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About the Scholarship

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DEENA JO HEIDE-DIESSLIN

In 2011, David H. Diesslin, CFP® established The Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation in memory of his wife, Deena, who passed away after a long, valiant battle with cancer. Deena was a courageous fighter, teaching and giving to the end. The goal of Deena's foundation is to promote, encourage, and foster nonprofits, with a particular emphasis on empowering women and other underrepresented populations through education.

When CFP Board launched the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning in late 2015, there was a natural synergy between the missions and visions of the two organizations that emerged during conversations with Dave Diesslin, former Chair of the Board of Directors for CFP Board. Building on Deena’s passion for empowering individuals through education, Dave seized the opportunity to make an impact in the financial planning profession while honoring the memory of his late wife. And with that, The Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation Challenge Match Scholarship was created.

This scholarship provides financial support to individuals seeking to complete requirements for CFP® certification through a CFP Board-Registered certificate or undergraduate program. Eligible candidates must demonstrate financial need and be from populations that are underrepresented in the financial planning profession in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation.

The scholarship awards up to $5,000 for those attending a certificate program and up to $10,000 for those attending an undergraduate program. The amount of the award will be based on submitted documentation showing program costs. Applications will be reviewed by an independent Scholarship Review Panel comprised of CFP® professionals. If not already enrolled, scholarship recipients will have up to 6 months to enroll in a CFP Board Registered Program in order to receive the award.

“I am very grateful to the donors of The Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Scholarship and to the Center for Financial Planning for awarding me this scholarship which is helping me to obtain the knowledge I need to become a CFP® professional."

– Sandra Cervantes, CFP®, 2017 Diesslin Scholar

eligibility Requirements

  • Must be a U.S. resident;
  • Must possess an undergraduate degree (if applying for a scholarship for a certificate program);
  • Must be enrolled in a CFP Board-Registered certificate or undergraduate program, or plan to matriculate in a CFP Board-Registered certificate program, within 6 months;
  • Must be from an underrepresented population within the financial planning profession in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, disability or sexual orientation;
  • 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;
  • Must exhibit professionalism and dignity and demonstrate the ability to enhance and maintain the profession’s public image. Applicants that are selected to proceed to the final round of the application review process will be required to pass a background check indicating eligibility to become a CFP® professional;
  • Scholarship recipients will be required to provide documentation of certificate or undergraduate program enrollment (e.g., academic transcript, official course completion letters) and costs prior to receiving their award.

Submission Requirements

Applications will only be accepted through the application form below. Please do not attempt to submit application materials via mail, fax or email. 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 will have to demonstrate proof of enrollment in a CFP Board-Registered certificate or undergraduate degree 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 2021.

The Deena Jo Heide-Diesslin Foundation Challenge Match Scholarship is part of the CFP Board Center for Financial Planning’s scholarship program, designed to attract and develop the next generation of financial planners.