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Charles Schwab Foundation CFP® Certification Scholarship aims to advance the financial planning profession by providing financial assistance to individuals aspiring to become a CFP® professional who are from populations underrepresented in the profession, as well as those who have a financial need.

Schwab Advisor Services in partnership with the Charles Schwab Foundation aims to raise awareness of the RIA industry while advocating for diversity, and opening doors for future talent. The Charles Schwab Foundation and Schwab Advisor Services have partnered with the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning to offer this scholarship in an effort to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession, so that every American has access to competent and ethical financial planning advice.

The scholarship awards up to $10,000 per student seeking to complete an undergraduate-level CFP Board Registered Program, or up to $5,000 per student seeking to complete a certificate-level CFP Board Registered Program, either of which would qualify the student to sit for the CFP® exam.


  • Not a current Charles Schwab & Co employee or its affiliates;
  • Not related “by blood or marriage” to a Charles Schwab & Co. employee, Charles Schwab Foundation director or officer;
  • Not be an incoming Charles Schwab & Co intern;
  • Must be a U.S. resident;
  • In order to receive the award, must be enrolled in an undergraduate or certificate-level CFP Board Registered Program. Click here for a list of eligible programs. If not enrolled at the time of applying, scholarship awardees will have up to 3 months to enroll or forfeit the award;
  • If applying for an undergraduate-level scholarship, must not be in the final semester at the time of the application;
  • If applying for a certificate-level scholarship, must possess an undergraduate degree and must not have completed more than 5 courses in the certificate-level program at the time of the application.
  • Must provide documentation of program enrollment and costs prior to receiving the award;
  • Must be from an underrepresented population within the financial planning profession in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or veteran status AND/OR must have a demonstrated financial need, as explained in an essay to be submitted during the application process;
  • Must demonstrate commitment to the financial planning profession, as explained in an essay to be submitted during the application process; and
  • Must exhibit professionalism and the ability to enhance and maintain the profession’s public image as demonstrated in an essay to be submitted during the application process.

Applicants who are selected to proceed to the final round of the application review process will be required to pass a background check conducted by CFP Board.


Please note that applications will only be accepted through this webpage. Please do not attempt to submit application materials via email, mail or fax.

When submitting application essays and materials, please pay close attention to spelling and grammar, as that will be factored into the grading process.


Scholarship awards will be disbursed in two equal installments. To receive the first installment, recipients must demonstrate proof of enrollment in an eligible undergraduate or certificate-level CFP Board Registered Program. If not currently enrolled in a program, recipients will have up to 3 months to enroll after being notified of the award. The second installment will be awarded either upon completing the program (if the awardee has already started coursework) or when the awardee is half-way through the program (if the awardee has not yet started coursework).

Application Deadline

The application window will be open until October 22, 2023.

award decision

Scholarship applicants will be notified of the award decision via email by November 30, 2023. If you have a question about the status of your application, please contact us at