Students Win First Place Award in National Financial Planning Association (FPA) Competition

Three William Paterson students win $10,000 worth of scholarships for University.

Left to right: Luke Dean, academic coordinator of the Financial Planning Program, with students Nathan Phillips, Cagla Yildirim, and Nicholas Scheibner

Three William Paterson students, Nathan Phillips of Sparta, Nicholas Scheibner of Stanhope, and Cagla Yildirim of Parsippany, won the first place overall award in the National Financial Planning Challenge at the National Financial Planning Association (FPA) conference in Denver, Colorado on October 9.

Their team was one of eight finalists who were flown to Denver, Colorado for the three-day final phase of the contest, where they competed in a Jeopardy-style knowledge bowl, and had 36 hours to adjust their financial plan after a “life-changing event” occurred in the life of their sample client.  They presented their plan to a group of professionals and professors who were judges at the conference.

All three students are majoring in business administration with a concentration in financial planning in the University's Cotsakos College of Business. They worked together on the project while also juggling jobs and school work. Scheibner, who started the first student chapter of the FPA® in the country, focused on the investment part of the challenge. Phillips, who used to drive trucks for a living, worked on the tax component, and Yildirim, originally from Turkey, took on the insurance component.

The Financial Planning Challenge is presented by the Academy of Financial Services, Ameriprise Financial (founding corporate partner), Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board®), and the Financial Planning Association (FPA®).

The team won $10,000 worth of scholarships for William Paterson University. Luke Dean, academic coordinator of the Financial Planning Program at William Paterson, accompanied the students to the conference.