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CFP Board Center for Financial Planning (“Center”) today, during its sixth annual Diversity Summit, released the new report “Successfully Maintaining CFP Board Registered Programs & Best Practices for Engaging Diverse Students.” The report was funded by a generous donation from Charles Schwab Foundation, a longtime supporter of the Center.

CFP Board Registered Programs are financial planning education programs at regionally accredited colleges and universities that meet specific criteria to fulfill the coursework requirement for CFP® certification. The report, based on surveys of directors and students of Registered Programs, provides valuable insights into the challenges faced by academic programs and offers actionable recommendations for fostering an inclusive environment.

Conducted by Dr. Miranda Reiter, CFP®, the study emphasizes the crucial role academic programs play in shaping a diverse and representative financial planning workforce. It underscores the need to address the unique obstacles faced by Program Directors and underrepresented students, shedding light on the disparities between minority-serving institutions and predominantly white institutions.

“Increasing diversity within academic programs is a critical step toward creating a more inclusive financial planning profession,” said CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller, CAE. “This report provides concrete strategies for academic institutions and financial planning professionals to narrow the diversity gap.”

The report suggests a range of actionable steps for academic programs, including conducting market research, obtaining stakeholder buy-in, implementing intentional marketing, integrating inclusive learning and providing resources to support the well-being of diverse students. For firms and professionals, the report recommends engaging actively with academic programs, communicating your values of equity and inclusion, serving as mentors and creating welcoming workspaces.

“It is incredibly important that we build a pipeline of diverse and high-quality professionals for independent advisory firms to hire in the future,” said Lisa Salvi, Managing Director of Business Consulting and Education at Schwab Advisor Services. “We are grateful to partner with CFP Board to bring more awareness to the financial planning profession and to do our part in helping address the barriers academic institutions and students face when preparing for careers in financial planning.”

Download and read “Successfully Maintaining CFP Board Registered Programs & Best Practices for Engaging Diverse Students.”

This report is a product of the ongoing diversity, equity and inclusion work of the Center, which advances the financial planning profession through multiple avenues, including providing educational resources, scholarships and an annual Diversity Summit.

about cfp board

CFP Board is the professional body for personal financial planners in the U.S. CFP Board consists of two affiliated organizations focused on advancing the financial planning profession for the public’s benefit. CFP Board of Standards sets and upholds standards for financial planning and administers the prestigious CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM certification — widely recognized by the public, advisors and firms as the standard for financial planners — so that the public has access to the benefits of competent and ethical financial planning. CFP® certification is held by more than 100,000 people in the U.S. CFP Board Center for Financial Planning addresses diversity and workforce development challenges and conducts and publishes research that adds to the financial planning profession’s body of knowledge.


Joseph Feese
Director of Public Relations
X: @CFPBoard