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ABOUT THE SCHOLARSHIP

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Charles Schwab Foundation CFP® Certification Scholarship aims to advance the financial planning profession by providing financial assistance to aspiring CFP® professionals 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.

ELIGIBILITY REQUIREMENTS

  • 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;
  • If pursuing a certificate-level CFP Board Registered Program, must already possess an undergraduate degree;
  • In order to receive the award, must be enrolled in an undergraduate or certificate-level CFP Board Registered Program (if not enrolled at the time of applying, scholarship awardees will have up to 3 months to enroll or forfeit the award);
  • 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.

SUBMISSION REQUIREMENTS

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.

AWARD 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 September 30.

AWARD DECISION

Scholarship applicants will be notified of the award decision via email in November 2022. If you have a question about the status of your application, please contact us at scholarships@cfpboard.org.

Application

CFP Board Account Number (if you don’t have a CFP Board account, click here to create one)

Important: Be sure your CFP Board account includes: 1) your date of birth, and 2) the last four digits of your social security number. Not having this information may delay your application and disqualify you from the scholarship.

Ethnicity (select all that apply):
Gender

Essay

Please upload an essay that addresses each of the questions below as a single Word document or PDF. Please pay attention to spelling and grammar as that will be factored into the grading process.

  1. Why do you want to become a CFP® professional? What draws you to the financial planning profession? (250 – 500 words)
  2. What does fiduciary responsibility mean to you and why is it important for financial planning? (250 – 500 words)
  3. Please indicate how you meet the eligibility requirements for this scholarship by demonstrating that you are in an underrepresented population within the financial planning profession in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation or veteran status AND/OR by demonstrating your financial need in detail. (250 – 500 words)
Additional Questions

Please provide: 1) the name of a CFP Board Registered Program you are attending and whether it is an undergraduate-level or certificate-level program, and 2) how far along you are in the program. If you are not yet enrolled, enter “Not Yet Enrolled.” Click here to find the name of your CFP Board Registered Program. If your program is not listed here, consult with your academic institution to get the program name.

Please note: In order to receive the award, you must be enrolled in an undergraduate or certificate-level CFP Board Registered Program. If not enrolled at the time of applying, scholarship recipients will have up to 3 months to enroll after being notified of the award, or will forfeit the award.

CFP Board will evaluate scholarship applicants against the Fitness Standards that apply to those who are applying for CFP® certification (https://www.cfp.net/get-certified/certification-process/ethics-requirement/fitness-standards). CFP Board will review the scholarship applicant’s background pursuant to the same process that CFP Board reviews applications for CFP® certification. If CFP Board discovers information that would subject the scholarship applicant to an investigation if the scholarship applicant were an applicant for CFP® certification, then CFP Board will deny the scholarship application. The fact that an individual receives a scholarship does not guarantee that the individual will satisfy CFP Board’s Fitness Standards when the individual later applies for CFP® certification.