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  Programs & Courses > Continuing Education > Certified Financial Planner™ > FAQ

Certified Financial Planner™ FAQ

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How Many Courses Do I Need to Take for Certification?

There are  five financial planning courses that cover the content required by the CFP ® Board of Standards for a person to be eligible to sit for the national board exam. For more details on the education requirement description please see the Board website:

For students who began their CFPE education after December 31, 2011 there will be a required 6th class offered online through the College for Financial Planning.  It will be a culminating class/project prior to registering for the national board exam. Details about the 6th class will be available this summer.

When and Where are the Courses Offered?

Courses run for 9 or 10 weeks during Fall, Winter and Spring Quarters. Classes meet in Olympic Hall on the South Seattle campus, located in West Seattle. The campus is only 5 minutes from the West Seattle Bridge. The Class schedule can be found at

Who Teaches the Courses?

All five instructors have extensive experience teaching adult learners in addition to being practicing Certified Financial Planners TM. They practice in different aspects of the financial planning industry and bring their wealth of knowledge and expertise to the classroom.

To see more complete biographies, click on the individual's name listed by the classes listed on the website at

What Materials Will I Be Using?

South's Financial Planning Program is an adjunct program with the College for Financial Planning in Denver, Colorado so the bulk of the classroom materials for the student and the instructor come from Denver. A student who enrolls with South Seattle is also enrolled with the College for Financial Planning. Course materials are provided in print form and on a website. These materials can also be used in a self-study format so if you miss a class or want to study on your own, you would have that option.

Why does South use Materials from the College for Financial Planning?

Since the CFP ® Board began releasing the exam results, the pass rate for students using the College for Financial Planning materials has consistently been higher than the national average.

How will I be Graded/Tested for Each Course?

Upon completion of the course you will take a self scheduled online exam via the College for Financial Planning's website. There are a variety of proctor options that will be explained to you. There is no extra charge for the first two test attempts.

How Long will it Take Me to Complete the Program?

Most students only take one class a quarter (expect to spend 10-12 hours a week preparing for class). Most students complete the program in five quarters and then take a couple of months to study for national exam.

Can I Receive CEUs for the Courses?

South Seattle College is entitled to grant 24 insurance CEUs for each of the five courses. CEU credit for CPA certification is also available.

How Much Does it Cost to Complete the CFP Program at South Seattle?

  • Classroom instruction for each course is $275
  • College for Financial Planning materials and online testing are $465 per course
  • Parking at the South campus costs $2 a night (off-street parking is available.)
  • All classes require that you have a financial calculator.

How Do I Enroll in the Program?

Register for the program by contacting the Program Director, Luisa Motten at 206-934-6782 or  After your initial enrollment you will be able to sign up for classes online at You will be enrolled as a classroom student at South Seattle College and as an online student at the College for Financial Planning. Payment for both programs will be paid through South Seattle College at the time of course registration.

How Can I Learn More About the Requirements to Become a Certified Financial Planner?

Visit the CFP Board website for complete information on the requirements and process.

How Can I Gain the Necessary Work Experience Needed for Certification?

Students that are transitioning from other careers find it helpful to start networking with local financial planning professional associations. This provides opportunities to network and learn of possible part-time employment opportunities. To learn more about the work experience requirements see the CFP™ board website. nTo contact professional associations in the Puget Sound area, here are a couple suggestions:

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards has a page about career options:

For more information, please contact

Luisa Motten
Phone: 206-934-6782

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The Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANICAL PLANNER ™ and CFP(with flame logo)® in the United States which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Boards initial and ongoing certification requirements.