Frequently Asked Questions

What is CFP® Certification?

CFP® Certification is a nationally and internationally recognized professional certification. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. awards the CFP® and CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification to individuals who fulfill initial and ongoing certification requirements: satisfy the educational requirements, three to five years of work experience in a financial planning field, pass the CFP® Certification Examination, compliance with CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, continuing education and recertification.

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Why are the CFP® Certification Requirements Important?

Most people think that all financial planners are "certified," but this isn’t true. Anyone can call themselves a "financial planner." Only those who have fulfilled the certification and renewal requirements of CFP Board can display the CFP® certification marks. When selecting a financial planner, individuals need to feel confident that the person they choose to help them plan for their future is competent and ethical. The CFP® certification provides that sense of security by allowing only those who meet the following requirements the right to use the CFP® certification marks.

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What is required to obtain a CFP® Certification?

To obtain the CFP® certification, there are the four E’s: Education, Examination, Experience and Ethics.

Education: CFP® professionals must develop their theoretical and practical financial planning knowledge by completing a comprehensive course of study at a college or university offering a financial planning curriculum approved by CFP Board. Other options for satisfying the education component include submitting a transcript review or previous financial planning-related course work to CFP Board for review and credit, or showing the attainment of certain professional designations or academic degrees. Beginning in 2007, in addition to fulfilling the education requirement, a bachelor's degree in any discipline will be required in order to attain CFP® certification. The college degree requirement is a condition of initial certification; it is not a requirement to be eligible to take the CFP® Certification Examination and does not have to occur before sitting for the exam or fulfilling the work experience. A bachelor's degree in any major from a regionally accredited U.S. college or university will be accepted, and evidence (photocopy of degree) will be required at the final stage of initial certification.

Examination: CFP® practitioners must pass a comprehensive two-day, 10-hour CFP® Certification Examination that tests their ability to apply financial planning knowledge in an integrated format. Based on regular research of what planners do, the exam covers the financial planning process, tax planning, employee benefits and retirement planning, estate planning, investment management and insurance.

Experience: CFP® professionals must have three years minimum experience in the financial planning process prior to earning the right to use the CFP® certification marks. As a result, CFP® practitioners possess financial counseling skills in addition to financial planning knowledge.
Note: Please visit the CFP Board website for further details on experience requirement.

Ethics: As a final step to certification, CFP® practitioners agree to abide by a strict code of professional conduct, known as CFP Board’s Code of Ethics and Professional Responsibility, that sets forth their ethical responsibilities to the public, clients and employers. CFP Board also performs a background check during this process, and each individual must disclose any investigations or legal proceedings related to their professional or business conduct.

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How did Emory become an approved CFP education provider?

Educational programs must complete a rigorous application process to become registered with the CFP Board. This ensures that each registered program focuses on all eight major Job Task Domains and 78 Principal Topics necessary to successfully pass the CFP® Examination.

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What is the Certified Financial Planner® Board of Standards?

CFP Board is a nonprofit professional regulatory organization. CFP Board was founded in 1985 and exists to benefit the public by establishing and enforcing requirements for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER ™ certificates. It is funded by the fees it collects for examination and certification. CFP Board also registers educational programs in financial planning. Registered educational programs, such as the Emory Financial Planning Certificate Program, satisfy CFP Board’s educational requirement. For more information, visit or call 303-830-7500.

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Do you offer Review Courses?

Emory does not offer an overall review for the national comprehensive CFP® Certification Examination (not required but recommended), but nationally known companies offer reviews in Atlanta:

•Keir Educational Resources offer review materials and courses.

•Zahn intensive review uses a special classroom book designed by Ken Zahn. You may contact them directly at

•The Dalton Review comprehensive CFP review. For more information go to

Please note that fees charged for the Review Courses are separate from the fees charged for Emory's Financial Planning Certificate Program.

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How much study time outside of class should I expect?

The answer to this question varies, but most past students say for every hour in class they spent 1-2 hours outside of class studying.

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Are continuing education loans available for non-credit classes?

Yes, loans are available through Sallie Mae Continuing Education Loan Program. If you are considering paying for your program with a Sallie Mae loan, please contact Jessica O’Brien at jessica@dalton-education.comu. Note: Some programs sell out weeks before the start date. If you plan to apply for a loan with Sallie Mae, begin your application early to allow adequate processing time.

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