What is TVA's Investment Challenge?

The Investment Challenge Program was created in 1998 by allocating $1.9 million to 19 universities located throughout the Tennessee Valley. The initial, and future, funding was provided by a TVA trust to offer students the opportunity to manage actual investment portfolios.

As a result of the students' demonstrated success in managing this allocation, TVA expanded the program to include 6 additional universities and increased the total allocation to $10.0 million in 2003. The students continued a successful track record against the S&P 500 benchmark and the program was again expanded with additional universities in 2022 and 2023. Today, there are 26 participating universities, and the students manage $12.0 million. Since inception, the student managers have outperformed the S&P 500 benchmark.

The Investment Challenge promotes economic development by helping strengthen the Valley's educational infrastructure, a vital component of future economic growth. At the same time, the program makes a direct contribution to the training of the region's future business leaders.

TVA Investment Challenge Program


For more information about the Investment Challenge Program, please contact [email protected].

Contact us
students icon


Students actively manage TVA funds by designing long-term investment strategies, placing trades, maintaining investment guideline compliance, and providing and presenting performance reports to TVA.

The program provides the students with a tangible investment experience through the application of the principles that they are learning.


tva icon


TVA supports the program by utilizing some of its experienced professional managers and staff to provide guidance and resources to help students apply investment management concepts.

university icon


Universities can earn performance awards based on their returns versus the benchmark, S&P 500 index. Since inception, TVA has paid more than $1.4 million in performance awards to the participating universities.

portfolio icon


TVA interacts with the students at various times throughout the year to discuss the investment strategy and philosophy of the portfolios.

Fast Facts

Established in 1998 with 1.9 million dollars and 19 universities
Expanded to 10 million dollars in 2003, now 12 million dollars and 26 participating universities
Outperformed the S&P 500 by 0.46%



View 1998-2023 data

Participating Universities

Alabama A&M University

Austin Peay State University

Belmont University

Carson-Newman University

Christian Brothers University

East Tennessee State University

Lipscomb University

Mississippi State University

Middle Tennessee State University

Murray State University

University of Mississippi

Mississippi University for Women

Trevecca Nazarene University

Tennessee State University

Tennessee Tech

University of Alabama at Birmingham

University of Alabama in Huntsville

University of Kentucky

University of Memphis

University of North Alabama

Union University

University of Tennessee at Chattanooga

University of Tennessee Martin

Vanderbilt University

Western Carolina University

Western Kentucky University