Charles Schwab Foundation has pledged $1.25 million to Texas Tech University and the University of California at Irvine to support and promote financial planning education for the next generation of professionals.

   Charles Goldman, Schwab Institutional's executive vice president, made the announcement this week at Schwab Institutional's 20th anniversary event at the NASDAQ MarketSite in New York.

   A $1 million pledge to the Division of Personal Financial Planning at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas, will be used to build a modern teaching facility and support a PhD student or post-doctoral researcher. The teaching "lab", combined with the largest collection of professional software in any financial planning program in the United States, is expected to establish a new standard for entry-level professionals graduating from higher education financial planning programs. The research scholar will become involved in financial planning industry projects on such diverse topics as retirement planning, behavioral finance and financial planning for health care issues.

   At UC Irvine, a $250,000 pledge will be used by the Center for Investment and Wealth Management at the Paul Merage School of Business to award two graduate student fellowships each year for the next five years beginning with the 2007-2008 academic year.

   "Independent advisors' practices are growing so rapidly that there is a significant, increased demand for qualified people," said Goldman. "We are investing back into the industry by making donations to these fine schools so that they can educate a larger next generation of capable advisors."

   Schwab Institutional, a division of Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., provides custodial, operational and trading support for more than 5,000 independent RIAs. As of June 30, client assets custodied with Schwab Institutional stood at $556 billion.

   Goldman noted that at the end of 2006, nearly 16,500 independent RIAs managed $2.1 trillion of U.S. wealth. Between 2001 and 2006, RIA assets grew by 66% and the number of RIA firms grew by 33%.

   The Charles Schwab Foundation is funded by The Charles Schwab Corp.