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L-r Duncan Williams, CFP, William Paterson Associate Professor; William Paterson Students Kelly McNerney And Kayla-Lynn Kasica; And William Paterson Financial Planning Program Director Lukas Dean At The New York Stock Exchange. (Photo: Business Wire)

Running a financial planning practice isn’t just about portfolio construction or the intricacies of personal finance: there are subtle people skills, new software to master and back-office procedures to be learned. These real world strengths are in high demand by advisory firms looking to hire new help, but not always part of the typical college curriculum.

l-r Duncan Williams, CFP, William Paterson Associate Professor; William Paterson students Kelly McNe ...

l-r Duncan Williams, CFP, William Paterson Associate Professor; William Paterson students Kelly McNerney and Kayla-Lynn Kasica; and William Paterson Financial Planning Program Director Lukas Dean at the New York Stock Exchange. (Photo: Business Wire)

With that in mind, TD Ameritrade Institutional 1 has awarded a $50,000 grant to William Paterson University of New Jersey as the inaugural winner of its annual NextGen Scholarship and Grant Program. The university received high marks for an innovative new program that will feature real life financial planners offering real world advice to undergraduate students all across the United States who are pursuing a career in financial services.

“By providing a non-traditional combination of classroom, online courses and interaction with actual financial planners, William Paterson students can be better prepared to enter the workforce and make a greater impact on the firms they join,” said Tom Nally, president, TD Ameritrade Institutional. “William Paterson’s efforts will also benefit the independent registered financial advisor industry, which needs many thousands of graduates to take the place of retiring baby boomers and satisfy the growing demand for financial planning help.”

William Paterson’s innovative “Bridge the Gap” academic program was selected from a field of 12 college and university applicants by a committee that included leading financial planning industry groups and financial advisors. The program, developed by the school with the input of several local advisors, will create of a series of online “mini-courses” that supplements financial planning instruction in more traditional classroom settings.

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