Major Boost

Tuesday, March 2, 2021
McClelland Park Building, home of the UArizona Personal and Family Financial Planning Program in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences.

The fast-growing Personal and Family Financial Planning program in the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences received a major boost from the Charles Schwab Foundation.

UArizona is one of seven universities in the United States included in a $3.5 million endowed scholarship program created by the Charles Schwab Foundation to provide financial assistance and career opportunities to students from underrepresented communities.

Starting in 2021-22 two selected students in the UA’s PFFP program will be eligible for $10,000 scholarships over their junior and senior years. In addition, scholarship recipients will participate in a highly sought-after Charles Schwab Internship program and have opportunities for professional mentorship and development throughout their studies.

“The Norton School is very honored to be a recipient of the Charles Schwab Foundation Student Scholarship and appreciates that this recognition was made possible through our shared commitment to equity and diversity in the financial planning industry,” said Norton School director Dr. Laura Scaramella.

PFFP chair Richard Rosen believes the Charles Schwab Foundation scholarship will encourage other financial services companies to partner with UArizona. “We think this is going to be the opening salvo to get more types of scholarships,” he said.

The PFFP program started in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences in 2018-19 and has seen fast growth, from one graduate in December 2019 to 18 students expected to graduate this May. It now has 90 total full-time students, (75 majors and 15 minors) at both the Tucson main campus and UA North Valley (Phoenix).

Starting next year, PFFP will offer its bachelor’s degree, minor, and certificate programs online, supplementing a CFP certificate course already in place with Dalton Education.

“Our program has just exploded,” Rosen said. “I think part of it is that we intentionally set up the program in the Norton School, because personal and family financial planning is designed primarily to help people, counsel people, so why would we not want to be right next to the family studies program.”

Graduates of the PFFP program will be well-positioned to earn qualification as a CFP (certified financial planner) and begin careers as financial planners, wealth managers, financial operations managers, compliance officers, analysts, and more.

“The majority of our graduates so far are financial planners,” Rosen said. “They might be helping a young family buying their first home, setting aside money for their kids’ college education, redoing budgets, planning retirement—they’re helping with everything.”

Joel Badzinski
CALS Communications