramatically improve your college odds.
Less well-known and more regional investment competitions are typically categorized as tier-three and tier-four extracurriculars. These activities don’t have the same influence on college admissions as those in the higher tiers, but they are still valuable. Lower-tiered extracurricular activities demonstrate a commitment to pursuing subjects that interest you, provide insight into your interests outside of school, and ultimately help paint a more complete picture of yourself to admissions offices.
Curious how the investment competition you participated in affects your odds of college admission? CollegeVine can help! Our free chancing calculator uses a variety of factors including grades, test scores, and extracurriculars to estimate your odds of getting into hundreds of colleges and universities while also providing insight into how to improve your profile.