CWU News

CWU Receives National Grant to Attract More Diversity to Financial Planning Profession

Central Washington University is one of just six universities nationwide, and the only one west of Ohio, to receive a $15,000 TD Ameritrade NextGen Grant to help fill the need for more diverse personal financial advisors.

The university’s College of Business offers the only bachelor’s level program in personal financial planning (PFP) in the Pacific Northwest. Program graduates are prepared to sit for the rigorous CFP (certified financial planner) exam.

TD Ameritrade Institutional made the award to CWU based on the university’s demonstrated commitment to educating and training future financial planners.

“This generous support will be used to expand public awareness of the importance of financial literacy and the potential for establishing their career helping others build financial security,” said Carlo Smith, chair of CWU’s Finance and Supply Chain Management Department, which oversees the PFP program.
CWU will use the TD Ameritrade grant to increase the number of students enrolling in the program from 47 to 60, expand the number of women enrolled from 19 to 30, and grow the number of students of color enrolled from 11 to 15 — all by fall 2021. The latter category is especially significant since statistics show Black and Latinx planners comprise less than 4 percent of CFPs.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that more than 40,000 new personal financial advisors will be needed in the country’s financial planning industry within the next six years. A more diverse generation of talent is also needed to meet the rapidly growing demand.

“Our industry together must do more to attract new talent to financial planning, a promising career path that’s never been more essential,” said Kate Healy, managing director of Generation Next at TD Ameritrade Institutional. “It’s equally important that firms offer opportunity to deserving candidates from outside traditional talent networks. We have much more to do around raising awareness and building programs that can attract, support, and develop professionals of color.”

Now in its eighth year, the TD Ameritrade Institutional program aims to expand the pipeline of future financial planners joining the Registered Investment Advisor industry and support the long-term sustainability of the financial planning profession. Two years ago, CWU received a $25,000 award from TD Ameritrade in support of the university’s financial planning program, which began in 2017.