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Economics for Leaders


The Foundation for Teaching Economics (FTE) is closely monitoring the outbreak of COVID-19. FTE is in close contact with our campus partners. Based on current conditions, all programs are proceeding as planned. Should a campus closure require the cancellation of a program, full refunds of the program fee will be given. For participants who voluntarily withdraw, refunds will be made according to the FTE stated refund policy and schedule.


Economics for Leaders (EFL) is a selective summer program that teaches student leaders how to integrate economics into the process of decision-making in a hands-on, experiential environment.

Programs are taught by economics professors and leadership instructors selected for their expertise and teaching effectiveness. Morning discussions, activities, and interactive sessions introduce participants to the “economic way of thinking.”  Afternoon sessions build an understanding of leadership and participants practice leadership skills in a fun-filled series of tasks and dilemmas.

The goal of EFL is to give promising students the skills to be more effective leaders and to teach them how to employ economic analysis when considering difficult public policy choices. Given the existing challenges confronting our nation and, assuming that problems in years to come will be equally consequential, the job of preparing the next generation of leaders may be one of the most important actions we can take now to ensure our well being in the future. The Foundation for Teaching Economics is committed to finding and nurturing those budding leaders.

Economics for Leaders is an unparalleled learning and growing opportunity.  90% of the students who attended the program in 2019 said they would recommend the program to their friends.  The program is competitive, with approximately two applicants applying for each available space.  College admission officers have commented that students who attend selective programs, such as Economics for Leaders, make more competitive applicants.

“I continue to support Economics for Leaders for a variety of reasons.  First and foremost, every student I send, regardless of personality, interests, or degree of high academic level, returns enlightened and enthusiastic about college.  The lessons learned about themselves oftentimes translate into college essays.  They gain confidence about their ability to transition to college along with a greater understanding of their leadership style and role in group dynamics.”

– Debra Landesberg, President
My College Resource


Who Can Apply?

Students who are currently sophomores and juniors in high school are eligible to attend EFL programs in 2020.



Admission to EFL is competitive, with decisions based on leadership potential, maturity, and the applicant’s vision of their future.  Above all, EFL participants are intelligent and articulate students who will benefit from this unique educational experience.

Applications are considered, reviewed, and accepted on a rolling basis.  Space is limited at each site, so we encourage students to apply early to increase their chance of admittance to their preferred site.  Approximately 30 – 40 students are accepted at each site.  See our Sites & Dates page for more details.

Program Fee: $1,800

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis – click on the ‘Apply Here’ link at the upper right to start your application!

*Cancellation Policy: 50% of total tuition paid will be refunded until May 1, 2020. Refunds will not be offered for cancellations after May 1.


College Credit

Through a partnership with the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS), two semester hours of optional undergraduate credit are available to students attending EFL.  There is an additional fee of $244 for the credits and students who opt to receive credit must complete additional assignments.  Details and registration instructions will be included in the orientation information provided to accepted students approximately four weeks before the start of their program.


Scholarships & Tuition Assistance

Scholarship funding is available for financially needy students.  Please see our Costs and Scholarships tab to learn more.


Program Goals

  • Give students the knowledge to understand the economic concepts shaping the global economy
  • Foster students’ commitment to continued learning about economics and leadership
  • Help students discover their potential as they learn to develop and implement effective leadership skills
  • Provide a fun-filled, active environment rich with new friendships that can last a lifetime


Program Testimonials 

Click here to read comments about FTE’s flagship program from both parents and students.

Student Program Deadline Extended to April 15. Given the challenges families face because of COVID-19, FTE has extended the deadline and streamlined the application.