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Fifty military spouses have received fellowships to study to become accredited financial counselors under the FINRA Investor Education Foundation’s Military Spouse Fellowship program.
The program, in its seventh year, has awarded more than 1,250 fellowships to spouses across the country and around the world, according to the foundation. Spouse fellows commit to completing the Accredited Financial Counselor course of study and to work in the financial counseling field serving their communities for up to two years.
Spouses accredited through the program work as financial counselors at family readiness and support centers, credit counseling and tax centers, financial aid offices and local military credit unions around the country and overseas.
The fellowships pay for costs associated with the AFC training and testing, about $900 per person. The AFC program is administered by the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education, which partners with FINRA in offering the fellowships, along with the National Military Family Association.
Although in some previous years nearly 200 spouses received scholarships, the number has been limited to 50 for 2013 and 2012, and that’s expected to be the trend in the future, said George Smaragdis, spokesman for the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. “We already have a number of spouses from previous classes doing this work,” he said.
The program began in 2006 as a way to help spouses develop a rewarding career and to help boost financial education in the military community. It’s open to spouses of active-duty or retired Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, and reserve component service members, as well as spouses of U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration personnel.