1) Does the $5,495 cost for the Queens program reduce the cost of sitting for the CFP exam?
The cost of the course does not cover or reduce the cost of the CFP Board Exam. The exam fee is currently $595.
2) Do the instructors change with each cohort?
Yes. We use instructors who are all experts in their respective fields. With the exception of one, Marty Reid- he teaches Fundamentals and Insurance Modules. The different instructors seem to work very well, since they all bring their expertise along with their teaching; they can provide real-life scenarios since they work in the field they are teaching. We also like that each have a different style of teaching and personality, which is great for the students as they get to experience a change every 12 weeks.
3) Are there other colleges/universities in Charlotte offering a similar financial planning program or is this unique to Queens? Certainly. Since the CFP Designation is a very sought after credential, many people pursue this course. Therefore, many institutions offer the program. What is unique to Queens, however, is the style in which we deliver the course. CPCC for example is a "fast track" course in which all material is covered in a very short time span. There are also many online programs. What differentiates the Queens' program is the cohort and classroom style in which the program is delivered. Upon creating the program, we studied the various methods of delivery- fast track, online, cohort, etc. We experimented by using various styles. We found however our students particularly enjoy the cohort style classroom and the extensive time (23 months) preparing for the CFP exam made our students much more likely to pass. *Cohort style means that each group starts and finishes together- and travels through the program as one group. Often, this group forms study groups, participate in study sessions, offer additional resources such as experiences and skill to others in the group. Many of our previous cohort groups remain close today- it is also a fantastic networking opportunity!
4) What is the total number of students in the cohort?
We typically like to keep the cohorts small- around 10-15. A student's submission of application and application fee of $100 reserves their seat in the class.
5) What is the pass rate for obtaining the CFP for Queens' program participants?
Queens' pass rate boasts 83%. Quite a bit higher than the national CFP Exam pass rate average of 64%.
6) Is it possible to speak with students that have completed the Queens' Program?
We can certainly put you in touch with a few of our students who have completed the Queens program. Many of our students will volunteer to speak to prospective students about the program. Also, we welcome any prospective students to sit in on a class- this allows them to take a look at our facilities, meet with the instructor one-on-one for an opportunity to ask any questions, and - most importantly, speak with our current students about their experiences. This is a great way to get the "real perspective"!
7) Would you say the focus of the program is a) to prepare students to pass the CFP exam, or b) a more holistic education to include marketing, communication, and people skills?
The focus of the program is really both. Of course the main objective is passing the National Exam, but also learning how to become a practicing CFP is what you learn in the process. Part of the reason we believe a longer course is more effective is because we see our students be more successful long term. Not only do they pass the National Exam at a higher percentage than those who use online or "fast track" options, but they are more prepared to dive right into the field of CFP- and do so with much ease! Another reason we like our professors so much- they all bring real-world, "boots on the ground" type of learning environment and scenarios to the classroom. Many of them have been practicing in the field for years- and they know what it takes to be successful in this profession. They work very hard at preparing our students for a career in the field of Financial Planning.
8) When was the Queens' program last reviewed by the CFP Board? The Queens program is reviewed by the CFP Board every two years. Our program was most recently reviewed and approved January 24, 2013. In order to be approved by the CFP Board we have to submit all of our materials used in marketing, program resources and registration criteria. Then, our entire curriculum and instructors are evaluated. I would encourage you to contact Mychal Cohen (mcohen@CFPBoard.org) or firstname.lastname@example.org for any questions on criteria for approval. This would provide as a different perspective of our program and could give you more specific details on principles required to meet CFP Board standards.
9) Is there a financial commitment to do the entire program? For example, if a person drops out after the first class, is the cost prorated?
We will issue a refund before the first 7 days of the course, after day 7 there are no refunds. If you pay the full tuition and drop out for some reason, you will have the opportunity to re-enroll in a future class within 1 year from the point that you withdrew- or the next time the classes required are offered again.
10) Do you know whether most of the people who do the program are already in financial planning jobs? Many of our students do come from a finance/insurance/law/tax-related background. However, we have had MANY students join our course who are in careers totally unrelated to CFP- for example; teachers, administrators, Information Technology, engineers, even stay at home moms! There are no required job backgrounds or # of years of experience to keep you from enrolling.
11) Are there career services for someone who is considering changing careers? Of sorts. Our CFP class is deeply rooted with the Charlotte FPA (Financial Planners Assoc.). In fact, most all of our instructors are members and some are officers. Partnership with the Charlotte FPA affords us the opportunity to send 2 students each month to the FPA Luncheon, participate in their annual symposium, and any socials they sponsor. Our relationship with this organization has aided students in becoming versed in the CFP world of Charlotte, as they get to meet and network with the FPA members on numerous occasions. Furthermore, many companies have hired our students. Because our program has a great reputation, they keep coming back to us when hiring. Therefore, we get many job listings and offerings sent to us first- and we share these with current students.
12) For people who may be in a different but related field is there help in meeting the experience requirement for CFP certification (perhaps through part time apprenticeships)?
Yes, as our partnerships and community relationships are explained above, many of these are opportunities for students to get this experience. Our instructors are very involved in helping these types of students achieve this requirement. We provide our instructors' contact information and encourage you to ask them any questions or share any concerns about meeting this requirement - they will be able to help you find the right connections to satisfy the experience requirement.
Please contact Amanda Gibson for additional program information at 704.688.2705 or email@example.com.