Top schools for financial planning: The class of 2017

Published
  • November 06 2017, 3:12pm EST

Our annual schools listing grew by 20 this year up to 95. Appearing on our list for the first time are an additional 20 schools for prospective advisors — and their future employers. This year's additions, listed in alphabetical order, are drawn from a Financial Planning survey of colleges and universities that offer CFP Board-registered degree programs. Images courtesy of the schools.

ALBERTUS MAGNUS COLLEGE

New Haven, Connecticut

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in finance with a concentration in personal financial planning

Enrollment: 6

Faculty: 1 full-time; 3 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1 school-wide

Tuition: Accelerated bachelor’s degree program: $1,530 per three-credit course; traditional bachelor’s program: $30,650 per year

FPA Student Chapter: None

Overview: The program is designed for students looking to enter the growing fields of corporate finance and personal financial planning. Students learn a strong foundation of finance principles and business applications to prepare for a variety of careers in the financial services field. Requisite coursework satisfies the educational requirement for the CFP exam.

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BALL STATE UNIVERSITY

Muncie, Indiana

CFP Board-registered programs: Financial planning minor

Enrollment: 70-80

Faculty: 8

Student-to-faculty ratio: 15-1

Tuition: $7,794 for 12-18 credits per semester for Indiana residents; $23,962 for 12-18 credits per semester for nonresidents

FPA Student Chapter: None

Overview: Ball State was recently approved by the CFP Board to offer coursework to meet exam prerequisites.

BRYANT UNIVERSITY

Smithfield, Rhode Island

CFP Board-registered programs: B.A. in business with financial planning track

Enrollment: 25

Faculty: 10

Student-to-faculty ratio: Approximately 14:1

Tuition: $41,700 per year

FPA Student Chapter: Yes

Overview: The program is supported by Bryant’s extensive alumni network, providing students with mentoring, internship and employment opportunities, according to lecturer Mara Derderian.

CALIFORNIA STATE UNIVERSITY, FULLERTON

Fullerton, California

CFP Board-registered programs: B.A. in business administration with a concentration in finance and a financial planning emphasis

Enrollment: Approximately 50

Faculty: 16

Student-to-faculty ratio: 3:1

Tuition: $2,871 per semester for California residents; $8,811 for nonresidents. Most students qualify for scholarships through the Mihaylo College’s Center for Insurance Studies

FPA Student Chapter: In process

Overview: The program is housed in the department of finance at the Mihaylo College of Business, the largest AACSB-accredited business school on the West Coast, according to program leader David Nanigian.

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CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY

Mount Pleasant, Michigan

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S.B.A. in personal financial planning

Enrollment: 36

Faculty: 5

Student-to-faculty ratio: 20:1

Tuition: $417 per credit

FPA Student Chapter: Yes

Overview: The school has a career fair dedicated to financial planning students, featuring more than 20 companies spring and fall.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY

Ellensburg, Washington

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S.B.A. with personal financial planning specialization, B.S. in personal financial planning

Enrollment: 12

Faculty: 1 full-time; 2 adjunct. Courses are also offered by accounting and finance faculty

Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1

Tuition: $2,012 per quarter; $6,036 overall

FPA Student Chapter: None

Overview: Both degrees provide graduates with eligibility for the CFP exam and incorporate courses in counseling, technology and industry internships.

DELAWARE STATE UNIVERSITY

Dover, Delaware

CFP Board-registered programs: B.B.A. in finance with a minor in financial planning

Enrollment: 15

Faculty: 3

Student-to-faculty ratio: 5:1

Tuition: $7,352 for Delaware residents; $18,138 for nonresidents

FPA Student Chapter: Yes

Overview: The financial planning minor is open to students from all fields of study, according to program director Nandita Das. It is the second historically black university to offer a CFP-board financial planning minor in a business college.

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DeSALES UNIVERSITY

Center Valley, Pennsylvania

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in finance with financial planning track

Enrollment: 14

Faculty: 2 full-time, 11 adjuncts

Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1

Tuition: $474 per credit

FPA Student Chapter: Yes

Overview: The bachelor’s degree is offered through the school’s accelerated degree and certificate program, Access. It is currently the only CFP Board-registered program in the Lehigh Valley, according to academic advisor Tina Recchiuti.

EASTERN NEW MEXICO UNIVERSITY

Portales, New Mexico

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in finance with financial planning concentration

Enrollment: 80

Faculty: 2

Student-to-faculty ratio: 15-20:1

Tuition: $1,830.48 per semester for New Mexico residents; $4,717.92 per semester for nonresidents

FPA Student Chapter: None

Overview: The new program is the only board-certified program in New Mexico, according to dean and chief academic officer Janet Buzzard.

LIBERTY UNIVERSITY

Lynchburg, Virginia

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S.B.A. in financial planning

Enrollment: 178

Faculty: 11

Student-to-faculty ratio: 65:1

Tuition: $455 per credit hour for full-time students; $390 per credit hour for online students.

FPA Student Chapter: None

Overview: Some students choose to complete the Kingdom Advisor Core Training, a program focused on the biblical understanding of money and finances. This allows students to pursue the Certified Kingdom Advisor designation after completion of the educational requirements for the CFP designation, according to program director Gene Sullivan.

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MISSOURI STATE UNIVERSITY

Springfield, Missouri

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in finance with concentration in financial planning

Enrollment: 49

Faculty: 12

Student-to-faculty ratio: 6:1 universitywide. A typical section size in the program is 40 to 50 students.

Tuition: $7,306 for Missouri residents plus additional university fees; $14,746 per year for nonresidents

FPA Student Chapter: None

Overview: The program is geared primarily towards traditional undergraduate students and consists of semester-long, for-credit university courses. While some online courses are offered, the program must be completed in person.

MOLLOY COLLEGE

Rockville Centre, New York

CFP Board-registered programs: Personal financial planning minor, M.B.A. in personal financial planning

Enrollment: Approximately 50 to 75

Faculty: 5

Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1

Tuition: $965 per undergraduate credit; $1,100 per graduate credit

FPA Student Chapter: None

Overview: The program emphasizes practical interviewing, analysis and communication skills in addition to area expertise. All professors are current practitioners in wealth management, estate planning, insurance or financial planning, according to Bruce Haller, associate dean and director of graduate business programs.

RUTGERS UNIVERSITY

Newark, New Jersey

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S., finance

Enrollment: N/A

Faculty: 5 full-time, 5 part-time lecturers

Student-to-faculty ratio: 13:1 universitywide

Tuition: $14,019 in annual tuition and fees for New Jersey residents; $30,048 in annual tuition and fees for nonresidents

FPA Student Chapter: No

Overview: The program provides a practical and theoretical approach to personal financial planning, according to assistant professor of professional finance Ronald Richter. Coursework includes a capstone where students build and develop their own financial plan.

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SAINT VINCENT COLLEGE

Latrobe, Pennsylvania

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in finance with concentration in financial planning and analysis

Enrollment: 225

Faculty: 2 full-time, 4 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1 collegewise; 5:1 in upper-division finance courses

Tuition: $33,516 — most students qualify for financial aid

FPA Student Chapter: None

Overview: Small classes and a combination of business core classes and a robust liberal arts core form the basis of the school’s CFP-registered financial planning program. “Strong quantitative skills, close and personal relationships with the finance department faculty and an intense dose of Benedictine values and ethics are the hallmarks of the program,” according to associate professor Nicholas Racculia.

SOUTHERN NEW HAMPSHIRE UNIVERSITY

Manchester, New Hampshire

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in finance with a concentration in financial planning

Enrollment: 52

Faculty: 75 total faculty members in finance

Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1

Tuition: $960 per course, $320 per credit hour; $675 per course, $225 per credit hour for full and part-time U.S. service members and spouses of active duty service members.

FPA Student Chapter: In process

Overview: The asynchronous, fully online program offers a generous credit transfer policy and multiple term starts per year. It is intended to offer flexibility to meet the needs of those with busy lifestyles. The program provides real-world learning, and incorporates industry-leading trading simulation software to develop the skills students need to advise clients on meeting their financial goals.

STATE UNIVERSITY OF NEW YORK – COBLESKILL

Cobleskill, New York

CFP Board-registered programs: B.B.A. in financial services

Enrollment: 37

Faculty: 2 full-time

Student-to-faculty ratio: N/A, but typical class size is 15 or less

Tuition: $6,670 full-time, $834 per three-credit course for New York residents; $16,320 for nonresidents, $834 per three-credit course

FPA Student Chapter: In process

Overview: Both faculty members are tenured full-time professors with over 35 years of practice experience. The program includes a 12-credit internship.

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STOCKTON UNIVERSITY

Galloway, New Jersey

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in finance with a concentration in financial planning

Enrollment: 70

Faculty: 3 full-time, 2 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: N/A

Tuition: $565.05 per credit for New Jersey residents; $896.82 per credit for nonresidents

FPA Student Chapter: None

Overview: The undergraduate program contains the following courses: general principles of financial planning, investments, insurance, retirement planning, income tax, estate planning and financial plan development.

TOWSON UNIVERSITY

Towson, Maryland

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S.B.A. with financial planning track

Enrollment: 15

Faculty: 10 full-time and 3 adjuncts

Student-to-faculty ratio: 20:1

Tuition: $9,694 for Maryland residents; $22,140 for nonresidents

FPA Student Chapter: None

Overview: Students get hands-on training and experience with Bloomberg terminals in the school’s T. Rowe Price Finance Lab and complete the Bloomberg Market Concepts course, which provides them a competitive advantage.

UNIVERSITY OF COLORADO –BOULDER

Boulder, Colorado

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S.B.A. in finance with personal financial planning track

Enrollment: 65

Faculty: 7

Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:3 within the personal financial planning program

Tuition: $32,948 for two semesters for Colorado residents with the Colorado Opportunity Stipend applied; $55,214 for two semesters for nonresidents

FPA Student Chapter: In process

Overview: The personal financial planning program is housed in the Leeds School of Business. The school leverages its relationship with companies in the area to foster relationships with both individual planners and planner organizations, offering students oversight and advice, support, mentoring, internship and career opportunities.

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UNIVERSITY OF GEORGIA

Athens, Georgia

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in financial planning, M.S. in financial planning (online or in-person), Ph.D. financial planning

Enrollment: 125 undergraduate; 65 master’s; 22 Ph.D candidates

Faculty: 7 full-time, 1 instructor, 1 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: Undergraduate: 13:1; graduate: 9:1

Tuition: $11,800 for undergraduate Georgia residents; $30,400 for nonresidents; $19,200 for graduate students

FPA Student Chapter: Yes

Overview: Each of the financial planning degree options are focused on providing students with experiential learning opportunities where students gain real world experience working with professionals and adults from the local community.