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CFP®

Certification Education Program

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Best For

Financial professionals aiming to pass the CFP® exam the first time.

Timing

~12 Months

Format

Study the curriculum at your own pace, engage through virtual office hours, and receive support from the nation’s preeminent financial planning thought leaders. Learn About Personal Pathway.®

100% Virtual

Tuition

Starting at  
$925/course 

Seven-course package available for $5,195

Enroll Now Request Info
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Experience Our Program

Practical Knowledge, Proven Results

Hear from our successful alum H. Adam Holt, CFP®, ChFC®, CEO and Founder of Asset-Map Holdings, and get a behind the scenes look at our CFP® Certification Education Program.

Take a Tour
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Admissions Requirements

There are no prerequisite courses required to begin the CFP® Certification Education Program other than a high school diploma or equivalent.

To receive the CFP® certification, you must: 
1. Successfully complete the seven required courses 
2. Pass the CFP® exam 
3. Hold either 6,000 hours of professional experience as a financial advisor or 4,000 hours of apprenticeship experience 
4. Receive a bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university

Continuing Education (CE) credit is required to maintain the CFP® mark, as well as agreeing to the CFP Board’s ethics pledge. For more information, see the CFP Board’s website.

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Tuition & Scholarships

Program tuition can be paid on a per-course basis, or packaged together at a reduced rate. Tuition covers your course fees, final exam, and course materials, including:

  • Downloadable content for easy following
  • Video lectures and expert interviews
  • Practice exams and assessment questions

Individual course: $925
Case-study course (HS 333): $1,130
Alternative path capstone program - CFP® exam with accelerated path: $1,130
3-Course Package (HS 333 & 347 excluded): $2,495
7-Course Package: $5,195
CFP® Dalton Guarantee to Pass (CP 120): $2,295
CFP® Dalton Review (CP 121): $1,495
7-Course Package + CFP® Dalton Review: $6,195

Scholarship opportunities for active-duty military personnel, veterans, and spouses, African American financial professionals, women, and other qualifying groups are available. Discover scholarship opportunities

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What You'll Learn

The College’s CFP® Certification Education Program is uniquely positioned with the academic rigor of an accredited institution, an all-virtual experience with the personal touch of a real live classroom setting, and a level of interactivity and engagement that sets it apart from other e-learning, self-study programs.

Your learning outcomes include knowledge on:

  • Financial planning roles and responsibilities
  • Income taxation and principles of investments
  • Retirement and estate planning strategies
  • Planning principles for insurance needs
  • Latest concepts in behavioral finance
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Course Delivery

Study the seven-course curriculum at your own pace, engage through virtual office hours, and receive support from the nation’s preeminent thought leaders and our academic advising team.

Our best-in-class program features:

  • An extensive review of core competencies covered on the CFP® exam
  • A focus on behavioral finance, an area of growing importance
  • Expert instruction delivered by preeminent thought leaders and researchers
  • Modern e-learning through our Personal Pathway® learning model to improve interaction and retention
  • Higher pass rates above the national average1
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What Your Peers Say

91%

Say The College’s CFP® Certification Education Program was a worthwhile career investment.2

80%

Attribute The College’s CFP® Certification Education Program with improving their ability to meet client needs.2

72%

Pass the CFP® exam the first time - beating the national benchmark.3

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Our CFP® Certification Education Program is Right for You If:

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You Want to Pass Your Exam the First Time

Learn, Retain, and Become a CFP® Professional

According to the CFP Board, over 3-in-10 first-time takers fail the exam. And nearly half fall short on another attempt. Pick a program with a proven success rate.3

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You Seek Behavioral Finance Knowledge

Learn from the Industry’s Foremost Leaders

Our program features behavioral finance insights from some of the industry’s most regarded experts. Prepare yourself on this topic of growing importance to support client service and business growth.

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You’re Looking for a Flexible Experience

You Shape Your Path as a Busy Professional

Our Personal Pathway® model lets you learn at your own pace, offers virtual resources whenever and wherever you are and provides live and on-demand access to instructors.

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Inside Our Program

HS 300 Fundamentals of Financial Planning

Provides an overview of the financial planning process.

Upon completion of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of and apply the steps of the financial planning process
  • Differentiate between various communication techniques used by advisors
  • Utilize the various financial planning approaches to provide actionable recommendations
  • Review personal financial statements and perform financial statement analysis
  • Build a foundation in quantitative techniques and basic economic concepts
  • Apply education planning and funding techniques to help clients achieve their goals
  • Review and apply the ethics of personal financial planning within various frameworks

HS 311 Fundamentals of Insurance Planning

Focuses on the role of planning for risk management needs.

Upon completion of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the basic concepts and principles of risk management
  • Compare and contrast the different health insurance options available
  • Differentiate among the various types of life insurance
  • Discuss principles of disability income insurance, long-term care, and annuities
  • Identify the sources and uses of homeowners, property, and liability insurance
  • Identify sources of identity theft and utilize debt management techniques
  • Demonstrate an understanding of social insurance programs like Social Security

HS 321 Fundamentals of Income Taxation

Examines the federal income tax system with particular emphasis on the taxation of individuals.

Upon completion of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of federal income taxation
  • Compare taxation of income generated from personal and investment activities
  • Explain the taxation of income and expenses generated from different activities
  • Understand and apply the fundamentals of deductions against adjusted gross income
  • Identify different types of tax credits and tax deductions
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how basis is determined
  • Identify the tax advantages that certain types of business assets receive
  • Explain how provisions in the tax code allow for tax avoidance and tax deferral
  • Explain the complexities of the passive activity loss rules and alternative minimum tax
  • Compare and contrast the tax consequences of distributions from business entities

HS 326 Planning for Retirement Needs

Focuses on helping businesses and individuals plan for retirement.

Upon completion of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Analyze the factors affecting retirement planning
  • Understand the fundamental principles of qualified plans
  • Compare and contrast the various types of qualified pension plans
  • Compare and contrast profit sharing plans, stock bonus plans, and ESOPs
  • Understand the tax treatment of distributions from qualified plans
  • Describe the steps involved to manage a qualified plan
  • Discuss the advantages, limitations, and taxation of IRAs and SEPs
  • Compare and contrast SIMPLE, 403(b), and 457 retirement plans
  • Discuss the taxation of nonqualified plans and Social Security claiming strategies
  • Compare and contrast employee fringe and group benefits

HS 328 Investments

Learn about the principles of investments and their application to financial planning.

Upon completion of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand the institutional framework surrounding investments
  • Measure investment returns using various methodologies
  • Apply the modern portfolio theory framework to the task of managing portfolios
  • Evaluate portfolio performance using attribution and ratio analysis
  • Understand how fixed income securities function
  • Compare and contrast the various types of equity securities 
  • Evaluate the factors that can affect the performance expectations of equity securities
  • Identify the features of valuing securities using absolute and relative valuation models
  • Identify the features of investment companies and evaluate fund selection techniques
  • Compare and contrast the features of derivative securities

HS 330 Fundamentals of Estate Planning

Covers various aspects of estate and gift tax planning processes.

Upon completion of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Identify the steps in the estate planning and probate processes
  • Identify and describe the basic estate planning documents
  • Compare and contrast the most common types of property titling
  • Understand and apply the fundamentals of the gift tax system
  • Identify and classify different trust arrangements
  • Understand and apply the fundamentals of the generation-skipping transfer tax system
  • Compare and contrast advanced charitable planning strategies
  • Understand and apply the fundamentals of the estate tax
  • Demonstrate the advantages of using life insurance in estate planning

HS 333 Personal Financial Planning: Comprehensive Case Analysis

Applies students' knowledge and skill set in personal financial planning techniques to a comprehensive case study.

Upon completion of this course, you’ll be able to:

  • Bring together elements from all of the previous foundation courses to synthesize and apply knowledge of the financial planning process, insurance, taxation, investments, retirement, and estate planning through the delivery of a comprehensive financial plan
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My educational experience with the CFP® Certification Education Program was excellent. The coursework was informative, the resources were extremely helpful, and thanks to the in-depth reviews, I was able to pass my exam on the first attempt.

Darren Mullenix, CFP®, ChFC®

Certified financial planner discussing options with his clients
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The knowledge from The American College of Financial Services is incredible, and it has definitely elevated me in the eyes of my clients. The education speaks for itself.

Adam Saubel

CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, RICP®, ChSNC®, CAP®, CLTC®

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The CFP® mark and the coursework I completed at The College have been unrivaled in impact, not only for my professional credibility but also my deeper knowledge and awareness of the questions and challenges people face when making financial decisions.

H. Adam Holt

CFP®

01/00

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CFP® Certification Education: See Where We Stand

Save time with a quick view of how our CFP® Certification Education Program stacks up against comparable programs.

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CFP® Certification Education: See Where We Stand

Save time with a quick view of how our CFP® Certification Education Program stacks up against comparable programs.

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CFP® Certification Education Program

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CFP® Certification Education Program

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CFP® Certification Education Program

ADVANCED CURRICULUM

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ABOVE-AVERAGE PASS RATE

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FINISH IN <12 MONTHS

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ENHANCED VIRTUAL LEARNING EXPERIENCE

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Learn from the Leaders in Financial Planning Today

Chet R. Bennetts

CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, RICP®, CLF®

Assistant Professor, Financial Planning, Larry R. Pike Chair for Insurance and Investments, and Program Director, ChFC® and CFP® Certification Education Programs

Connect on LinkedIn Read Bio
Michael Finke

Michael Finke

PhD, CFP®

Professor of Wealth Management, WMCP® Program Director, Director for the Granum Center for Financial Security, Frank M. Engle Distinguished Chair in Economic Security

Connect on LinkedIn Read Bio

Steve Parrish

JD, RICP®, CLU®, ChFC®, AEP®

Professor of Practice and a Scholar in Residence at the McGuire Center for Ethics

Connect on LinkedIn Read Bio
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Thomas M. Brinker, Jr.

JD, LLM, PFS/CPA, AEP®, ChFC®

Adjunct Professor of Taxation and Special Needs Planning
ChSNC® Program Director

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Sophia Duffy

Sophia Duffy

JD, CPA, AEP®

Associate Professor of Business Planning

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Cydney F. Albert

MBA, MS, CPCU

Adjunct Professor of Insurance Planning

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Christopher Coles

MA, ChFC®

Adjunct Professor

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Zipporah Evania

CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CASL®, CAP®, RICP®, CLTC®, WMCP®

Adjunct Professor of Retirement Planning

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Ray Fallen

MBA, CLU®, ChFC®, RICP®, CPCU®

Adjunct Professor of Taxation and Insurance

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James Karthaus

CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, MA

Assistant Professor of Financial Planning, CFP® Certification Education and ChFC® Programs

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Mark McLennon

JD, CLU®, ChFC®, CFP®, CPA/PFS

Adjunct Professor of Business Planning

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Kimberly Turner

PhD, MSFS, CFP®, ChFC®, CLU®, CAP®, AEP®, CLTC®

Adjunct Professor of Financial Planning

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Audrey Snell

MBA, CFP®, ChFC®, RICP®

Assistant Professor, Academics

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Steven H. Steidinger

MBA, FLMI®, CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, CASL®, RICP®

Adjunct Professor, ChFC® Program

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Andrew M. Zumwalt

MS, CFP®

Adjunct Professor of Taxation

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Barry Feigenbaum

MA, MBA, RICP®, CFEI®

Adjunct Faculty

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CFP® Certification Education Program FAQs

You only need a high school diploma or the equivalent to begin the program. However,  you must meet all necessary requirements of the CFP Board to be awarded and use the certification.

You will have 10 weeks to complete all required course requirements. Upon completion of the coursework, a four-week exam window opens for you to schedule, prepare and take the exam.

Studying in the Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®) and CFP® Certification
Education Programs with The College lets you work toward two prestigious professional achievements simultaneously – saving you time and money to maximize your knowledge ROI. The programs share a common core curriculum with the structure and flexibility of our Personal Pathway® learning experience to allow you to choose your path to success. You can learn more about the benefits of taking both programs here.

While The College’s CFP® Certification Education will prepare you in many ways for the CFP® exam, it is generally recommended that you seek additional exam review courses to be properly prepared. Exam review courses will not only cover the materials, knowledge, and principles to be included in the exam, but will walk you through testing strategies, dynamics, question format, and other information critical to success.

While The College doesn’t offer its own exam review courses, we partner with Dalton Education to offer exam review programs such as The Dalton ReviewTM through the enrollment above.

For more information on CFP® Dalton Review (CP 121) or CFP® Dalton Guaranteed to Pass™ (CP 120), please call 877-426-2373 or visit www.dalton-education.com

For pricing, please visit our Tuition & Fees page.

While The College’s CLU®, ChFC®, and CFP® Certification Education Programs offer different educational outcomes and areas of specialization, shared courses make it easy to grow in expertise and work toward completing multiple programs at once. The three programs share several common core courses, and all electives available in the CLU® Program are also part of the CFP® Certification Education Program and ChFC® Program. By earning the CLU® designation, you are six courses away from earning your ChFC® and five courses away from completing the CFP® Certification Education Program. Use this comparison chart to learn more about how you can expand your opportunities most efficiently.

footnotes

1 CFP Board of Standards. 2022.

2 The American College of Financial Services Designation Outcomes Study. 2017.

3 CFP Board. March 2022 Current Exam Cumulative Results. 11/2023.