How to Prepare For the National Economics Challenge (NEC)

The economic classifications for entering into the National Economics Challenge Program differ with the level of study completed. In addition to a standard competition format, there is also an essay competition requiring essays written in response to a specific question posed to students. The essay competition differs from the regular competition in that there are no grade point average or percentile requirements. The essay competition is designed to allow those with a high academic ability to succeed by presenting their argument in a clear, concise manner demonstrating their ability as an economic thinker.

For students who do not have a mathematical background, or for those who prefer to apply their knowledge in another area, the national economics challenge contains multiple choice competition, which involves answering multiple-choice questions based on macroeconomic theories. The choices range in topic and size with higher-level concepts requiring multiple answer choices. Students who successfully complete the challenge are awarded a grade from OWER-D. A student with a high grade will have their choice of being sent home, receiving a failing grade, or earning an honors degree. The honor degree allows the student to specialize in a specific area of macro-or microeconomics.

High school students participate in the National Economics Challenge for grade retention and preparation for college. The National Economics Challenge is offered in alignment with the standards required to earn placement at nationally accredited colleges and universities. Since the challenge is administered by The Association of American Economics, many colleges and universities participate on a national level. In order to be allowed to participate in the competition, high school students must meet the following criteria:


There are separate divisions for nationals and non-nationals. Students who are international students must compete against students who are domestic students. Students who are from the United States must compete against students from other countries. The same is true for those who are home-schooled students. Home-schooled students must compete with other home-schooled students who are also participating in the national economy challenge.

Credit requirements

The National Economics class requires much more credit than the standard general-purpose class. In order to be eligible to compete for the national economics challenge, a student must complete two years of college. Those who are home schooled will have to complete six additional credits in addition to their general education requirement. Sophomores, juniors, and seniors are required to complete this additional course by their senior year of high school.

Team Chemistry

The competitive environment of the national economics challenge requires team chemistry. Teams are formed based on common interests and goals within the economic field. Students must engage in a series of activities that build trust, support, and productivity within their teams. This is not an easy task because it takes time, effort, and commitment to create teamwork.

Rules Committee

The rules committee makes important decisions about which courses should be offered, how they should be presented, how competitions will be conducted, and when the National Economics Challenge will award the national championship. The rules committee consists of individuals who have an influence over the development of every challenge. The members are often selected from current or former students of the economics department at a university. The committee ensures that there are strict rules that are followed during each competition. The students serve as the experts in making sure that the rules are followed throughout the competition.

Financial Aid/ Scholarship

The financial aid office at a university is the first point of call for any students who are interested in competing in the national economics challenge (nec). They work closely with the student to find out what scholarships and grants they may qualify for. The student must apply for the scholarship/grant in the fall of their senior year. Once accepted, the money will be sent to the student who submits the winning high school exam. Be prepared to spend four years studying for this exam, and remember that many financial aid/scholarships will not be awarded due to the competitiveness of the competition.

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