FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship

Applications open Spring 2025

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The FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship program provides qualifying military spouses the opportunity to earn the AFC® (Accredited Financial Counselor®) certification—while providing financial counseling and education to the military community.

The fellowship covers the costs associated with completing the AFC® training and testing. Created in 2006, this opportunity is made possible through generous funding and support by FINRA Foundation.

Watch our Informational Webinar Recording

Hear firsthand from FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellows about the value of the AFC and the Fellowship Program.

The Fellowship program exists to:

  • Train a corps of military spouses to provide financial counseling and education within the military community
  • Help military spouses achieve career goals and aspirations and enhance job-related marketability; and
  • Develop personal financial management skills of military families.

Since its inception, the program has awarded more than 1,700 fellowships to military spouses. Fellows have provided financial counseling and education to more than 165,000 service members and spent more than 516,000 hours helping military families reach their financial goals in the United States and around the world. Recipients of the FINRA Foundation Military Spouse Fellowship commit to completing the courses of study and working in the financial counseling field serving their communities.

Katie Leiva, AFC® 2007 Military Spouse Fellow

"The most valuable aspect of the program is one I couldn’t have anticipated, meeting other Military Spouse Fellows. At conferences and online groups, I have made friends, professional contacts, and found a supportive resource of other military spouses who “get it.” I am grateful for the fellowship and the continued rewards of this program."

Cherie Stueve, MBA, CPA (Inactive), AFC®, 2011 Military Spouse Fellow

"The confidence gained from the program helped me develop my counseling skills and confirmed my career-change decision. I have partnered with amazing military support and civilian groups, networked with other Fellows online and at the AFCPE conference, and published articles."


Who is eligible:

Current, surviving spouses and spouses of retirees of a Uniformed Service member; Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, Coast Guard, Space Force, National Guard, Reserves, Commissioned Corps of the U.S. Public Health Service and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.     Spouses must be enrolled in DEERS. 

Who is not eligible:

  • Current Federal Employees
  • Current employees of contractors serving the United States government
  • Current employees of companies that provide investment advice or investment trading services, including registered investment advisers and broker-dealer firms
  • Active Duty or Reserve Component members of the Armed Forces
  • Holders of active securities licenses
  • Those already enrolled in the AFCPE® Certification program
  • Those who previously accepted the Fellowship but did not complete the program

Frequently Asked Questions

Visit our FAQ page for more information on:

  • Additional Eligibility
  • Time Requirements
  • Program Benefits
  • Value of the AFC
  • Selection Process
  • And more…

Remember, the application period opens March 1, 2025. An optional, but recommended task of the application process is providing a letter of recommendation. Your recommender may submit a letter on your behalf even after you’ve submitted your Fellowship application.

A Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

“Diversity and inclusion ensure a safe, positive, nurturing, and tolerant environment with mutual respect, free of prejudice. They celebrate differences, including those visible and invisible, in addition to thoughts and opinions that are essential for the involvement and empowerment of our society.”
Defined by:
AFCPE Diversity & Inclusion Task Force

AFCPE endeavors to make this site and the application process accessible to any and all users. If you require assistance regarding the accessibility of our website, or if you would like to request an accommodation to participate in the application process, please contact us at

Program Partner

About the FINRA Investor Education Foundation

The FINRA Investor Education Foundation provides 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 this innovative program as a partnership with AFCPE (the Association for Financial Counseling and Planning Education) and the National Military Family Association. Today, Spouse Fellows—whether candidates or graduates—serve in critical, paid or volunteer positions throughout the military community. Moreover, participants have provided financial counseling and education to hundreds of thousands of service members and military families. 

 A proud collaborator in the Department of Defense Financial Readiness Campaign, the Foundation also presents financial education forums at military installations worldwide.

To learn more, visit

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