High School Valuation Challenge 2017

Northern Illinois University's premier organization within the exceptional College of Business, NIU Investment Association, is proud to announce a High School Valuation Challenge which invites teams of top students in high schools across the Chicagoland area to select and investigate the hypothetical merger of two publicly traded firms belonging to an assigned industry.  Teams will conduct a thorough analysis of both the industry and the companies, considering both quantitative and qualitative aspects of the deal, and the ramifications for the companies involved.  At the end of the 8-week period, teams are required to submit a document detailing your recommended strategy. Teams advancing to round two will present their strategy to the full board of Northern Illinois University Investment Association (NIUIA) judges and members on NIU's DeKalb campus in Barsema Hall. 


  • January 20, 2017: Registration deadline (free! see below)
  • January 20, 2017: Teams are notified by email of the selected industry
  • March 17, 2017: First round written report due 
  • March 31, 2017: Teams advancing to the second round are notified by email
  • April 18, 2017: Second round presentations to NIUIA members at Northern Illinois University


  • 1st Place: $2,500 (team) & $500 (school)
  • 2nd Place: $1,000 (team) & $500 (school) 


  • Learn skills relevant to all professions and educational tracks
  • Develop teamwork, leadership and communication skills
  • Learn about risk, diversification, company analysis, industry analysis and investing
  • Develop and apply critical thinking and reading skills throughout the competition
  • Enhance your college and scholarship applications by building your résumé


Getting Started

  • The first step is for all teachers/advisors and students involved in the competition to register here below. Registration is free.  
  • NIUIA officers are willing to schedule a school visit to explain this opportunity if desired.
  • Submit information release waiver for all the participants signed by parents or legal guardians to Dr. Gina Nicolosi at gnicolos@niu.edu within 3 days of submitting an application


Questions or comments?  Please reach out to our NIU Investment Association President, Oleg Grachev at president.niuia@gmail.com or our Faculty Advisor and Finance Department Chair, Dr. Gina Nicolosi, at gnicolos@niu.edu

Thank you and we look forward to having you on campus this Spring!  Get excited and best of luck.


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