What is the Academy of Finance?
The Academy of Finance is a member program of the National Academy Foundation, NAF. NAF's original Academy, the Academy of Finance first opened its doors in New York City in 1982. The Academy of Finance introduces students to broad career opportunities in the financial services industry and, in the process equips students to make sound choices for their future. The Academy operates as a “school within a school” and is located in many high schools Nationwide. North Carolina hosts only nine Academy of Finance institutions. Sanderson High school supports the only Academy of Finance in Wake County.
• Six– to eight-week compensated internships at banks, brokerage houses,
financial exchanges, insurance companies, accounting firms, government agencies
the summer before senior year.
• An introduction to all facets of the financial services industry and exposure
to current technology through field trips, job shadowing and mentoring.
• Offers a way for students to earn college credits while in high school
- and the opportunity to attend conferences, trade shows, and college fairs.
• Enhanced opportunities for employment after graduation.
• Nearly 100% of Academy students graduate from high school
• More than four out of five go on to two– or four-year colleges
• Students receive special graduation ceremonies, and receive access to
awards and scholarships
• Graduates acquire the problem solving and teamwork skills necessary to
succeed in higher education and beyond
• Graduates are more prepared for employment and have more positive career
Student Meetings and Student Dress:
AOF members are expected to attend the monthly meetings, quarterly Academy Nights,
and electronic meetings. AOF members wear their AOF shirts every Thursday except for AOF student meeting Thursdays.
Members are expected to wear professional dress to monthly student meetings, field
trips, job shadowing sites, Academy Nights and special Academy events.
During the summer between their junior and senior years, Academy students
complete a 200-hour-on-the-job paid internship in the financial services
industry. Local employers evaluate and select students for these paid
internships. The Academy assists students in obtaining their internship.
In addition to specialized courses and the summer internship, students in the
Academy of Finance program have the opportunity to attend seminars and Academy
Breakfast meetings on financial and career oriented subjects. Topics include:
• Financial Success for High School Students
• Resume/Portfolio Preparation
• Interviewing Skills
• Strategies for Success
• Budgeting Now for Later
• Senior Trip to New York City’s Financial District
Students who complete all the requirements will receive a Certificate of Financial
Studies in addition to their high school diploma.
The Academy awards scholarship money every year based on grades, AOF participation,
community service, and overall business attitude. In addition, NAF offers
scholarships for Academy students which can be found on the NAF web site.
Students discover the connections between what they learn in school and
the larger world. They learn skills and self confidence, but they also
learn about opportunities and making choices. Transition to adult life
Requirements for Admission
Students will be selected for the Academy of Finance based on the following
• Completed application (click here for application)
• Teacher recommendation (click
here for form)
• Academic record demonstrating:
-Average to above average grades
-Positive attitude & eagerness to learn
-Excellent attendance & punctuality
• Commitment to the program
• Interview by the Program Director
The AOF leadership team at Sanderson High School will review all applications
as part of the selection process.
Students will be notified of acceptance by e-mail or telephone.
Did you know…
Sanderson High School’s AOF
• Fulfills Wake County’s desire for small learning communities
• Meets the national initiative for financial literacy
• Has an active Advisory Board; Board includes national and local businesses.
• Has a strong involvement with the business community and SHS Business
• Is incorporated as a nonprofit organization 501 (c)(3)
• Has active parent support; parents volunteer on AOF Action Committees
• Students take one college class at Wake Tech,
• Provides professional paid internships for each student
• Students take classes together as a cohort group (travel with each other
throughout their high school careers)
• Infused academic financial-related matters into other courses such as
Algebra, English and Social Studies
• Students course registration receives prioritization