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American College of Financial Services launches scholarship for African Americans

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The American College of Financial Services has launched a scholarship programme aimed at increasing the number of African Americans in the financial services profession.

The fund is part of a broader coalition effort to double the number of African American financial advisers over the next decade.
 
According to the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 7.6 per cent of financial advisers are African American, despite the fact that African Americans account for about 13 per cent of the nation’s population.
 
To challenge this, The American College African American Scholarship programme is bringing awareness to and helping close the racial gap by providing African American students who are in college, just completing their college work, as well as career changers with an opportunity to earn a professional credential and find work in financial services.
 
The scholarships will cover 100 per cent of the cost to obtain a professional designation from The American College of Financial Services for applicants who are accepted into the programme.
 
To kick off the effort, the American College of Financial Services is providing scholarship funding of USD200,000. With the help of individual and corporate partners, the goal is for the fund to grow into the millions.
 
The college’s president and CEO Robert Johnson is challenging stakeholders throughout the financial services community – from academic institutions to professional associations and financial services companies – to work together to reach the goal of doubling the number of African American financial advisers in the next 10 years.
 
“One of the biggest problems facing the financial services profession is a profound lack of diversity,” says Johnson. “We believe all of us in this field have more work to do in recruiting, educating, placing, and supporting thousands more African American financial advisers. The face of this profession needs to change, and the change can start right now if all of us pull together.”
 
“Overall, Americans are woefully underprepared for retirement, and for African Americans it’s even worse,” says Professor Jocelyn Wright, who helped create the fund and is an assistant professor at the College. “If there were more black advisers providing financial services in black communities, then more black families would be better prepared for retirement. One of the major objectives of this scholarship programme and the larger effort to double the number of African American advisers over the next decade is to help address that retirement crisis.”

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