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5-Year Rule

5-Year Rule

For designation and certificate programs

In order to keep its programs and coursework relevant and current, The American College of Financial Services implemented in 2006 a "5-Year Rule," which allows a student to apply completed course credits to a designation or certificate program for up to five years after a course is successfully completed.

If the designation program is completed within those five years, the course credits become permanent on the student’s transcript and may be applied at a later date toward the fulfillment of requirements for other designation programs, if the course is part of the program’s current curriculum. However, if the designation is not earned within five years, the course credits will expire, and the course must be repeated to meet the program requirements, where applicable. In other words, credits for courses passed after 1/1/2006 are CONTINGENT until completion of a College program of study, at which time they become PERMANENT. But if the program is not completed within five years from the date a course was passed, the credits expire and the course must be repeated if it is needed to meet program requirements. 

If the expired course no longer exists in the program’s current curriculum, the student must take a new course to complete the program.


The 5-Year Rule applies to all programs of study in the Huebner School, including the designation programs, the CFP® certification education program, and certificate programs. It also applies to the CAP® program, graduate certificate programs, and the FSCP® program. (The College’s policy on time allotted for completion of graduate degree programs is covered in the Graduate Student Resources and Policies.)

Transfer Credits

Transfer credits from courses taken externally are subject to the same rules based on the date the credits were posted to a student’s transcript. Transfer credits posted before 1/1/2006 are PERMANENT credits and transfer credits posted to a student’s transcript on or after 1/1/2006 are CONTINGENT credits pending program completion under the rules defined above.