Courtesy UVU Marketing

Personal Financial Planning students from Utah Valley University took first place in the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education (AFCPE) Knowledge Bowl last year in Orlando, Florida. A team from UVU will compete in the bowl again this year in New Orleans from Nov. 29 to Dec. 1, 2023.

The Woodbury School of Business at Utah Valley University is nationally known for the way it prepares students to work in the financial planning industry through the UVU Personal Financial Planning (PFP) Program and Money Success Center.

UVU’s PFP Program is consistently ranked in the top five personal financial planning programs in the United States. It has a job placement rate close to 90%, demonstrating its effectiveness in preparing students for their future careers.

UVU’s high ranking was partly built by its focus on students receiving their Certified Financial Planner certifications, prestigious credentials in the financial planning industry. Nationally, the overall pass rate for the CFP exam hovers around 60%, while UVU’s pass rate is consistently 100%. The certification requires students to meet rigorous education, training and ethical standards that prepare them to be effective financial planners.

Scott Stratton, who oversees UVU’s PFP Program, has been a UVU faculty member for over 10 years and is a firm believer in the hands-on learning that UVU offers its students.

“UVU’s PFP Program stands out thanks to the teamwork, determination and hard work of our exceptional students and faculty,” Stratton said. “We prioritize real-world experience by sending students to conferences to help them network and showcase their skills. We bridge academia and industry through partnerships with major firms like Vanguard and Fidelity, and our connections with registered investment advisors ensure ample job opportunities for our students. UVU PFP isn’t just a program; it’s a launchpad for success.”

Another successful teaching tool at UVU is the Money Success Center on UVU’s Orem campus, where PFP students are financial mentors, providing financial planning advice to students and community members for free. It gives PFP students real-world experience and a source of income while empowering both students and community members with responsible money management skills.

The Money Success Center’s main purpose is to help students navigate their educational journeys and graduate with minimal debt by providing sound financial guidance. It serves as a hub where students can find scholarship and financial aid information, mentors/tutors and an array of financial literacy tools and workshops — all completely free.

Ryan H. Law, MS, CFP, AFC, and UVU faculty member, was hired in 2015 to build and direct the center. He received the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education (AFCPE) Distinguished Fellow Award in 2021, partly for his work at the center.

“The university and the Woodbury School of Business saw the benefit that a center like this could provide in helping students with their financial concerns and helping increase student retention,” Law said. “We do this by providing one-on-one financial coaching sessions and group/classroom presentations.”

UVU’s PFP Program also offers experiential learning internships at major financial planning firms and organizations, thanks to faculty members’ industry contacts and relationships.

The PFP program also provides student and community financial literacy conferences. The next major conference is scheduled for April 17, 2024, in collaboration with UVU’s Department of Concurrent Enrollment. Current students, faculty members, community partners and alums will offer high school students financial education through “Money Talks,” which are similar to mini-TED Talks.

For more information about these programs, visit https://www.uvu.edu/financeeconomics/pfp/ and https://www.uvu.edu/woodbury/money-success-center/.



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