UMSL ranked among the top 20 programs in the country for financial planning

by | Oct 25, 2019

Students can learn from knowledgeable faculty members and also have the opportunity to gain firsthand experience through the Student Investment Trust.
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WealthManagement.com ranked UMSL No. 17 on its list of “Top-Ranked Colleges for Financial Planning.”

A booming stock market over the past decade and a wave of Baby Boomers reaching retirement age have made it a particularly good time to start a career as a financial planner.

The University of Missouri–St. Louis College of Business Administration is one of the top training grounds in the country for students looking to do just that.

WealthManagement.com recently ranked UMSL No. 17 on its national list of “The Top-Ranked Colleges for Financial Planning” and was one of only two schools in Missouri to place in the top 25.

“The College of Business Administration excels at preparing students in all aspects of business, and financial planning is no exception,” Dean Charles E. Hoffman said. “We appreciate WealthManagement.com recognizing that strength.

“There is demand for our students in the region with leading firms such as Edward Jones, Stifel, Wells Fargo Advisors and TD Ameritrade located here. They know our outstanding finance faculty have given our graduates the tools they will need to listen and understand their clients and provide wise counsel as they make decisions about all the personal financial matters that affect their families.”

WealthManagement.com took a data-centric approach to compiling its rankings. There are more than 300 colleges and universities across the country offering programs in financial planning, but only 191 are registered by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards and deemed rigorous enough to prepare students to complete the program and sit for the CFP Certification Exam.

WealthManagement.com drew all the colleges and universities in its rankings from those 191 programs. The website used a weighted average to sort them and considered factors such as degrees granted – awarding more points for advanced degrees – the number of full-time faculty members associated with each program, how many of those faculty members have advanced degrees or certifications, whether they offer a capstone course in financial planning with added weight to a CFP-certified faculty member teaching the course, the number of students completing the CFP exam reported to CFP Board in the 2018 academic year, the minimum number of courses required to graduate and the number of elective courses beyond the minimum offered.

Students at UMSL can earn a BSBA with an emphasis in finance and follow the financial planning track with required courses in “Income Taxes,” “Investments, the Practice of Personal Financial Planning,” “Principles of Insurance,” “Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits,” “Estate Planning and Trusts” and a “Seminar in Financial Planning.”

They also can gain real-life experience through participation in the Student Investment Trust, a one-hour practicum in investments, that allows students to make investment decisions buying and selling stocks with a trust owned by the university. The trust started with a $10,000 initial investment but has grown to more than $350,000 despite funding annual scholarships along the way.

UMSL’s curriculum is a registered with the CFP Board, and students who complete it are ready to sit for the certification exam. UMSL reported 21 CFB completions during the 2018 academic year.

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Steve Walentik

Steve Walentik

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