CFP Board Launches New Scholarship for Female Advisors

Fifty scholarships will be given out every year until 2027.


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CFP Board, the organization responsible for wealth management’s most popular certification, announced it has created a new scholarship for women who want to become Certified Financial Planners.

The scholarship was created by Peggy Ruhlin, a retired CFA and CFP holder, who pursued a career in financial services as a single mother in the 1980s. Ruhlin got her CFP designation in 1986 and went on to co-found the Columbus, Ohio, wealth management firm Budros, Ruhlin & Roe

“I understand firsthand the challenges women may face as they navigate their careers,” Ruhlin said in a statement. “My financial planning career allowed me to thrive both personally and professionally. It’s an honor to partner with CFP Board in establishing this scholarship to empower women on their journey to CFP certification, ensuring that more women have the opportunity to shape the future of financial planning.”

Women who receive the Peggy Ruhlin Wealth Is Women’s Work CFP Exam Scholarship this cycle will get $625 toward the early registration rate for the July 2024 CFP exam.

According to the CFP Board’s website, certification requires a $200 nonrefundable application fee and a nonrefundable certification fee of $455.

To qualify for the scholarship, applicants must be U.S. residents under the age of 40, identify as a female, and have not yet registered for the July 2024 CFP exam prior to obtaining the scholarship.

For the 2024 scholarships, the application window will close March 19, and award recipients will be notified by March 26.

The scholarship will be available every exam cycle through 2027, with 50 scholarships given out every year.

Women have long played an important role in managing wealth, but their underrepresentation is well documented. According to CFP Board, women make up less than 24 percent of total CFP professionals, a number that has grown less than 1 percent over the past decade.

A Carson Group report published last year found that many female executives preferred working with a female advisor who could relate to their experience. Firms without female advisors could be missing out on serving an important demographic of wealth.

“This new scholarship reinforces our shared commitment to expanding diversity in financial planning,” CFP Board CEO Kevin R. Keller said in a statement. “By supporting women pursuing CFP certification, we are cultivating a more inclusive financial planning profession and improving access to competent, ethical financial advice for everyone.”

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