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about the scholarship 

The Dowling and Yahnke Wealth Advisors Scholarship aims to advance the financial planning profession by providing financial assistance to aspiring CFP® professionals who are from populations underrepresented in the profession, as well as those who have a financial need.

Founded in 1991, Dowling and Yahnke Wealth Advisors is a fee-only registered investment advisor (RIA) firm that manages over $5.7 billion in assets and provides financial planning services to more than 1,300 clients in San Diego and across the United States. Dowling and Yahnke Wealth Advisors has partnered with the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning to offer this scholarship in an effort to create a more diverse and sustainable financial planning profession, so that every American has access to competent, ethical financial planning advice.

The scholarship awards up to $5,000 per student seeking to complete an undergraduate-level or a certificate-level CFP Board-Registered program, either of which would qualify the student to sit for the CFP® exam.

eligibility requirements


  • Must be a U.S. resident;
  • Must possess or be in the process of completing an undergraduate degree;
  • At the time the award is issued, must be enrolled in an undergraduate or certificate-level CFP Board Registered Program;
  • Must provide documentation of program enrollment and costs prior to receiving the award;
  • Must be from an underrepresented population within the financial planning profession in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, disability, or sexual orientation, AND/OR must have a demonstrated financial need, as explained in an essay to be submitted during the application process;
  • Must demonstrate commitment to the financial planning profession, as explained in an essay to be submitted during the application process; and
  • Must exhibit professionalism and the ability to enhance and maintain the profession’s public image as demonstrated in an essay to be submitted during the application process.

Applicants who are selected to proceed to the final round of the application review process will be required to pass a background check conducted by CFP Board.

submission requirements

Please note that applications will only be accepted through this webpage. Please do not attempt to submit application materials via email, mail or fax.

When submitting application essays and materials, please pay close attention to spelling, grammar, and presentation.

award process

Scholarship awards will be disbursed in two equal installments. To receive the first installment, recipients must demonstrate proof of enrollment in an eligible undergraduate or certificate-level CFP Board Registered Program. If not currently enrolled in a program, recipients will have up to 6 months to enroll after being notified of the award. The second installment will be awarded either upon completing the program (if the awardee has already started coursework) or when the awardee is half-way through the program (if the awardee has not yet started coursework).

application Window

The next application window will open in 2023.

award decision

2022 Scholarship applicants will be notified of the award decision via email in May 2022. If you have a question about the status of your application, please contact us at