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News Release

Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation and CFP Board Center for Financial Planning Announce Education Scholarship for CFP® Certification

October 12, 2016

The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning and the Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation are working to advance and diversify the financial planning workforce with a new scholarship.

The Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation Challenge Match Scholarship will provide financial assistance to individuals from underrepresented populations seeking to complete requirements for CFP® certification. Recipients enrolled in a CFP Board-Registered certificate program will receive a total of $5,000 over two years, while those enrolled in an undergraduate program will receive a total of $10,000.                            

The Foundation was established in 2011 by David H. Diesslin, CFP®, 2004 Chair of the Board of Directors for CFP Board, to honor the memory of his late wife, Deena, with an emphasis on educating women and minority populations.

“Deena was passionate about empowering individuals and communities facing barriers in life. She also wanted to help build a pathway of success for people in the financial planning profession,” said Diesslin. “We see CFP® certification as a pathway to success, and it is our pleasure to honor Deena by offering this scholarship.”

The Foundation has issued a $100,000 Scholarship Challenge Match for individuals, organizations and businesses within the financial planning profession. Through the end of 2017 – or until the $100,000 Challenge Fund is fully committed – the Foundation will match all donations to the scholarship fund dollar-for-dollar.

Individuals eligible for the scholarship will have demonstrated financial need and/or that they are a part of an underrepresented population within the financial planning profession in terms of gender, race, ethnicity and/or sexual orientation.

Applicants will be evaluated based on academic and professional achievements, as well as faculty and/or employer recommendations.  Applications will be accepted until Nov. 30, 2016. Three awards are expected to be made throughout 2017. The first scholarship will be awarded in January.

“There is clearly a natural synergy between the missions and visions of the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning and the Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation,” said Marilyn Mohrman-Gillis, Executive Director of the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning. “We are pleased to form this partnership to help deserving individuals who are underrepresented in the financial planning profession to attain CFP® certification and ultimately contribute to a stronger, more diverse financial planning workforce.”

The education requirement for attaining CFP® certification includes completing college or university-level coursework through a program registered with CFP Board, in addition to holding a regionally accredited college or university bachelor’s degree or higher. The coursework requirement must be completed before sitting for the CFP® certification examination.

To apply for or donate to the Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation Challenge Match Scholarship or for more information, visit 


The Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation was established for the purpose of being a source of encouragement and inspiration.  Through the support of The Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation, individuals have been enabled and empowered to become successful and achieve goals and dreams once thought unattainable – beyond their reach. The foundation’s mission is to “open doors” and help remove barriers to equal opportunity for those individuals disadvantaged by or discriminated against due to race, gender, religion or other prejudice of any type.


Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board sets standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CFP® certification – one of the most respected certifications in financial services – so that the public has access to and benefits from competent and ethical financial planning. CFP Board, along with its Center for Financial Planning, is committed to increasing the public’s awareness of CFP® certification and access to a diverse, ethical and competent financial planning workforce. Widely recognized by firms and consumer groups as the standard for financial planning, CFP® certification is held by more than 83,000 people in the United States.


Dan Drummond, Director of Communications
Mobile: 202-243-8621

About the CFP Board center for financial planning

The CFP Board Center for Financial Planning seeks to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession so that every American has access to competent and ethical financial planning advice. The Center brings together CFP® professionals, firms, educators, researchers and experts to address profession-wide challenges in the areas of diversity and workforce development, and to build an academic home that offers opportunities for conducting and publishing new research that adds to the financial planning body of knowledge


Jessica Lewis
Communications Specialist
Mobile: 301-655-0389