35 Great Schools for Financial Planning

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Alfred, N.Y.

CFP Board-registered programs: Bachelor of business administration in financial planning

Enrollment: 31

Faculty (full-time and adjunct): 2 full-time, 2 part-time

Student-to-faculty ratio: Lower-level classes capped at 20-35 students; upper-level classes at 10-20 students

Tuition: Free for all students who enter Alfred State as first-time freshmen in the fall semester and have a high school GPA of over 3.7, a 1250 combined SAT score or a 28 composite ACT score. For others: $6,170/year for full-time New York State residents; $9,780/year for nonresident freshmen/sophomores, increasing to $15,820/year for nonresident juniors/seniors.

FPA student chapter: No, but relationships with other chapters

Overview: The undergraduate program, now in its 10th year, claims a 100% placement rate for its graduates. Students must take 11 classes in financial planning subject areas, along with a broad-based business education, says the program’s curriculum coordinator, ScholarFi owner Ron Rhoades. Students can also go on several optional field trips — including visits to local FPA chapter functions and planning firms in western New York and trips to national financial planning conferences.


Bryn Mawr, Pa.

CFP Board-registered programs: 1 CFP Board-registered certificate program, with online, self-study and in-person options. Also a ChFC program, accredited M.S. in financial services and Ph.D. programs in retirement and financial planning.

Enrollment: About 27,500 active students in all programs in 2013-2014

Faculty (full-time and adjunct): 20 full-time, 14 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: Varies by program

Tuition: 7-course flagship certificate program costs $3,947; MSFS, $1,450 per course (8 required, 2 electives, 2 residencies for a total of 12 courses), plus costs of residency requirements, admission fee and shipping; Ph.D., $3,350 per course with 14 courses; ChFC program, $5,021 total for 9 courses
FPA student chapter: No

Overview: The American College boasts of being the biggest nonprofit educational institution with the highest level of academic accreditation available for financial professionals. The school offers certifications and advanced degrees only. A partner with banks, brokerage firms and insurance companies, it derives nearly 100% of its students from the field. The college also produces educational materials used to teach planners elsewhere. As the owner of the ChFC designation, the American College in July announced changes to “reflect today’s needs” for financial planning. That program still consists of nine courses — including a required capstone and six other core financial planning courses — but two electives were replaced by a pair of required classes covering issues like divorce and blended families, LGBT issues and behavioral finance.



CFP Board-registered programs: 2 certificate programs, one online and one in person

Enrollment: 800 online, in person varies by semester

Faculty (full-time and adjunct): 2 full-time, 23 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: Average 15:1

Tuition: $575 per online course, full online program tuition $3,495-$5,295; $895 per classroom course; $995 for a classroom capstone course

FPA student chapter: No

Overview: BU’s financial planning program is in its fourth decade of preparing professionals for careers and certification in planning. The school awards the Robert J. Glovsky Scholarships in Financial Planning in recognition of the Colony Group chairman’s 25 years as director of financial planning at Boston University. Up to $2,000 in awards are granted each year and applied to the program’s tuition. Application for the Glovsky scholarship is open to both online and in-person students and is intended to improve financial literacy in traditionally underserved populations.


Thousand Oaks, Calif.

CFP Board-registered programs: Certificate, MBA

Enrollment: 57

Faculty: 4 full-time, 2 part-time, 9 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: 14:1 for all online/off-site MBA programs combined

Tuition: For MBA, $770 per credit unit; the certificate program is $1,695 per course (8 courses total)

FPA student chapter: No

Overview: Cal Lutheran offers a certificate program, as well as an MBA with a focus in financial planning, with both on-campus and online tracks. This intensive boutique program tends to attract seasoned professional students — most are full-time working adults, according to Cynthia Grether, the school’s program manager, who says the faculty is committed to remaining flexible to accommodate students’ professional needs. CLU also caps class size at 20, both online and in person. The school last year created an MBA track for students who already have a CFP, offering additional planning and interdisciplinary courses.


Northridge, Calif.

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in finance or in business administration, with a sequence in financial planning

Enrollment: 40

Faculty: 4 full-time, 2 adjuncts

Student-to-faculty ratio: 7:1

Tuition: For California residents, $3,272 per semester; for nonresident students, $5,876

FPA student chapter: No, but currently in development

Overview: The school registered its two undergraduate planning programs with the CFP Board in spring 2012, with the aim of improving financial literacy in Southern California. The program aims to foster networking opportunities by hosting a popular career expo every semester and regular events to pair students with local financial planners. At the expos, small groups of students are matched with representatives from the financial planning industry, according to program director Kristine Beck, to give students a chance to learn about a wide variety of careers.


Clemson, S.C.

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

Enrollment: About 20

Faculty: 5 full-time

Student-to-faculty ratio: 4:1

Tuition: For South Carolina residents, $13,446 per year, based on 2 semesters; for out-of-state residents, $31,462 a year

FPA student chapter: No

Overview: The Clemson curriculum emphasizes analytical and communication skills in the financial planning profession. Students are given the opportunity to tailor courses to their needs by choosing emphasis tracks, including financial planning, financial services, corporate finance and real estate. This year, 120 students in the school’s broader financial management program are participating in the Wall Street South Club, in which students manage individual portfolios and compete for the highest return.


Greenwood Village, Colo.

CFP Board-registered programs: M.S. in personal financial planning, flagship CFP certification program

Enrollment: 25,000 in all professional designation programs, including 5,000 in the CFP program and 500 in the master’s in financial planning program

Faculty: Roughly 50: 12 full-time staff and the rest adjuncts

Student-to-faculty ratio: 10:1

Tuition: For M.S. in financial planning, $400 per 1-hour credit; for CFP certification program, $4,670.
FPA student chapter: No, because the program is primarily online — but the college refers students to FPA meetings and hosts one in its Colorado offices.

Overview: The for-profit college, founded in 1972, launched at a time when there were no dedicated programs or teaching materials for planning. It offers distance learning, full-time and certificate programs. As the longest running CFP certification program, the College says it has produced more than 64,000 graduates since 1972. Subjects include retirement planning, portfolio analysis and financial analysis. The school also offers programs in FINRA licensing. As of last year, the school allows students who already have CRPC or AWMA designations to transfer credits toward the CFP program.


Fort Collins, Colo.

CFP Board-registered program: B.S. in business administration with a planning option in the finance concentration

Enrollment: 80 full-time students

Faculty: 5 full-time, 1 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: 16:1

Tuition: $9,896 a year for a Colorado resident; $26,076 for out-of-state students

FPA student chapter: No

Overview: Now in its fourth year, the program, based in the school’s college of business, has seen enrollment double from its first year, according to director John Hopkins. Members of the FPA of Colorado mentor financial planning students — creating relationships that, the school says, greatly enhance the classroom experience by introducing students to the “challenges and rewards associated with the financial planning profession.”



CFP Board-registered programs: 9-credit certificate program offered both online and in person

Enrollment: 150 to 200

Faculty: 10 adjuncts

Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1 at downtown campus; 6:1 at suburban campus

Tuition: $5,400

FPA student chapter: No

Overview: The largest Roman Catholic university in the U.S. launched its certificate program in 1999 and relies heavily on a pool of local CFPs who serve as faculty and create customized study materials. Students can supplement their in-class work by studying online. The professionally diverse student body hails from the brokerage, banking, tax, legal and compliance fields, says Moses Hudson, program manager of the university’s Financial Planning Education Center. Last year, DePaul added a course in case studies and made the financial plan development class mandatory.


Teaneck, N.J.

CFP Board-registered programs: Financial planning certificate course

Enrollment: 90

Faculty: 30 adjuncts in various locations

Student-to-faculty ratio: 12:1 in the classroom

Tuition: $5,995

FPA student chapter: No

Overview: One of the first U.S. institutions to offer a financial planning certificate, FDU’s program dates back 29 years. The school draws from a large pool of industry professionals and program graduates for adjunct faculty, who teach courses at multiple locations. This year, the program is expanding its adjunct faculty base and building local corporate relationships in order to offer the program on-site at FDU. Students are primarily mid-career professionals already working in the planning industry, notes Valerie Barnes, the program’s director, who also says they receive a substantial amount of one-on-one counseling and instruction. The school also has a popular career fair sponsored by the FPA of New Jersey. “New Jersey is a great state for financial planning because we are a high income state and our residents are among the most well-educated in the country,” says Barnes.


Manhattan, Kan.

CFP Board-registered programs: Undergraduate, master’s, Ph.D. and graduate certificate

Enrollment: 50 undergrads, 43 certificate, 47 master’s and 42 doctoral students

Faculty: 9 full-time, 3 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: 5:1 at undergraduate level; 3:1 at graduate level

Tuition: For undergraduates, $274 per credit hour for a Kansas resident or $727 for out-of-state resident (plus fees); for M.S. courses, $515/credit hour; for Ph.D. courses and graduate certificate courses, $566 per credit hour.

FPA student chapter: Yes

Overview: Since registering its undergraduate degree program in planning in 1993, Kansas State has added a certificate, a master’s degree and a doctorate. The school conducts considerable research on the subject of financial therapy, and students help with both data collection and analysis, says program director Sonya Britt. Qualified students can apply to be peer counselors at Powercat Financial Counseling, a university program that provides financial advice to students; student counselors work directly with KSU peers, both one-on-one and by giving group presentations. “We have incredible support from the administration,” says Britt. “Our dean has continued to put resources into our program and is committed to seeing the program grow and develop.”


Online with classrooms in New York and San Francisco, as well as several private corporate programs.

CFP Board-registered programs: Self-paced and accelerated online programs and an M.S. in finance
Enrollment: N/A

Faculty: 8 full-time, 26 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: Varies based on program

Tuition: Accelerated program $749 per course; self-study $549 per course; M.S. in finance, $441 per credit hour

FPA student chapter: Kaplan is an institutional member.

Overview: A big name in education and for-profit test preparation, Kaplan is home to a decade-old program that crosses boundaries between traditional classroom and online study, letting students customize study tracks to suit their schedules. The school also boasts of its large team of academic advisors, who aim to reach out to all students at least 70 times during their course of study, helping them complete work on time and excel academically. The school partners with 16 other universities, providing books and materials for their programs. Kaplan also runs planning programs and on-site training at many corporations and call centers throughout the U.S., according to Joyce Schnur, vice president of the financial services program.


Baton Rouge, La.

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. and M.S. in finance, MBA and Ph.D. in business administration, all with financial planning specialization, plus online certificate and executive certificate programs in financial planning

Enrollment: 54 degree program students

Faculty (full-time and adjunct): 12

Student-to-faculty ratio: 23:1 in the classroom

Tuition: $8,750 for Louisiana residents; out-of-state students, $26,467; online certificate, $3,095-$7,700

FPA student chapter: Yes

Overview: LSU’s four undergraduate programs, along with the MBA, Ph.D., and self-paced and instructor-led certificate programs were registered with the CFP Board this year. The programs tap a diverse advisory board of industry leaders responsible for organizing networking events; the school also has a strong relationship with Louisiana chapters of the FPA. Support from the business community has provided LSU with numerous internship and job opportunities for students. The university also makes scholarships available to cover the CFP exam and review course fees.


New York

CFP Board-registered programs: 1 certificate, 1 classroom program (in traditional and accelerated formats), and 2 web-delivered programs (self-paced and live); all offered in partnership with Dalton education
Enrollment: N/A

Faculty: 10 in-class adjunct instructors; 8 online instructors.

Student-to-faculty ratio: 13:1 in classroom

Tuition: $5,590 for traditional classroom program; $5,650-$7,700 for a live online course; $3,095-$4,695 for self-paced online

FPA student chapter: No, but students can become a member of the FPA through the NYU-FPANY Scholarship for actively enrolled CFP students at a discounted rate.

Overview: NYU’s certificate program offers students the flexibility to complete coursework three ways — in person, live online and led by an instructor, or self-paced online. Geared toward professionals and college graduates, the program leverages NYU’s geographic advantage, offering students opportunities to work with companies in the city.


Chicago and Evanston, Ill.

CFP Board-registered programs: 2 online and 1 classroom certificate programs

Enrollment: 150 across all programs

Faculty: About 30 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: About 5:1 overall

Tuition: $2,000 - $8,000, depending on the program

FPA student chapter: No, but the Chicago FPA chapter invites Northwestern to attend.

Overview: The Northwestern certificate program, offered both online and in a classroom, is designed to fit the needs of all students, from career changers to longtime planning professionals. Following a program overhaul in 2013, the classes are designed to simulate a planner’s daily life. “Participants who pass all required courses will have a certificate of completion from Northwestern University, which they can proudly display on their wall and share with their clients,” says Adam Kashuba, director of professional development at Northwestern University School of Professional Studies.


Columbus, Ohio

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in consumer and family financial services with track in financial planning

Enrollment: 88

Faculty: 7 full-time, 4 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: 8:1

Tuition: Ohio-resident undergraduates, $5,108 per semester (for 12 hours); out-of-state undergraduates $13,358 per semester

FPA student chapter: No, but the student financial planning club meets every other week.

Overview: The financial planning track, part of a consumer and family financial services major, has an emphasis on family financial management. Subjects include general financial planning, insurance, credit, savings, investment instruments to reach financial goals, and retirement and estate planning. Courses are taught by both faculty and industry professionals, says program chairman Sherman Hanna. The student financial planning club features outside speakers and panels on topics including financial services careers, industry compensation models, CFP exam preparation, licensing, interviewing and résumé preparation.


West Lafayette, Ind.

CFP Board-registered programs: Undergraduate

Enrollment: 125

Faculty: 7 full-time, 7 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: 18:1

Tuition: Indiana residents, $20,000 a year, including room, board and other expenses; $40,000 a year for nonresidents

FPA student chapter: No, but Purdue has its own student-run financial planning club.

Overview: Purdue’s undergraduate financial counseling and planning program shares resources with Purdue’s Center for Professional Selling; financial planning students are given the opportunity to participate in center activities, gaining firsthand experience building relationships with industry representatives. Although there’s no FPA chapter, the student-run Purdue Collegiate Financial Planning Club hosts competitions, speaker events and tours of Chicago’s financial district. Students and faculty also frequently attend FPA meetings and seminars.


San Diego

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S., B.A. in financial services; credit certificate in personal financial planning; M.S., B.A. in financial and tax planning, and executive financial planning advanced certificate, which is the first half of the master’s degree.

Enrollment: In bachelor’s programs, 93 in financial services and 739 in finance; 14 in master’s, 26 in executive programs

Faculty (full-time and adjunct): 15 for bachelor’s and master’s programs; 5 for executive
Student-to-faculty ratio: 9:1

Tuition: In-state undergraduates pay $3,433 per semester; nonresident undergrads, $9,013 per semester. For master’s, $5,590 resident, $8,530 nonresident (based on 12-unit load). For executive advanced graduate certificate, $7,416.

FPA student chapter: Yes

Overview: The oldest continuously operating planning program in the country resides in the finance department of the business school. The graduate degree allows specialization in either wealth management or tax planning. “We believe that having our programs fully integrated into our business school curriculum is a substantial advantage for our students,” says Tom Warschauer, the program’s longtime director. The programs were the country’s first to be offered by a school certified by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business; all courses are for credit. The program uses its alumni network to help with graduate placement.

SUFFOLK university


CFP Board-registered programs: B.S.B.A. with concentration in financial planning, CFP certificate programs
Enrollment: N/A

Faculty: 13 full-time finance professors

Student-to-faculty ratio: N/A

Tuition: Varies based on credit hours: $16,265 per semester for full-time undergraduates (12-17 credits); $1,068 per course for the certificate program

FPA student chapter: No

Overview: The Sawyer Business School at Suffolk offers a bachelor’s of science in business administration with a financial planning concentration, intended to prepare students to analyze and advise on all aspects of financial life. Subjects include investment management, retirement and estate planning, insurance planning and income tax management. The business school also offers a non-degree, eight-course certificate program aimed at working professionals.


College Station, Texas

CFP Board-registered programs: Extended learning certificate in financial planning; minor currently in approval process

Enrollment: 59

Faculty: 4

Student-to-faculty ratio: 59:4

Tuition: For academic credit, $4,621 tuition & fees per semester; for extended learning credit, $525 per course

FPA student chapter: Yes

Overview: The financial planning program at Texas A&M is taught by a team that includes both academic professors and planning profesionals. Emphasis is placed on practical knowledge and financial planning concepts, as well as training in the field’s latest software. Courses are offered both online and in-person.


Lubbock, Texas

CFP Board-registered programs: 10 programs, ranging from undergraduate to Ph.D., including minors and dual graduate degrees in planning and business or law, and one certificate. The new executive delivery M.S. and certificate are pending CFP Board registration.

Enrollment: 117 planning undergraduate majors, 6 undergraduate minors (studies in personal finance), 70 master’s students in personal financial planning (including dual degrees with law, MBAs, accounting and finance) and 42 Ph.D. students

Faculty: 12 full-time, 2 directors, 1 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: Roughly 21:1

Tuition and required fees: Texas resident undergraduates, $4,804 per semester;out-of-state undergraduates, $10,234; Texas resident graduate students, $3,992 per semester; out-of-state graduate students, $7,612

FPA student chapter: Yes

Overview: Texas Tech was the second university in the nation to give the planning program departmental status, and has seen tremendous growth. The school hosts annual “Opportunity Days” where financial planning firms from across the United States come to campus for three days of interviewing students for internships and jobs. Graduates of the Texas Tech PFP program are currently faculty at 18 different college and university financial planning programs.


Akron, Ohio

CFP Board-registered programs: B.B.A. or minor in financial planning, certificate program. A dual degree program with a B.B.A. in financial planning and B.S. in accounting will be offered in the fall.

Enrollment: 2,173 undergraduate, 470 graduate, 35 certificate students

Faculty: 7 full-time, 4 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: 21:1 for undergraduates

Tuition: Varies based on credit hours

Overview: University of Akron’s B.S. in financial planning consists of seven courses and a capstone intended to provide both practical experience and prepare students for the CFP exam. A team representing the school won the student Financial Planning Challenge at this year’s annual FPA BE Conference in Seattle.


Berkeley, Calif.

CFP Board-registered programs: Certificate (in person)

Enrollment: 77

Faculty: 15 adjuncts

Student-to-faculty ratio: 5:1

Tuition: $7,300

FPA student chapter: No

Overview: The CFP-registered certificate program includes 18 semester units taught in a classroom setting. The introductory course also is offered online. This past spring, the program started launching several accelerated classroom courses, which the school says will let some students complete the program in just 10 to 12 months. The program is overseen by an industry advisory board — which also coordinates scholarships, internships and employment opportunities — and courses are taught by working professionals. The program also provides networking opportunities through an annual awards event, a career and networking event, and other activities arranged by an active student advisory board.


Irvine, Calif.

CFP Board-registered programs: On-campus and online certificate programs

Enrollment: 200

Faculty: 20 practitioners

Student-to-faculty ratio: 20:1

Tuition: $650 per course

FPA student chapter: No

Overview: As is true at many other UC programs, students who complete the financial planning certificate are eligible to transfer credits into the MBA in planning at Cal Lutheran University. In addition to the eight required courses for the certificate, the program offers non-certificate courses, including an internship and instruction on building a planning firm.

Los Angeles

CFP Board-registered programs: Traditional evening/online program and accelerated hybrid

Enrollment: 250 to 300 students annually

Faculty: 20 adjunct instructors

Student-to-faculty ratio: 20:1 for traditional evening/online; 15:1 for accelerated hybrid

Tuition: $4,155 to $4,675, depending on program format; $1,000 for CFP exam review

FPA student chapter: Yes. The program launched the FPA LA New Professionals Group.

Overview: UCLA Extension has worked to better connect with the local business community. The FPA chapter is linked with the Los Angeles FPA chapter, helping students connect with professionals. The school’s two CFP Board-registered certificate programs are designed for students and professionals who are preparing for careers in financial planning and pursuing the CFP designation. UCLA Extension works closely with industry experts, advisory board members, the CFP Board and professional associations to keep the curriculum relevant to current trends and practices, says program director Rich Burnes. It expanded its advisory board this year to include both instructors and professional planners — a change designed to “guide the program academically as well as [provide] outreach to the business community,” Burnes says. Next year, UCLA plans to shift its accelerated hybrid to an online program, with live sessions along with self-paced study.


Gainesville, Fla.

CFP Board-registered programs: Online certificate program, in-class certificate aimed at students also completing an undergraduate degree, in-class certificate for master’s or doctoral students and an online noncredit graduate certificate

Enrollment: 15 undergraduate, 5 graduate

Faculty: 2 full-time, 1 adjunct

Students-to-faculty ratio: 5:1

Tuition: Undergraduate certificate, $3,000; graduate-level certificate and online certificates, $9,750; noncredit graduate certificate, $6,000

FPA student chapter: No

Overview: The master’s program in planning is taught in a virtual classroom that makes use of new technology. Zywave donated planning software NaviPlan, providing students tools to learn how to manage personal financial risk.


Athens, Ga.

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in financial planning or B.S. in family and consumer sciences or housing and consumer economics with a concentration in financial planning; M.S. in financial planning; Ph.D. in family and consumer sciences or housing and consumer economics with a concentration in financial planning

Enrollment: 78 undergraduate financial planning majors, 41 graduate students in the Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics Department with emphasis in financial planning

Faculty: 5 full-time

Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1 for undergraduate

Tuition: In-state undergraduate tuition per semester is $4,295; out-of-state undergraduate tuition per semester is $13,400. Graduate tuition varies based on credit hours.
FPA student chapter: Yes

Overview: The program has been registered with the CFP Board for over a decade. Part of the Financial Planning, Housing and Consumer Economics Department, the program teaches students in an interdisciplinary environment that includes work in the community. Students can work in the school’s ASPIRE clinic alongside law and family therapy students, providing financial counseling.


Champaign, Ill.

CFP Board-registered programs: 1 undergraduate degree

Enrollment: 90

Faculty: 28 full-time (in the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics)

Student-to-faculty ratio: 24:1

Tuition: 16,000 for state residents 31,000 for nonresidents

FPA student chapter: Yes

Overview: The planning program, which launched in 2009, is thriving. The department is currently working with the CFP Board to introduce a series of free online courses to educate the public on the basics of planning.


San Antonio

CFP Board-registered programs: Bachelor’s of business administration with concentration in planning

Enrollment: 60

Faculty: 3 full-time, 2 adjuncts

Student-to-Faculty Ratio: 22:1

Tuition: $12,450 per semester

FPA student chapter: No

Overview: Now in its fourth year, the program emphasizes the importance of faculty mentorship, student internships and networking with local FPA members. The school opened a brand new state-of-the-art finance lab this summer, featuring 32 stations with industry standard software. There is no on-campus FPA chapter, but “most of the financial planning students are involved with the business club,” says Alicia Rodriguez de Rubio, financial planning program director.


Columbia, Mo.

CFP Board-registered programs: 2 online (M.S. and certificate, through Great Plains Interactive Distance Education Alliance membership) and 5 on-site: B.S. in human environmental sciences with emphasis in personal financial planning; M.S. or Ph.D. in personal financial planning; post-baccalaureate certificate; and an undergraduate certificate (for which CFP Board approval is pending)

Enrollment: 124 undergraduate, 43 graduate

Faculty: 7.75 full-time equivalent: 4 tenured or tenure track, 0.75 teaching and advising, 1 counseling center director and 2 extension faculty

Student-to-faculty ratio: 42:1 tenure-track faculty;
22:1, including other faculty

Tuition: For undergraduates, $10,286 for residents ($274 per credit hour) and $24,312 for nonresidents ($775 per credit hour). Graduate students: $347 per credit for residents, $910 for nonresidents. Special pricing of $515 per credit hour for Great Plains IDEA graduate students. Full-time undergraduate students take a minimum of 12 credits per semester; full-time graduate students take a minimum of 9 credits.
FPA student chapter: Yes

Overview: The school is home to the oldest departmental-level personal financial planning program in the country. It offers a certificate track at both the undergraduate (with CFP Board approval pending) and graduate levels, as well as several degree tracks, including a Ph.D. The program now offers certificate programs available to all other majors on campus. “If we want more CFPs coming out at the bottom of the funnel, we need to find ways to put more students in at the top,” says department chairman Rob Weagley.


Madison, Wis.

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in personal finance; the Wisconsin School of Business is piloting a new B.B.A. in wealth management and financial planning that aims to launch fully in 2015.

Enrollment: 123 majors

Faculty: 6 full-time, 75 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: 19:1

Tuition: Undergraduate $10,410 for residents; $26,660 for nonresidents

FPA student chapter: No

Overview: The program, registered with the CFP Board in 1995, is housed in the School of Human Ecology. “In addition to the educational requirements of the CFP Board, students ... gain a broad understanding of the economic, political and social contexts in which individual’s and family’s financial decisions are made,” says program director Robert McCalla. Since 2009, he says, the CFP exam pass rate has topped 80%, well above the national average, while more than 80% of graduates report being employed in financial services. The university’s business school has also kicked off a new B.B.A. program in wealth management.


Orem, Utah

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in financial planning; 2 online certificate programs

Enrollment: 140

Faculty: 5 full-time, 2 executives-in-residence

Student-to-faculty ratio: Average class size is 23.

Tuition: $2,635 per semester, $5,270 per year for Utah residents; $7,401 per semester, $14,802 per year out-of-state, $7,000 for nonresidents

FPA student chapter: Yes

Overview: The personal financial planning major is located in an AACSB accredited business school, with a core curriculum consisting of 13 courses in personal financial planning. Students are required to complete a paid internship. The program has the option of additional tracks in sales and entrepreneurship, as well as a dual major in accounting and financial planning.


Richmond, Va.

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

Enrollment: About 30

Faculty: 7

Student-to-faculty ratio: 40:1 departmentwide

Tuition: Approximately $9,700/year; varies depending on program

FPA student chapter: Yes

Overview: The undergraduate program’s active student FPA chapter was the second in the United States to be recognized by the FPA, says John McFarland, coordinator of the financial planning track. The chapter facilitates meetings with guest speakers from the local planning community, visits to local firms, mock interviews and public service activities.


Blacksburg, Va.

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in applied economic management, B.S. in finance

Enrollment: 125 combined

Faculty: 8 full-time, 1 adjunct

Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1

Tuition: $5,044 per semester for state residents; $12,757 for nonresidents
FPA student chapter: Yes

Overview: Since the registration of the two B.S. programs in 2007 (an earlier program was registered from 1997-2007), the number of students has stabilized at about 125. The school facilitates student travel to conferences and encourages engagement with professional organizations and firms. The program also compiles a list of planning students and alumni to help place students in both internships and full-time positions. Students are encouraged to participate in several on- and off-campus financial education initiatives and competitions, including the FPA Financial Planning Challenge.


Wayne, N.J.

CFP Board-registered programs: B.S. in financial planning, accelerated certificate program
Enrollment: 102 financial planning majors

Faculty: 2 full-time, 8 adjuncts (all adjuncts are planners)

Student-to-faculty ratio: 15:1 universitywide

Tuition: $12,244 per year for N.J. residents; $19,920 for nonresidents

FPA student chapter: Yes

Overview: The program has landed in the top three in several competitions in its five years of existence, including twice at FPA’s National Financial Planning Challenge. Its full-time undergraduate program has a diverse student body, with 50% minorities and 35% women. In addition to the B.S. degree, the university offers a certificate program for working executives. Students also have access to courses in one of the nation’s only degree programs in professional sales. A fast-growing niche at the school is a dual degree in planning and accounting. 

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