Texas Tech University

Texas Tech Wins 2021 Financial Planning Challenge

Glenys Young

September 24, 2021

Piggy Back

Team members Ansleigh Brister, Valerie Carpenter and Laura Werner earned a $10,000 scholarship for the university.

For the third time in its history, and the third time in four years, a three-person team from Texas Tech University's School of Personal Financial Planning has come out on top in the 2021 Financial Planning Challenge, hosted by the Financial Planning Association® (FPA), Ameriprise Financial and the CFP Board.

In the two decades since the challenge began at Texas Tech, the university's team has consistently been among the top eight in the competition, earning second- and third-place finishes in various years, along with first-place finishes in 2018 and 2020. For the second straight year, teams – including Texas Tech's Ansleigh Brister, Valerie Carpenter and Laura Werner – competed virtually.


“Ansleigh, Valerie and Laura are the first all-female team to represent Texas Tech in the Financial Planning Challenge,” said Michael Guillemette, an assistant professor of personal financial planning and team coach. “The faculty, staff and students in the School of Personal Financial Planning are proud of the tremendous amount of effort they devoted to prepare for the competition.”

The Financial Planning Challenge is the culmination of a months-long effort. In Phase 1, which took place in the spring, all participating teams compiled a written financial plan for a hypothetical client. Students could not seek advice or help from professionals, including their coach.

After the first phase was judged in July, the top eight teams advanced to the national competition. Those teams were: Texas Tech, Edinboro University, Fort Hays State University, Illinois State University, Kansas State University, Purdue University, University of Arizona and Western Kentucky University.

Phases 2 and 3 took place this week via Zoom. In Phase 2, on Wednesday (Sept. 22), each team orally presented its case study to a panel of judges. Phase 3 on Thursday (Sept. 23) was the “How Do You Know?” Challenge, a “Jeopardy”-style quiz bowl that tests teams' financial-planning knowledge.

The winners were announced today (Sept. 24). The teams from Kansas State University and Fort Hays State University took second and third place, respectively.

“Competing at this level requires hard work and true dedication,” said Mitzi Lauderdale, interim director of the School of Personal Financial Planning. “The team members and their adviser, Dr. Guillemette, spent countless hours preparing. Congratulations to the reigning National Champions!”

As the first-place finisher, Texas Tech's team earned a $10,000 scholarship for the university. Each team member will receive one hour of career coaching from Caleb Brown at New Planner Recruiting and a full scholarship to FPA's highly acclaimed Residency Program.