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Apply for a Scholarship


The Institute is committed to diversity, equity, and inclusion in its membership and executive educational programs. Investments & Wealth Foundation scholarships are designed to reduce the barriers for entry and expand the shared perspectives and voices heard throughout our evolving industry. We wish to improve the access to premier professional development and increase the involvement of those underrepresented in the industry.

Who is eligible?

Individuals who are from groups currently underrepresented within the industry, including, but not limited to:

  • African Americans/Blacks, Latinx, Asians, Pacific Islanders, and Native Americans

  • Individuals with an ADA disability
  • ​Women
  • Veterans

  • Those who identify under the LGBTQ+ umbrella

  • Advisors from small, independent RIA or independent broker-dealer firms who don’t provide tuition reimbursement assistance

  • Those who are able to demonstrate financial need

diverse group of professionalsGroup of diverse professionals smiling

What does the scholarship provide?

  • Scholarships provide partial funding to be applied toward the completion of an Institute certification with scholarship amounts ranging from $1,000 to $5,000.
  • Scholarships will not cover the full cost of the certification program. Depending on the amount awarded, scholarships can be used for exam and enrollment fees and/or a portion of tuition and certification fees (funds applied toward tuition will vary based on the certification program and education provider selected by the scholarship recipient). Additional costs may apply such as travel, test prep, retake fees, etc.
  • Basic Institute membership will be included with application for all nonmembers.

Scholarship submission guidelines

  • Applicants must first select an Institute certification program (CIMA®, CPWA®, or RMA®).

  • Applicants must apply for a scholarship before they enroll in the program to be considered eligible for scholarship funds.

  • Scholarship applications are evaluated by a committee and scholarship amounts are awarded based on eligibility, the quality of the application, demonstrated need, and available funds. The application includes an essay question with a required response of 250-500 words. 
  • Scholarships cannot be used in combination with corporate discounts. 

Group of diverse professionals smiling

Disclosures: The Scholarship Committee reviews all scholarship applications. Those who meet guidelines shall be awarded scholarships as long as funding for scholarships is available or as long as the Foundation runs the scholarship program. To be eligible for an Investments & Wealth Foundation Scholarship, applicants must be a United States citizen or permanent resident with a green card to work in the United States and be a self-identified member of a protected category under the Federal Civil Rights laws (race, sex, age, religion, ethnicity, etc.) or be a self-identified member of a category that has not yet been universally recognized as protected but has been discriminated against, such as lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender or as otherwise self-identified as within a category designated by the Institute. The other designated category for scholarships is financial need. The Foundation cannot assess actual wealth and income of candidates. The Foundation has determined that financial need shall be based upon how much the employer contributes to the applicants’ certification endeavors. To wit, the program is also designed to help those working within the independent RIA channel who do not get significant employer financial assistance for continuing education and/or participation in voluntary certifications. If seeking a scholarship under the “other category,” two references from nonrelated persons are required. The Investments & Wealth Foundation can keep applications active for the program year to possibly grant acceptance in another quarter during the time that the scholarship application remains valid if funds are not available. All applicants should have nearly three years’ experience in financial services and meet the qualifications of the certification program for which they are applying. Candidates should also have demonstrated professional, volunteer, or civic/community leadership experience and/or be committed to fully engage and complete the certifications for which they are applying in a reasonable period of time. Scholarship awards are dependent upon an agreement to enroll into a certification program within 6 months upon the scholarship award being granted.

"I feel so fortunate to be the recipient of the Investments & Wealth Institute scholarship. The Institute’s standards are very high and it’s an honor to be part of this community."

Chi Guerrero, CIMA®, RMA®, CFP®
Scholarship Recipient | CIMA® Certificant

"The CPWA® education will help me develop the skill set and expertise to work with anyone along the wealth management continuum"

Coleman Webb, CPFA®,  CFP®
Scholarship Recipient | Candidate for CPWA® Certification

"I chose [to pursue] the CPWA because the candidate body of knowledge addresses all that I want to address with high net worth clients.... If a client met with me today they would know that I am qualified to provide solutions to their complex issues. I want Bowman Wealth Management to be uppermost in the minds of estate planning attorneys and CPAs when they seek RIAs to refer their clients. I want to earn the business because I have consistently demonstrated my ability to address the complex issues of the high net worth individual, by providing answers to questions requiring strategic thinking, advanced concepts, and forward-looking planning."

Valerie Bowman, CPWA®, RCP,  RTP
Scholarship Recipient | CPWA® Certificant

"Having earned my CPWA®, I am better positioned to successfully grow and expand my business."

Kristoffer N. Fu, CPWA®, CFP®
Scholarship Recipient | CPWA® Certificant

"By investing in yourself, you show up better for others. Like investors, finance professionals want to see a return on investment. I am sure if you ask someone who has obtained the CIMA certification or CPWA certification if they believe it was worth the investment (both in time and financial cost), they will likely say yes."

Leslie Chang, CPWA®, CFP®
Scholarship Recipient | CPWA® Certificant

"I’m excited to be studying for the RMA certification to better assist clients making the transition into retirement and accessing portfolios we have spent many years building.  The CIMA program offered a deep dive into many aspects of investments, I’m looking forward to doing the same with retirement issues. As an advisor it’s imperative we are continually learning and seeking ways to improve the experience and outcomes for our clients."

Lynn Ann Gillen, CIMA® , RMA®
Scholarship Recipient | RMA® Certificant

"These designations not only hold you to the highest ethical standards but exemplify a person who is serious about what they do and the clients that they serve....My client base is comprised of high net-worth (HNW) & ultra-high-net worth (UHNW) individuals and families. The CPWA® hones in on planning and investment topics that are most pertinent to these types of clients. Obtaining this designation will help me continue serving these clients in the highest capacity."

Wes Hedrick, CFP®
Scholarship Recipient | Candidate for CPWA® Certification

"As an investment professional or advisor, you can never stop learning and improving your skillset....This investment world is ever so changing, and you need to make sure you are constantly changing and improving along the way. And one way to do that is to continue investing in yourself through education and professional certifications."

Chadwick Roberson
Scholarship Recipient | Candidate for CIMA® Certification

"The CPWA® will be important for me and my firm as it covers all the bases, providing a full breadth of skill in addition to greater credibility. Credibility is critical to clients. As a young professional woman in finance, the CPWA® will be an immediate differentiation and help to demonstrate my knowledge, skills, and ability. I am so excited to have the opportunity to pursue the CPWA® Certification. The Scholarship expands my ability to pursue this education and grow my knowledge and practice."

Karīna Sērmūksle
Scholarship Recipient | Candidate for CPWA® Certification

"My goal is to work with high-net-worth clients and endowments. Earning the CIMA designation is an illustration to prospective clients that I possess the knowledge to effectively manage their capital. It will give me the credibility of having specialized training and knowledge. The CIMA certification is critical in helping me build trust and create relationships with wealthy sophisticated investors who have complex needs."

Shaun Taylor
Scholarship Recipient | Candidate for CIMA® Certification