The CFP Board’s Center for Financial Planning and California Lutheran University have established a new joint scholarship program to help increase the number of CFP professionals from underrepresented minority populations in the financial planning profession, the two organizations announced Thursday. 

The California Lutheran University Financial Planning Scholarship will be awarded annually; it offers financial assistance to qualified applicants admitted to either Cal Lutheran's online MBA or online Master of Science program in financial planning. Both degree programs qualify candidates to sit for the CFP certification exam.

The Center for Financial Planning will administer the application process, and Cal Lutheran will waive the application fee for all scholarship applicants. Scholarship applications will be accepted through May 31, 2020, with the first awards expected to be made in July. 

Awardees from the MBA in financial planning will receive a total award of $5,000, and awardees from the master’s in financial planning will receive a total award of $3,500. A portion of the awarded funds may be used to cover the cost of the CFP exam.

Representatives for the two organizations said they were dedicated to expanding employment opportunities in the financial services field.

"We need more financial planners who reflect the diversity of this country to help all consumers meet long-term financial goals," said D.A. Abrams, managing director of the Center for Financial Planning, in a news release. "We are grateful to Cal Lutheran for their commitment to helping cultivate a new generation of CFP professionals."