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CFP Board Center for Financial Planning Launches Diversity Scholarship

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What You Need to Know

  • The scholarship will cover the cost of the Dalton Review CFP exam review course for 10 recipients per year.
  • Only about 4% of CFPs are Black or Hispanic.
  • The CFP Board wants to attract more diverse financial planners.

The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Center for Financial Planning has collaborated with Dalton Education to launch the Dalton Education CFP Exam Review Course Scholarship that seeks to advance diversity in the financial planning profession, they said Thursday.

The new scholarship will cover the full cost of the Dalton Review CFP exam review course for eligible candidates. The program will award 10 scholarships each year, at a total value of about $15,000, the Center for Financial Planning and Dalton Education said in a joint announcement.

The Center for Financial Planning is a “distinct initiative of CFP Board, focused on creating a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession, so that every American has access to competent, ethical financial planning advice,” the center says on its website. The center’s lead founding sponsor is TD Ameritrade, and the other founding sponsors are Charles Schwab, Envestnet and Northwestern Mutual.

Although the public’s need for professional financial planning advice “has never been greater,” the profession is “not regenerating itself fast enough to meet increased demand, and it does not sufficiently reflect the changing demographics” of U.S. consumers, according to the center.

The CFP Board said in January that the number of Black and Hispanic CFP professionals increased to 3,688, up 12.6% from 3,274 in 2019. The growth rate was almost five times that of all CFP professionals. The number of Black CFPs grew to 1,493, but that figure still made up only 1.68% of planners. The number of Hispanic CFPs increased to 2,170 (2.46% of CFPs). There were only 25 biracial Black and Hispanic CFPs (.028% of CFPs).

The application window for the new scholarship program opened Thursday as part of the center’s spring 2021 scholarship cycle. Awardees will be able to enroll in Dalton’s review course in time to prepare for the July 2021 CFP exam.

To be eligible, candidates must be U.S. residents and registered for the July 2021 CFP exam by the time the award is issued. Candidates must be from the financial planning profession’s underrepresented populations in terms of gender, race or ethnicity, or a military veteran or a spouse of a military veteran.

But passing the CFP certification exam is only one of several requirements that must be met to become a CFP professional, the center and Dalton Education pointed out. Candidates must also meet CFP Board experience requirements, pass a background check, have a bachelor’s degree or higher, and successfully complete a college-level program of study in personal financial planning.

“The scholarship program will help grow the future financial planner workforce that can meet the growing demand for diverse personal financial advice,” according to Kevin R. Keller, CFP Board CEO.