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CFP® Certification Frequently Asked Questions

If you’re considering enrolling in our CFP® certification or exam prep programs, here you’ll find answers to frequently asked questions. You can also contact us to get your questions answered. 

If you’re a student who is currently enrolled in one of our programs and have a question not answered in our FAQ, visit our academic policies page.  


CFP® Certification Education

The CFP® certification education program, a graduate-level certificate program, is registered with CFP Board and satisfies the education requirement for students seeking to obtain the CFP® certification. Please visit CFP Board’s website to view certification requirements.

Yes, you can sign up for a free trial where you'll receive 5 days of unlimited access to a variety of sample study tools directly from our education program. 

    Students enrolled in the CFP® certification education program with the College for Financial Planning® - a Kaplan Company may be eligible to have transfer and/or articulated credit recognized and applied toward the completion of the program. The Credit for Prior Learning Policy shall be used as a guide for students seeking alternative options to complete the CFP® certification education program.

    To ensure that you progress and complete your coursework in a timely manner, the College has a maximum length of enrollment for its courses/programs. If you do not make academic progress according to these guidelines, you may be dismissed from the course/program.

    Students enrolled in a Structured Pace offering, must complete the coursework for each course as defined by the established class schedule.

    Students enrolled in a Self-Paced offering, have ninety (90) days to complete each course.  An extension, up to 60-days, may be purchased.

    If you pay up front and enroll in a full CFP® Certification Professional Education Program (FP511-FP517), you have a maximum of two (2) years to complete your studies. 
    • Online assets for the Structured Pace education expire at the end of the month in which you are taking your exam. For example, if you are attending courses or using products associated with a program cycle that began in March 2020 you will have access to most online assets until March 2021. The exception to this is, Analyze & Apply Review QBank which expires 12 months from the first access date.
    • Online assets for Self-Paced education (EssentialPlus & Essential) expire after 90 days, or longer if an extension is purchased.

    VitalSource® eBooks are available for 1 year online from the date of your code redemption and 2 years access if downloaded.

    For courses FP511 – FP516, there are 10 unit quizzes, 1 case study quiz, and 1 final exam. Each unit quiz has 30 questions, with an allotted time of 90 minutes per quiz. The case study quiz has 10 questions, with an allotted time of 60 minutes. The final exam has 85 questions, with an allotted time of 3.5 hours.

    There are no quizzes associated with course FP517. However, students are required to submit a written financial plan along with a video clip of explaining part of the plan to the client.


    You may not use a calculator with alpha-programmable keys during any examination. Refer to our Approved Calculator List

    Course extensions are available to students enrolled in Self-Paced offerings (EssentialPlus and Essential courses). Structured-Pace courses (Premium courses) do not permit due date extensions. 

    Click here for more details, including associated fees.

    1. What is VitalSource®
    VitalSource® is the preferred and most used e-textbook platform in higher education today, and the VitalSource Bookshelf® is the most advanced eBook software in the world. With VitalSource®, you get three-way access to your books: download, online, and mobile. Notes and highlights automatically stay in sync no matter where you take them (mobile requires online sync). In the library, at the computer lab, or even in a clinical setting, you can access your books when you need them—whether you brought your laptop or not.

    2. What products are available as eBooks? 
    Our CFP® exam education and review books are available as VitalSource® eBooks. The eBook provides access to your study materials in a digital format for use on a personal computer, Apple® mobile device (including iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®), Android™ mobile device, and the Kindle Fire.

    3. How many devices will I be able to use my eBooks on? 
    When you purchase the eBook versions, you will get access to view them online. You can also access and download them on up to two personal computers and up to two mobile devices.

    4. What are the features of the VitalSource® eBooks? 
    A streamlined, modern design supports the learning reading experience. Key features include:

    • Easy navigation to any chapter or section through a user-friendly table of contents
    • Seamless search function enables you to search across content, titles and workbook
    • Electronic highlighting and note taking allows you to highlight text, add notes and view and edit notes in the margins. When you make notes and highlight sections, the changes are stored on the VitalSource® server, meaning they will be available if you access the eBook from another computer or device. Additionally, notes and highlights can be automatically synchronized between the web version of your products and your downloaded version (this requires that the computer containing your downloaded file be online). You can also share your notes and highlighted content.
    • Ability to add bookmarks to help you navigate to important pages
    • Flexible print options: You can print up to two pages at a time.

    5. How do I access eBook products on my desktop or laptop computer? 
    When you purchase an eBook product, you will receive an email with installation instructions and a unique registration code to activate your eBook. With a compatible browser, you will be able to access your eBooks via the Internet at  online.vitalsource.com or from a file you directly download.
    To download the eBook files for use on your personal computer, your computer must meet certain system requirements.
    Download the VitalSource Bookshelf®
    Important note to Microsoft Windows XP users: 
    You may need to download and install Microsoft’s .NET framework in order for the eBook to run properly on your computer. The installation program will automatically determine whether your computer needs .NET and prompt you through the download and installation of .NET prior to installing the VitalSource® eBook. Downloading and installing .NET may take 10 to 40 minutes, depending on your computer’s configuration and your Internet connection speed.
    If you prefer not to download Microsoft’s .NET framework, you can still access your eBook content using the online version of the eBook. (While the downloadable version can be accessed anytime, the online version is only accessible when you have an active Internet connection.)
    More information about the VitalSource BookShelf®
    Find out more about system requirements.

    6. How do I access eBook products on my mobile device? 
    The eBook version provides access to the curriculum in digital format for use on a personal computer, Apple® mobile device (including iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod touch®), Android™ mobile device, and the Kindle Fire, eliminating shipping and customs fees. When you purchase an eBook product, and it is assigned to your account, you will receive installation instructions and a unique registration code to activate your eBook.

    • An app for the eBook on Apple devices, including iPad®, iPhone®, and iPod Touch® is available from iTunes.
    • An app for the eBook on an Android mobile device and software supporting the Kindle Fire are also available to download from VitalSource®.

    7. How long will I have access to my eBook? 
    You will have access to your eBooks through VitalSource® for 1 year (online) from the date of your code redemption and 2 years access for downloaded material.

    8. Are there any limitations to the VitalSource® mobile apps?
    Yes, there are some limitations to the mobile apps in comparison to the desktop version. Please see the important notes regarding your eBooks on mobile devices.

    • The functionality of the mobile device app is limited in comparison to the personal computer version of the VitalSource Bookshelf® software. For example, notes and highlights are viewable, but users cannot make new notes from the app at this time. The app does, however, have search capabilities.
    • The eBooks are not optimized for mobile devices and, therefore, the text on mobile phones is very small. The app has zoom capability, but at the expense of easy navigation.
    • Use of the app will not affect your ability to download the eBook onto a personal computer. Students can download their eBook to a maximum of two compatible mobile devices, in addition to two personal computers. Additionally, candidates can access the online version of the eBook through online.vitalsource.com from any compatible Internet browser.
    • The app itself installs very quickly, but individual eBooks may take several minutes to download because of the large file sizes.
    • Users can only download their materials when WiFi access is available.

    9. Who do I contact if I am having technical difficulties? 
    For immediate answers to common technical support issues, our eBook vendor, VitalSource®, has a searchable Knowledge Base that contains the answers to several common questions.
    If you require further assistance, visit VitalSource Technical Support or contact the VitalSource Service and Support line. They will connect you with a VitalSource Bookshelf® expert who specializes in your exact question. The U.S.-based support center is open 24/7 to accommodate your schedule.

    • In the United States and Canada, please call 1.855.200.4146.
    • In the United Kingdom, please call 0808 2340361.
    • 24/7 live chat is available in all areas by clicking on the VitalSource Technical Support link and then selecting the live chat option.

    10. What are the system requirements for eBooks?

    • PC: Latest Windows Version 6.9.2; Windows 7/8/8.10 (32/64 bit); Microsoft .Net 4.5; DirectX compatible graphics card
      • Internet connection for registration and downloading of eTextbook
    • MAC: Latest Mac Version 6.9; Mac OS x 10.8 or later
      • Internet connection for registration and downloading of eTextbook
    • Apple: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad using iOS 5 or later
    • Android: Android 2.2 and up with VS 1.4.2 or later
    • Kindle Fire: Kindle Fire OS (1,2, HD or later)

    Please Note: Purchases of all VitalSource® eBooks sales are final and non-refundable.

    First of all, a big “congratulations” is due for completing the required education. We strongly recommend you keep the momentum going and move directly to preparing for the CFP® exam. Our Exam Prep Review is critical to ensuring you build on the knowledge you obtained during the education program and take it a step further to prepare to pass the exam. 

    CFP® Exam Prep Review

    Our CFP® exam prep review packages prepare those looking to sit for an upcoming CFP® exam so that they perform their best on exam day.

    Online assets for Exam Prep Review offerings expire at the end of the month in which you are taking your exam. For example, if you are preparing for the March 2021 CFP® exam, you will have access to your online assets until March 31, 2021.  The exception to this is, the Analyze & Apply QBank for Exam Prep Review which expires 12 months from the first access date.

    Online assets for Self-Paced education (EssentialPlus & Essential courses) expire after 90 days, or longer if an extension is purchased.

    VitalSource® eBooks are available for 1 year online from the date of your code redemtion and 2 years access if downloaded.

    Students that purchase and attend a Premium Exam Prep Review offering and who are unsuccessful in passing the CFP® certification exam may enroll in one (1) additional Premium Review offering free of charge within one (1) calendar year (3 exam cycles) from their original enrollment cycle under the guidelines of our Pass Protection Policy.


    CFP Board

    Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. (CFP Board) sets and enforces the requirements for CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ certification. Visit our requirements page to learn more about these requirements.

    You must register with the Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to take the CFP® exam.

    Upon your completion of all required education courses through Kaplan or the College, or transferred courses, we will notify CFP Board automatically that you have completed all educational requirements. Upon our submission of your education completion, you will receive an email from CFP Board.

    If you have not completed all of the required education courses with Kaplan or the College and have not transferred courses to us, you must apply to CFP Board using the individual transcripts received from the various educational providers.

    You can contact CFP Board here:

    Website: www.cfp.net
    Email: examinations@cfpboard.org
    Phone: 800.487.1497 (Toll-Free)

    Please visit CFP Board's website for more information about CFP® certification. Kaplan and College for Financial Planning®–a Kaplan Company are independent educational providers assisting candidates in preparing for the CFP® exam, and are not affiliated with CFP Board.

    Need a Little Guidance?

    Connect with our seasoned team of Designation Specialists to see what CFP® Certification Program is right for you.



    CFP® Certification Programs for Your Career Path

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