The CFP Board allows students who hold certain academic degrees and/or professional credentials to bypass some of the required coursework through the The CFP Board Accelerated Path and jump straight into our Financial Planning Capstone course.
Accelerated Path Qualifying Credentials
To qualify for Accelerated Path, you must currently hold one of the following credentials:
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
- Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA®)
- Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC)
- Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU)
- Licensed Attorney
- Doctor of Business Administration
- Ph.D. in Financial Planning, Finance, Business Administration OR Economics
- CFP certification from outside the U.S. [from the Financial Planning Standards Board LTD. (FPSB) affiliate located in your territory of residence]
About the Capstone Course
Our Financial Planning Capstone for Accelerated Path course is taught 100% online. It is a true capstone course, meaning that you will be writing a comprehensive financial plan for a client. You will go through the discovery process and prepare an education needs analysis, conduct a portfolio analysis, asses the financial health of your clients, and then prepare a tax and estate planning analysis.
To learn more about the core topics all students in the Capstone course are expected to know prior to enrollment, please visit the following pages on the CFP Board’s website:
- About the Exam: What You’ll Be Tested On
- Exam Prep Toolkit (opens as a PDF, expanded topics start on page 21)
The Financial Planning Capstone for Accelerated Path course is offered three times a year: spring, summer, and fall semesters. The spring and fall courses are 15-weeks in length, the summer course is 10-weeks in length. General start and end time frames for each semester are as follows:
- Spring semester: mid-January through the first week of May
- Summer semester: Tuesday after Memorial Day through the first week of August
- Fall semester: last week of August through the first week of December
Expected Time Commitment
The Capstone course is the most time intensive and comprehensive course in our program. We encourage students to carefully consider their work/life balance before enrolling in the Capstone course.
- Fall and Spring semesters (15-weeks in length): students can expect to spend 8-10 hours per week.
- Summer semester (10-weeks in length): students can expect to spend 10-12 hours per week.
If you don’t have a firm grasp of the core topics (insurance, investments, tax, retirement, estate), then you may have to spend more time each week to master the content.
Course Costs + Additional Information
- Tuition for Financial Planning Capstone for Accelerated Path is $750.
- The textbook is additional, and it can be purchased directly through the publisher. Estimated cost is around $130.
- The Financial Planning Capstone for Accelerated Path falls under our Extended Learning credit program. Courses in our Extended Learning credit program do not count for academic credit and cannot be applied towards a degree at Texas A&M University.
- Our office does not verify your credentials. The CFP Board makes all final decisions on qualifying credentials. If you have specific questions about your situation or your Accelerated Path status, please contact the CFP Board.
Students wishing to enroll in the Financial Planning Capstone for Accelerated Path should fill out a Program Application first. There is no cost to submit an application.
We will review your application and send course registration instructions if your application passes review. During busy times of the semester, it may take additional time for us to process applications.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I have to travel to campus to attend class? +
Do I have to attend lectures at a certain time during the week? +
No. Our courses are asynchronous, and we do not require students to login at a certain time on a certain day to participate in lectures or course activities. Course content is released on a weekly schedule and you have a full week to complete all assignments for that particular unit. You have weekly deadlines, but how you allocate your time during the week to listen to the pre-recorded lectures and complete the assignments is up to you.
If guest speakers are scheduled to speak at a live event during a semester, we try to record those sessions and make them available to watch at your convenience.
I don’t have much experience in one of the core topic areas. What do you suggest? +
Students who feel weak in any of the core topic areas should read through the CFP Board Learning Objectives listed in the appendix in the Exam Prep Toolkit first, and then identify specific objectives or areas for further study.
You can purchase books from Money Education and do your own self-study on these areas using the CFP Board Learning Objectives listed in the appendix of the Exam Prep Toolkit.
You can also take an individual course with us. We offer a discount to students in the Accelerated Path Program who take an individual course with us. Reach out to us for more information and we will be happy to help.
How quickly can I complete the Capstone course? +
Our courses are set up on a semester schedule, which means they have definitive start and end dates each semester. Students can typically work ahead, but we try to keep everyone at the same pace. Summer courses are 10-weeks long; Spring and Fall courses are 15-weeks long.
• If you want to sit for the March Exam, the latest session in which you should enroll is Fall.
• If you want to sit for the July Exam, the latest session in which you should enroll is Spring.
• If you want to sit for the November Exam, the latest session in which you should enroll is Summer.
Does your program verify my eligibility for the CFP® Exam with the CFP Board? +
Is this an CFP® Exam Prep program? +
While we cover all topics required by the CFP Board, we don’t teach specifically to the exam. We take a holistic approach and focus more on helping students develop skills and knowledge that will benefit them as an industry professional.
We recommend that all students take a CFP® Exam Prep Course before sitting for the exam. Exam prep courses are specifically designed around the CFP® Exam.