Financial Planning Students Take 2nd in National Competition


Financial Planning Team 2016 Congratulations to the CBA students and faculty advisors of the Financial Planning Association (FPA) Challenge Team for taking 2nd place in this year’s national competition! Team members were Adriana Demjanjuk, who served as captain, Joseph Johnson, and Benjamin Schwarz. The team was assisted by Faculty Advisors Barry Mulholland and Suzanne Gradisher. For their efforts, the school wins a monetary scholarship. The University of Akron is the only school to finish in the top three over the past three years. In 2014, the CBA team won, and last year’s team placed second.

The top three finishers this year were (1) William Patterson University, (2) The University of Akron, and (3) Kansas State University. Other colleges and universities competing included the University of Georgia, The Ohio State University, Texas Tech University, Utah Valley University, and California State University, Northridge.

Three-Phase Competition

The competition has three phrases, and lasts over a few semesters. The first phase is a written case students completed this past May. For two hypothetical clients, students must assess the clients’ needs and prepare a comprehensive financial plan based on the data provided. Teams must include a client welcome letter and a one page summary outline. The top eight teams go to the national competition, held at the Financial Planning Association’s Annual Conference, to complete two more phases.

During phase two, the teams make oral presentations of their plan developed in the case to a panel of judges serving in the roles of the clients.

Finally, a “How Do You Know?” Challenge is a game-show style challenge held at the conference. This phase tests team members’ knowledge of financial planning across seven disciplines. For additional information about this year’s competition, view the guidelines online.

Pictured, left to right: Faculty Advisor Barry Mulhulland, Team Members Benjamin Schwarz, Adriana Demjanjuk, and Joseph Johnson, and Faculty Advisor Suzanne Gradisher