The Challenge

2016 – 2017 iOme Challenge Question

The newly elected president has named your iOme Team as members of the Task Force for the Financial Security of Millennials (TFFSM). Your task force is to report directly to the Council of Economic Advisors (CEA).  One of the responsibilities of the CEA is “… to make and furnish such studies, reports thereon, and recommendations with respect to matters of Federal economic policy and legislation as the President may request.” (

The President believes that Millennials face some unique financial challenges. He knows that addressing the financial concerns of Millennials will have substantial economic impact for the future of the Millennial Generation. Two of the major financial challenges that face Millennials are the substantial college debt that many have incurred and the lack of saving for retirement. These two challenges are naturally linked to one another. Paying off large college indebtedness means those funds cannot be set aside for retirement. Develop a policy proposal that will solve or ease the burden of college debt for Millennials. If the college debt burden is eased, what incentives can be developed to ensure that the money saved from college debt can be channeled into savings for retirement? Your policy proposal must link these two financial challenges and provide solutions for both. 

The President’s charge to you is to prepare a policy proposal that will be introduced in Congress as part of his first 300 days in office.

Essay Guidelines

  • Not more than 10,000 words;
  • Must be grounded and documented in scientific economic and behavioral research;
  • Must demonstrate a reasonable probability of success;
  • Must give consideration to the political viability of such a policy;
  • Must include a complete bibliography of sources.


The President also wants the Task Force to create a video that can be used to help market and sell this policy proposal.

Video Guidelines

  • Produce a short video (60 seconds or less in length).
  • The Video should illustrate the key thesis of the Essay in a compelling and creative manner.
  • The Video should be crafted as a visual representation of the key elements of the Essay.
  • You might think about the Essay as the screenplay and the Video as the movie.

Interested in Taking the Challenge?

First step is to Register your team online.

The deadline for submitting both the essay and video HAS BEEN EXTENDED to April 30, 2017 at 11:59pm EST.

You can submit both your essay and video online.  Click on “The Challenge” tab on the iOme website for submission instructions and forms.

Winners will be announced by June 1, 2017

The winning team will share a $5,000 prize, with an additional $1,500 paid to the team’s faculty advisor.

Winners will present their winning essay at a forum in Washington, DC that will take place in late June 2017 (exact date will be posted soon).  Please make sure team members will be available to travel to and participate in the Washington DC forum.

If you have any questions, contact the iOme Challenge at