Scholarship fund to increase diverse representation in financial services industry
May 11, 2023 – Wellspring Financial Advisors, Ancora, Cerity Partners and Sequoia Financial Group have together established the Diversity in Finance Scholarship Fund at College Now Greater Cleveland, which aims to increase diverse representation in business-related professions, specifically in the wealth management industry. The scholarship program will be funded by the four Greater Cleveland-Akron wealth management firms over the course of four years, granting a total of eight, renewable scholarships to Northeast Ohio students.
“The Diversity in Finance Scholarship Fund is the first of its kind in which multiple organizations have come together specifically to support the finance career goals of students with whom College Now has advised in high school,” said Lee Friedman, College Now Greater Cleveland CEO. “This scholarship meets a true need in Northeast Ohio and will help diversify the financial services industry and introduce careers in finance to those who may have previously been overlooked in that field.”
College Now, in coordination with the funding organizations, developed the eligibility guidelines for the scholarship, which include graduating from a high school in Northeast Ohio served by College Now, earning a 2.5 GPA, a score of at least 18 on the ACT, or a score of at least 960 on the SAT and pursuing a degree in business, accounting or finance, among other requirements. College Now will administer the application process, including student evaluation and selection, and distribute the scholarship funds. Selected recipients will also participate in College Now’s impactful mentoring program, which has played a pivotal role in increasing the retention and graduation rates of its scholarship students. In addition, the four partnering firms will also work with College Now to develop a strategy to increase awareness of the opportunities available in the financial services industry.
“We recognize the importance of building a more diverse talent pool in order to encourage and leverage different perspectives to ensure the industry continues to grow and evolve to better serve our clients,” said Michael Novak, president and CEO at Wellspring. “We are thrilled to collaborate with Ancora, Cerity Partners, Sequoia and College Now to provide both financial support and education on industry opportunities to underrepresented students seeking business degrees.”
All candidates for College Now’s traditional scholarship are under consideration for the new Diversity in Finance Scholarship Fund, with selections being made in June 2023 and initial funding granted for college students in Fall 2023. The recruitment process for Fall 2024 scholarship recipients will begin in late 2023. The scholarship awards $2,500 annually to each student and is renewable for up to three additional years.