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TVA’s Investment Challenge Student Participants Outperform S&P 500

Apr 12, 2022
  • TVA’s Investment Challenge Program is one of the largest student investment programs in the nation.
  • The 2021 teams achieved an average of 25% return on investment – with seven teams out-performing the S&P 500 Total Return Index.

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – The Tennessee Valley Authority announced Tuesday that seven teams participating in the utility’s Investment Challenge Program (ICP) beat the S&P 500 Total Return Index in 2021 – despite market uncertainty wrought by COVID and inflation.

“It’s inspiring to see our student investors take charge and navigate a dynamic market to repeatedly achieve double-digit returns,” said TVA Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Risk Officer Tammy Wilson. “More importantly, ICP teaches more than investing. It provides students the opportunity to put their knowledge and skills to work and prepare for their professional careers.”

The top performing teams who beat the S&P 500 to earn awards are:

  • East Tennessee State University
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Mississippi University for Women
  • Trevecca Nazarene University
  • Union University
  • University of Alabama at Huntsville
  • University of Memphis

TVA’s ICP is one of the nation’s largest student-managed investor programs. Each year, 24 student teams actively manage stock portfolios for TVA, designing long-term investment strategies and selecting investments under the guidance of faculty members and within investment guidelines established and monitored by TVA. Since its inception, students have collectively outperformed the S&P 500 by 8.56% annually. Through 2021, the program has grown to $18 million primarily through positive investment returns. ICP teams have earned over $1.3 million in performance awards for their schools over the life of the program.

“Year after year, ICP serves as an excellent learning tool for students to interact with top-tier financial professionals and gain practical experience by managing real portfolios with faculty oversight and appropriate guard rails,” said Wilson.

Other participating universities include: Alabama A&M University, Austin Peay State University, Belmont University, Christian Brothers University, Lipscomb University, Mississippi State University, Murray State University, Tennessee State University, Tennessee Tech University, University of Kentucky, University of Mississippi, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, University of Tennessee at Martin, University of North Alabama, Vanderbilt University, Western Carolina University, and Western Kentucky University.  

This is one of many programs TVA has implemented to support helping students’ learning and ensuring the future workforce is prepared to compete for the more than 2.4 million science, technology, engineering and math jobs that go unfilled.

Last year, TVA awarded $1 million in STEM Grants, helping more than 106,000 students develop STEM skills and sponsored robotics in 163 schools, and is investing $7.3 million to make energy upgrades to improve classrooms at 160 schools.  

For more information about the Investment Challenge Program, visit

The Tennessee Valley Authority is a corporate agency of the United States that provides electricity for business customers and local power companies serving nearly 10 million people in parts of seven southeastern states. TVA receives no taxpayer funding, deriving virtually all of its revenues from sales of electricity. In addition to operating and investing its revenues in its electric system, TVA provides flood control, navigation and land management for the Tennessee River system and assists local power companies and state and local governments with economic development and job creation. 



Scott Fiedler
Public Relations
[email protected]

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