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Finance: CFA Institute University Affiliation Program
In December 2018, the Scott College of Business at Indiana State University became the latest university to be welcomed into the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program. The Bachelors of Science in Finance has been acknowledged as incorporating at least 70 percent of the CFA Program Candidate Body of Knowledge (CBOK) and placing emphasis on the CFA Institute Code of Ethics and Standards of Practice within the program. This program positions students well to obtain the Chartered Financial Analyst® designation, which has become the most respected and recognized investment credential in the world.
Entry into the CFA Institute University Affiliation Program signals to potential students, employers, and the marketplace that the Scott College of Business curriculum is closely tied to professional practice and is well-suited to preparing students to sit for the CFA examinations. Through participation in this program, Indiana State University is eligible to receive a limited number of student scholarships for the CFA Program each year.
The Finance program at Indiana State University is now home to a rare double partnership between ISU and the CFA Institute, focused on investments and the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) focused on financial planning. Programs like this open the possibilities for our students and our deep interest to serve the community. The Finance program can be completed in eight semesters and has concentrations in both Financial Analysis and Investments or Financial Planning.
About CFA Institute
CFA Institute is the global association of investment professionals that sets the standard for professional excellence and administers the industry gold standard CFA charter. The organization is a champion for ethical behavior in investment markets and a respected source of knowledge in the global financial community. The end goal: to create an environment where investors’ interests come first, markets function at their best, and economies grow. CFA Institute has more than 160,000 members in 166 countries and territories, including 153,000 CFA charterholders. For more information, visit www.cfainstitute.org.
About the CFA Program
The CFA Program sets a standard for developing the skills, standards, competence, and integrity of financial analysts, portfolio managers, investment advisers, and other investment professionals worldwide. It is widely considered the investment profession’s most rigorous credentialing program. Administered in English, the CFA curriculum and examinations are identical worldwide. Fewer than one in five candidates who begin the program successfully complete it and go on to earn the coveted CFA charter, the “gold standard” for investment professionals.
First Scholarship Recipient
The first recipient of the CFA UAP scholarship was Michael Jones in December 2018. Michael was the vice-president of the Investment Club, managing a $400,000 portfolio and graduated with a degree in Finance - Analysis and Investment Management Concentration with a 4.0 GPA earlier this month. He is the owner of RockStar Paint in Plainfield, IN. Michael wrote a personal statement it:
Returning to college to complete my undergraduate degree at the age of 33 was one of the hardest, yet most rewarding decisions I have ever made. After being a successful entrepreneur for 13 years, I was ready for a new challenge and direction in life. During the two years spent completing my B.S. in Finance from Indiana State University, I married my wife and our daughter was born. These life events provided further motivation to succeed in my undergraduate degree and eventual career change. Our daughter had some health issues at birth and a significant surgery was needed on her skull. This required a stay at Riley Children’s Hospital at the age of three months old. Throughout everything, I was still running my business full time to fund my degree debt-free while enrolling in a full time course schedule, completing 15-18 credits per semester.
My education and life experience provide a solid foundation that will be enhanced by the CFA charter that this scholarship will allow me to pursue. In addition to my current 4.0 undergraduate GPA, I have been heavily involved with the school’s Investment Club. I am currently the club’s Vice President, and have led a team on many of the university challenges we have entered. The club manages a fund of over $400,000, as well as participates in university challenges such as ThinkorSwim and PeepTrade. These competitions have provided access and experiences using the trading platforms such as Sterling, Interactive Brokers and TDAmeritrade. The different challenges have also provided real world experience in building a portfolio, using options to hedge risk, and experiment with the various techniques and theories learned in the classroom. Balancing my family, education, and business is only possible through disciplined multitasking, prioritizing, and planning. Through my dedication to succeed and push myself to be a more developed individual, I have been able to accomplish more than I once thought possible. I will continue to challenge myself and continue this growth throughout my life and I believe the pursuing the CFA designation will greatly help me pursue this.
My immediate future plans are to simultaneously attend Indiana University, pursuing my Master’s of Science in Finance while studying for the CFA Exams. After completing the master’s program, I plan to work complete testing for my CFA certification. Upon completion of both, my ideal career would be either a portfolio manager or a research analyst. I am also open to the possibility of pursuing a Doctorate in the future, although that is not an immediate goal. That may be investigated more thoroughly once my daughter is at an age to attend school and I have obtained a few years of finance industry experience.