Financial Education for Securities, Banking, & Insurance Professionals.

Protecting Your Course Credits with the 5-year Rule

The American College's commitment to the highest standard of knowledge and trust includes a requirement for timely completion of educational programs, ensuring that the knowledge you receive from The College is fully current. Once you have completed your program, continuing education requirements continue the emphasis on consistently renewing your knowledge to best serve your clients.

It is critically important that you understand the 5-year rule so you do not lose any of the credits you have worked so hard to earn. Because the rule was introduced and communicated on January 1, 2006, all courses passed prior to that date are not impacted by the rule. After that date, courses that are taken at The College are "contingent credits" good for five years from the date they are passed. They become "permanent credits" once you have completed the relevant academic program. Once a credit is permanent, it may be used to meet requirements in other programs as appropriate without a time limit.

The 5-year rule applies to all designations offered by The American College (including the LUTCF and FSS), all advanced degrees, The College's educational component of the CFP® Certification program, the AEP and certificate programs. We'll refer to all of these as "programs of study" in the information below. Courses not designed to be part of an academic program, such as CE courses, are excluded. The Registrar of The American College makes all final determinations on programs that fall under the 5-year rule.

Conditions of the 5-year Rule:

  1. Courses passed on or after 1/1/2006 will EXPIRE five years after the pass date for the course if the relevant program of study has not been completed. If five years have passed, you will be required to retake the course for it to count towards your program of study.

  2. Any course passed prior to 1/1/2006 is a PERMANENT credit. It will always count toward any applicable program of study that you pursue with The American College.

  3. Any course passed on or after 1/1/2006 satisfying a requirement for a program of study that is completed within five years from the date of the first course passed for that program (on or after 1/1/2006) is a PERMANENT credit. It will always count towards any other applicable program of study.

  4. Until the relevant program of study is completed, any course passed on or after 1/1/2006 is a CONTINGENT credit pending program completion within five years of the pass date for the first course taken in that program on or after 1/1/2006. If the program is completed within that window, the credit will become PERMANENT.

  5. Transfer-of-credit rules follow the same procedure based on the date the transfer was posted. Transfers posted prior to 1/1/2006 are PERMANENT credits, and transfers after 1/1/2006 are CONTINGENT credits pending program completion under the rules outlined above.


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5 Year Rule PDF
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