CFP Board Partners With Two Firms to Establish Diversity-Focused Scholarship

The deadline to apply for a 2021 scholarship award is October 10, 2021, though plans for multiple years of scholarships sponsored by Ballentine Partners and Aspiriant are already in place.

The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board’s Center for Financial Planning has announced it is joining with Ballentine Partners to launch the Ballentine Partners Scholarship to Create a Diverse Financial Planning Profession. The standard setting organization is also teaming, separately, with Aspiriant, on the launch of the similarly envisioned Aspiriant Impact Scholarship.

The goal of the new scholarship programs is to advance the financial planning profession by growing the number and diversity of CFP professionals. According to the announcement, throughout the next four years, the Ballentine scholarship will issue four annual awards worth up to $5,000 each to 16 qualified students who identify as Black or African American and/or Hispanic or Latino and are pursuing CFP certification. Candidates must be enrolled in an undergraduate, certificate or graduate-level CFP Board Registered Program.

On the other hand, throughout the next four years, the Aspiriant scholarship plans to fund three awards per year to qualified candidates seeking to attain CFP certification. The scholarship plans to issue four $10,000 awards to students seeking to complete an undergraduate-level CFP Board Registered Program, and eight $5,000 awards to students pursuing a certificate-level CFP Board-Registered program. The scholarship will support “outstanding students with a diverse background—not limited in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, disability and sexual orientation—as well as students who demonstrate a financial need.”

PLANADVISER has previously reported on statistics that show the financial services industry’s diversity and inclusion problem. Only about one in five advisers in the U.S. are women, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows. At the same time, even though African Americans make up about 13% of the United States population, the Bureau reports they account for only about 7.6% of financial services professionals. The representation metrics for non-white, non-male people in financial service leadership are even more problematic.

To help combat this issue, the scholarships are designed to help qualified individuals complete the education requirement as part of the CFP certification process. According to the CFP Board leadership, the scholarships will help the organization achieve its stated mission to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession.

“We believe that supporting diversity among the next generation of the financial planning community is vital to the future of our industry,” says Drew McMorrow, president and CEO of Ballentine Partners. “We are grateful with this scholarship to support the goal of bringing new voices into the profession.”

The application and further information about the Ballentine Partners Scholarship to Create a Diverse Financial Planning Profession can be found on the CFP Board’s website. The deadline to apply for a 2021 scholarship award is October 10. The deadline to apply for a 2021 Aspiriant scholarship award is October 10, 2021. The application and further information about the Aspiriant Impact Scholarship can be found on CFP Board’s website.