About Our Merit Scholarships

The College for Financial Planning®—a Kaplan Company awards 3 merit scholarships annually to individuals who show significant potential or have already achieved outstanding success in finance, financial planning, and/or financial analysis and show promise of being future industry leaders. Our merit scholarships are in honor of achievements of individuals in the financial planning industry and offered for the education programs below.

Our merit scholarships cover tuition for enrollment in the College's CFP® certification education, professional designation, or Master of Science degree program.

Please note: Additional printed materials, extension, and reinstatement fees are not included in the scholarship award.

The scholarship is awarded in honor of the late Loren Dunton, who was the driving force that solidified the ideas and activities of the professional financial planner. Mr. Dunton played a significant role in the creation and promotion of the IAFP, the College, and Institute of Certified Financial Planners. For this scholarship the College considers individuals who have proven to be leaders in the financial planning field and have given something back to the profession.

Honoring the achievements of Ginger E. Current and her dedication to the success of the College for Financial Planning and our students for more than 25 years, this scholarship is awarded annually to a qualified student who is interested in starting a career or expanding their expertise through one of our following professional designation programs:
  • Accredited Asset Management SpecialistSM 
  • Accredited Behavioral Finance ProfessionalSM 
  • Accredited Portfolio Management AdvisorSM
  • Accredited Wealth Management AdvisorSM 
  • Chartered Retirement Planning CounselorSM 
  • Chartered Retirement Plans SpecialistSM  
  • Chartered SRI CounselorSM
  • Financial Paraplanner Qualified ProfessionalSM
Honoring the achievements of David M. King, who held the position of board chairman at three major financial planning organizations (The College for Financial Planning,1983-1985; The Institute for Certified Financial Planners, 1979-1980; and the first chairman of the Certified Financial Planner Board, 1985-1987), this scholarship for CFP® certification is typically awarded annually to a recipient with experience in the financial planning profession who shows significant potential for industry leadership.

Eligibility Requirements

Important Note: Students who are currently enrolled in any education program or course through the College for Financial Planning®—a Kaplan Company are not eligible to apply. Scholarship applications received from students who are currently enrolled will be automatically withdrawn.  

Applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Must be a U.S. resident
  • Must not be a student who:
    • Is currently enrolled in any education program or course through the College for Financial Planning®—a Kaplan Company. 
    • Has previously been awarded a scholarship by College for Financial Planning®—a Kaplan Company.
  • Must have a bachelor’s degree from a regionally accredited institution or the equivalent of a bachelor’s degree from an institution outside of the United States  if applying for either a merit scholarship for CFP® certification or Master of Science degree program.  (Note: A bachelor’s degree is not required if applying for a professional designation merit scholarship.)
  • If applying for a merit scholarship for CFP® certification or Master of Science degree program, must have the following experience: 
    • CFP® certification -  must have between two (2) and seven (7) years experience in the financial planning profession 
    • Master of Science degree program - must have five (5) or more years experience in financial planning
  • Must provide a copy of their current resume (see application below)
  • A written response related to your goals and achievements (see application below)
  • A written response to the following question: If this scholarship is an investment in you, what will be the financial planning industry’s return on investment? (500-750 words)
  • One (1) letter of recommendation from a professional contact

For certain merit scholarships, applicants awarded scholarships must also agree to enroll in and complete their education program as follows:

  • CFP® Certification Merit Scholarship
    • Enroll within 90 days of being awarded the merit scholarship in either the College’s structured pace or self-paced education program and
    • Complete the education program within two years
  • Designation Program Merit Scholarship
    • Enroll within 90 days of being awarded the merit scholarship in a designation program and
    • Complete the program within 120 days after receiving online access
  • Master of Science Degree Program Merit Scholarship
    • Apply for the Master's program within 90 days of being awarded the merit scholarship 
    • Complete the program within five years

Application Deadline

The annual application deadline is June 30 each year.

Timing of Scholarship Announcements

Awardees will be contacted by email and phone approximately one month after each deadline.


Any questions and all communications regarding the scholarships can be directed to the CFFP Scholarship Committee at the following email: Scholarships@cffp.edu 


Diversity Scholarships

Diversity Scholarships for CFP® Certification provide qualified individuals from underrepresented populations within the financial planning field with opportunities to pursue careers as CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professionals.