A new scholarship fund from the Structured Finance Foundation, an affiliate of the Structured Finance Association (SFA), is driving diversity in financial industry professions that need it most. Students from the University of the District of Columbia (UDC) who are interested finance, accounting, or economics degrees can now have the financial support they need.

Whether the students are pursuing undergraduate or graduate degrees, an $80,000 fund has been set aside for them. Beginning in the Fall of 2021, the Foundation’s inaugural awards of two need and merit-based scholarships of up to $10,000 each, meaning there will be enough funds to extend beyond the current semester.

University of the District of Columbia students, courtesy of UDC

In recent years, SFA has been very intentional about promoting diversity and inclusion in the securitization industry. In 2014, SFA launched the Women in Securitization (WiS) initiative supporting the retention and advancement of women in the structured finance industry. Last year, the keynote speakers at the organization’s annual conference were women or minorities. 

Leslie Sack, the Executive Director of the Structured Finance Foundation, shared her intentions for the scholarship to diversify an industry that is missing out on HBCU students as a whole.

“Our foundation is intently focused on helping build a financial services industry that looks more like the people it serves, and that starts by recruiting and supporting a diverse group of promising students,” said Sack. “By entering into this partnership with the University of the District of Columbia, we will provide opportunities for the next generation of leaders and continue to move the needle toward a more diverse and inclusive industry.”

Gregg Silver, the Chairman of the Structured Finance Foundation Board of Directors shared how the opportunity would allow students to have less restrictions while chasing their dreams.

University of the District of Columbia students, courtesy of UDC

“We are excited to enter into a partnership with the University of the District of Columbia and are eager to ease the burden of some of its most promising students with an interest in our industry,” said Silver. “Our foundation will continue to look for additional ways to make a difference in the lives of students, including through mentorship and full-time paid internship opportunities.”

As the Chairperson of the Department of Accounting and Finance in the School of Business and Public Administration at UDC, Alex Tan, Ph.D., considers the long-term impact this partnership would have.

“We are delighted to have the support and sponsorship of SFA for our students,” said Tan. “This will be a great gift and wonderful benefit to our students. We envision that our partnership with SFA will continue to grow and strengthen further in upcoming years.”

SFA and UDC are in continued discussions to continue the progress with non-financial partnerships, job search support, mentorship opportunities, full-time paid internships, and more!