News Release

Applications Now Available for Military Spouses to Become Accredited Financial Counselors

FINRA Foundation Fellowship Program Opens Application Process; Program Gives Spouses Portable, Marketable Job Skills

Washington, DC — The FINRA Investor Education Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship Program has opened the application process for new fellows, and military spouses can apply until April 30, 2010. The program provides fellowship recipients with the education needed to earn the Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®) designation, which gives military spouses marketable job skills and the expertise to help other military families overcome financial challenges.

The Military Spouse Fellowship—now in its fifth year—is administered in partnership with the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) and the National Military Family Association (NMFA). The program covers the costs associated with completing the AFC® training and testing. More information is available at Applications are available online at and are due by April 30, 2010.

"Many military families struggle with debt and retirement savings," said John Gannon, president of the FINRA Investor Education Foundation. "Through the Military Spouse Fellowship, we are training a corps of military spouses who can provide much-needed financial education to military communities in the U.S. and abroad while developing their own professional careers."

Recipients of the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship must commit to completing the course of study and to volunteering or working in the financial counseling field serving the military or their local communities for up to two years. To date, spouse fellows have logged more than 185,000 practicum hours assisting the military community. The program has graduated 188 fellows.

Accredited spouses serve the military community as financial counselors at family readiness and support centers, credit counseling and tax centers, financial aid offices and credit unions throughout the U.S. and abroad. These organizations are in need of well-trained specialists who understand the unique financial needs of military families.

Trysha Upton, who earned her accreditation in June 2009, is employed as a personal financial counselor. She also volunteers as a caseworker for the Navy-Marine Corps Relief Society at the Washington Navy Yard in the District of Columbia. After moving with her husband, an active-duty Marine Corps servicemember, to Maryland, Upton "was looking for an opportunity to transition back to the workforce" and found that the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship gave her the bridge she needed.

"Military families have special financial needs, and many are not aware of the resources and financial benefits available to them," said Upton. "As an accredited financial counselor through the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship, I want to help military families reach their financial goals and point them in the right direction."

Full biographies of selected accredited spouse fellows are available on our site.

The Spouse Fellowship Program is open to current or surviving spouses of active duty or retired Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, Coast Guard, Army or Air National Guard or reserve component servicemembers, as well as spouses of the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration officials.

About the FINRA Investor Education Foundation
The FINRA Investor Education Foundation is the largest foundation in the United States dedicated to investor education. Its mission is to provide investors with high-quality, easily accessible information and tools to better understand the markets and the basic principles of saving and investing. In 2006, the Foundation launched a multifaceted program to expand the saving and investing knowledge of military servicemembers and their spouses, including a free, unbiased resource, A proud partner in the Department of Defense Financial Readiness Campaign, the Foundation also presents financial education forums at military installations worldwide.

About AFCPE®
The Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education® (AFCPE®) provides professional development experiences for financial educators, practitioners and researchers to improve the economic well-being of individuals and families worldwide. The Association's vision is to be internationally recognized as the leading provider of professional development opportunities. Visit for more information.

About NMFA
Military families serve our country with pride, honor and quiet dedication. The National Military Family Association is the leading nonprofit organization committed to strengthen and protect the families of the men and women currently serving, retired, wounded or fallen. We provide families of the Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard and Commissioned Corps of the USPHS and NOAA with information, work to get them the benefits they deserve and offer programs that improve their lives. Our 40 years of service and accomplishments have made us a trusted resource for military families and the Nation's leaders. Visit for more information.