Alert: COVID-19 Update - The American College of Financial Services remains fully operational on a remote basis in accordance with federal and state guidelines. Continue to enroll online or by calling the Professional Education Department. Students should check their Student Portal for Academic Updates and FAQs regarding exam extensions and testing centers.


Why you should consider the CFP® Certification

Your decision to become a Certified Financial Planner™ professional represents a major step in your career. Financial planners with the CFP® certification have higher incomes, bring more value to their firms, and achieve higher client satisfaction ratings.

In The College’s seven-course CFP® certification education program, you will be taught by faculty who are nationally recognized experts in their fields and supported by a full staff of academic counselors.  As for the coursework, it will give you practical knowledge you can apply directly to your work.

And, because The College’s CFP® exam pass rate is consistently higher than the national average, you will be well-positioned to receive the designation when you complete the program: 72% of our students passed the July 2018 CFP® exam, compared to the national average of 56%.


"My confidence is way up after taking The College’s CFP® certification program. I now connect with clients, attorneys, and accountants on a regular basis."

CFP® Exam Reviews 

The best way to prepare for the CFP® Certification Examination is to take a comprehensive exam review. Learn about traditional and online reviews that prepare you for success. 

Learn More

What you'll learn

The College’s CFP® certification education program, developed by our expert faculty of thought leaders and practitioners, meets the CFP Board learning objectives and provides you with instruction in key areas including:


  • Financial planning roles and responsibilities
  • Planning for insurance needs
  • Income taxation for individuals
  • Retirement planning
  • Principles of investments
  • Estate planning strategies.


In the final capstone course, you will develop a case study that integrates these concepts into a comprehensive financial plan. Qualified students can enroll in the Alternative Path Capstone Program, which allows students to start their capstone project without first completing the classroom hours requirement for the regular capstone course.


  • New professionals looking to build a solid career foundation
  • Mid-career professionals looking to advance in their current position
  • Career changers looking to enter the financial planning profession
  • Advisors looking to enhance their earning potential
  • Professionals committed to maximizing client satisfaction

Students must complete all seven courses with passing grades in order to fulfill the CFP® certification education requirement. You must complete your curriculum within five years of passing your first course to ensure you are mastering relevant material.


Select the delivery option that works best for your learning style and schedule.

Study at your own pace, wherever and whenever is most convenient for you. The self-paced program gives you the opportunity to tailor your education to your lifestyle. Our online study aids provide you with the guidance and practice you need to feel confident on test day. You have access to:

  • Comprehensive course textbooks
  • Downloadable e-books for your iPad®, iPhone®, or Android device
  • Faculty for questions and clarifications
  • Audio reviews
  • Supplemental readings
  • Streaming video lectures

Select courses are offered in a webinar format for students who want a more traditional classroom experience. You will attend weekly classes online at a regularly scheduled time, with the ability to ask questions in real-time.


Tuition & Fees

  • Self-Paced Courses: $810 per course
  • Webinar Courses: $1,060 per course
  • Alternative Path Capstone Program – CFP® Exam with Accelerated Path: $1,010

Tuition includes all required study materials, access to convenient online learning tools, your examination, and shipping fees.


Required CFP® Certification Education Courses:

  • HS 300 Financial Planning: Process and Environment
  • HS 311 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning
  • HS 321 Income Taxation
  • HS 326 Planning for Retirement Needs
  • HS 328 Investments
  • HS 330 Fundamentals of Estate Planning
  • HS 333 Personal Financial Planning
    • Qualified students may opt-out of the classroom hours requirement of HS 333 and move directly to completing the case study component. Learn more about the HS 333 Capstone Self-Study Program.


View Course Details Below


Required CFP® Certification Education Courses:

HS 300 Financial Planning: Process and Environment:
This course provides an overview of the financial planning process, including the role and responsibilities of a financial planner along with analytical tools to aid in financial decision-making. Topics include:

  • Communication techniques
  • Ethics
  • Education planning and funding
  • Time-value-of-money concepts
  • Financial planning applications
  • Regulatory issues
  • Legal and economic environment for financial planning


HS 311 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning:
This course focuses on the role of planning for risk management needs. The topics covered include:

  • Fundamental principles of risk management
  • Principles of insurance
  • Human capital risk
  • Liability risk
  • Property risk
  • Financial wealth risk


HS 321 Income Taxation:
The course examines the federal income tax system with particular reference to the taxation of individuals. Concepts covered include:

  • Gross income, exclusions from gross income
  • Deductions
  • Tax credits
  • Capital gains and losses
  • Taxation of life insurance
  • Taxation of annuities
  • Entity taxation of partnerships, LLCs, corporations, and proprietorships


HS 326 Planning for Retirement Needs:
This course focuses on selecting the right retirement plan for the business and on individual retirement planning. Covers:

  • Qualified plans, SEPs, SIMPLEs and 403(b) plans
  • Nonqualified deferred compensation plans
  • Practical knowledge needed for choosing the best retirement plan, especially for the small business, and designing a plan that will meet a client’s needs
  • Individual retirement planning including IRAs and Roth IRAs, Social Security benefits, saving for retirement and planning for retirement plan distributions


HS 328 Investments:
This course covers various aspects of the principles of investments and their application to financial planning. Topics include:

  • Risk analysis, risk and return computations
  • Risk reduction through diversification
  • Expected returns of various investments
  • Nature of securities markets and investment companies
  • Tax issues in investing
  • Issues in the practice of portfolio management
  • Examples of ethical and practical investment considerations


HS 330 Fundamentals of Estate Planning:
This course provides a basic understanding of the estate and gift tax system, including strategies of estate planning. Covers various aspects of estate and gift tax planning, including:

  • Nature, valuation transfer, administration, and taxation of property
  • Gratuitous transfers of property outright or with trusts, wills and powers of appointment
  • Use of the marital deduction
  • Valuation of assets
  • Buy-sell agreements
  • Client interview/fact finding
  • Ethical standards
  • Development of personal estate plans


HS 333 Personal Financial Planning: Comprehensive Case Analysis:
This course applies students' knowledge and skill set in personal financial planning techniques to a comprehensive case study. Students will integrate into a prioritized comprehensive financial plan core financial planning disciplines of:

  • Retirement
  • Investment
  • Risk management
  • Income tax
  • Employee benefits
  • General principles

* Students are eligible to enroll in the capstone course (HS 333) after completing the first 6 courses of the curriculum in both the CFP and ChFC programs (HS 300, HS 311, HS 321, HS 326, HS 328, HS 330). HS 333 is a course designed to bring together elements from all of the previous foundation courses, and prepares students to synthesize and apply their knowledge of the financial planning process, insurance, taxation, investments, retirement, and estate planning through the delivery of a comprehensive financial plan.

Qualified students may opt-out of the classroom hours requirement of HS 333 and move directly to completing the case study component. Learn more about the Alternative Path Capstone ProgramCFP® Exam with Accelerated Path.

Your tuition includes all required study materials, including textbooks, access to robust online learning tools, and your course examination. Supplementary study materials and review classes are also available for an additional cost.

Self-study course: $810
Webinar Course: $1,060
Alternative Path Capstone Program​ – CFP® Exam with Accelerated Path: $1,010
Package pricing: 


Refund Policy:

Refunds for the CFP® Exam Prep from The Dalton Review® as part of a pre-paid package enrollment will be subject to The American College's 30 days of enrollment refund policy.

The Dalton Review® and The Dalton Review® Guarantee to Pass™
Dalton Education must be notified of potential shipping errors and refund requests within five business days of receiving materials. If the materials have been marked, damaged, opened, or are otherwise unable to be resold, we will not be able to refund the cost. Students must return materials by a trackable shipping method. Original and return shipping costs will not be refunded.

Enhanced Online Learning: Webinar Classes Available

For select courses, a webinar study option is available for those who want a more familiar classroom feel as part of their student experience. Attend weekly classes online and ask questions in real-time. Many of these webinar classes come complete with smartphone- and tablet-ready material. To enroll in a webinar add $250.00 on top of the tuition.

HS 311 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning
March 17 - April 09, 2020
Tuesday 5:30pm - 7:30pm EST
HS 333 Personal Financial Planning: Comprehensive Case Analysis
April 06 - May 11, 2020
Monday 5:30pm - 7:30pm EST
HS 333 Personal Financial Planning: Comprehensive Case Analysis
April 06 - May 11, 2020
Monday 11:00am - 1:00pm EST
HS 328 Investments
April 07 - April 30, 2020
Tuesday, Thursday 5:30pm - 7:30pm EST
HS 321 Income Taxation
April 21 - May 14, 2020
Tuesday, Thursday 5:30pm - 7:30pm EST
HS 330 Fundamentals of Estate Planning
May 12 - June 04, 2020
Tuesday, Thursday 5:30pm - 7:30pm EST

See the Student Resources and Policies page for comprehensive details on refund policies, learning policies, recertification information, and more.

The CFP® certification shares common courses with the ChFC® and CLU® designations. View this chart to see how these designations overlap. 

CFP Comparison Grid

Program Faculty

Ross Riskin
Ross A. Riskin

Assistant Professor of Taxation

CFP® Program Director

Larry R. Pike Chair for Insurance and Investments

Matt Goren
Matt Goren

Assistant Professor of Financial Planning 

Professor Kevin Lynch
Kevin M. Lynch

Faculty Instructor

Clark/Bardes Endowed Chair in Retirement Planning and Non-Qualified Deferred Compensation

Adjunct Professor Steve Parrish
Steve Parrish

Adjunct Professor of Advanced Planning

Co-Director of the New York Life Center for Retirement Income

Professor Gerald Herbison
Gerald J. Herbison

Adjunct Professor of Leadership and Practice Management