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Financial planning concentration approved at Shepherd

ISSUED: 17 May 2011
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Owens
(Financial planning concentration approved at Shepherd)

Shepherdstown, WV--Shepherd University's major in business administration with a concentration in financial planning was recently approved by the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. Students who successfully complete the program will have met the prerequisite education requirement that allows them to apply for the CFP certification exam. According to Dr. Gordon DeMeritt, chair of the business administration department, Shepherd students could graduate with the degree as early as December 2011.

The program is supported by a group of local professional advisors that make up the Rural Financial Planning Project (RFPP), which was launched by Rob Hoxton, CFP, of Hoxton Financial in Shepherdstown. The mission of the RFPP is to improve the lives of rural Americans through the promotion of financial literacy and the delivery of financial planning by well-trained and ethical financial planning professionals.

"The idea is to train well-educated professionals and that they will want to find work in their hometowns and improve the lives of rural Americans," Hoxton said.

Hoxton said that starts with education and promoting the CFP career path.

"Many Americans, especially in rural sections of the country, need help with financial literacy in areas such as understanding retirement savings and mortgage obligations," said Hoxton. "The Rural Financial Planning Project will offer assistance to those willing to help their communities in providing this financial guidance."

The RFPP will provide tuition assistance through scholarships and professional mentorship for financial planning students at Shepehrd as well as internships.

"It's important as academics to know what the professional world requires," said DeMeritt. "The RFPP will help the department stay current along with providing the students with internship opportunities."

Monica Lingenfelter, executive vice president of the Shepherd University Foundation, said that this project is a great example of how Shepherd students and faculty can be inspired and supported by an advisory group of alumni and friends.

"The Rural Financial Planning Project advisory board, brings together a dynamic group of professionals to mentor our CFP students. With the Foundation's organizational support and Dr. Gordon DeMeritt leading the business faculty, the RFPP board is providing significant scholarship support, funding for faculty development, mentoring, and internships right out of the gate," Lingenfelter said. "All of this translates to outstanding career opportunities for our graduates in a highly respected and lucrative profession."

The Shepherd University Foundation has received and is accepting gifts and will be providing scholarships for Shepherd CFP students during the fall 2011 semester. For more information about this scholarship or to establish a scholarship, program, or faculty excellence award through the Shepherd University Foundation, contact Monica Lingenfelter, Shepherd University Foundation, P.O. Box 5000, Shepherdstown, WV, 25443-5000, 304-876-5397, or visit


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Rob Hoxton

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