BRYN MAWR, Pa., Feb. 27, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The American College of Financial Services, the nation's only non-profit, accredited college devoted to financial services, has launched a scholarship program aimed at increasing the number of African Americans in the financial services profession. This fund is part of a broader coalition effort to double the number of African American financial advisors over the next decade.
According to the latest data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, only 7.6 percent of financial advisors are African American, despite the fact that African Americans account for about 13 percent of the nation's population. To challenge this, The American College African American Scholarship program 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 percent of the cost to obtain a professional designation from The American College of Financial Services for applicants who are accepted into the program.
To kick off the effort, The American College of Financial Services is providing scholarship funding of $200,000. With the help of individual and corporate partners, the goal is for the fund to grow into the millions. Additionally, The College's President and CEO Dr. 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 advisors in the next 10 years.
"One of the biggest problems facing the financial services profession is a profound lack of diversity," said Dr. 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 advisors. 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," said Professor Jocelyn Wright, who helped create the fund and is an assistant professor at the College. "If there were more black advisors providing financial services in black communities, then more black families would be better prepared for retirement. One of the major objectives of this scholarship program and the larger effort to double the number of African American advisors over the next decade is to help address that retirement crisis."
The College intends to award scholarships by the end of the year. For more information about the scholarship program, go to theamericancollege.edu/double2027.
About The American College of Financial Services
The American College of Financial Services is the nation's largest non-profit educational institution devoted to financial services. Holding the highest level of academic accreditation, The College has served as a valued business partner to banks, brokerage firms, insurance companies and others since 1927. The American College faculty represents some of the financial services profession's foremost thought leaders. For more information, visit TheAmericanCollege.edu.
SOURCE The American College of Financial Services