Providing you with the knowledge and experience to meet individuals and families where they are, help them build a strong financial foundation, realize their goals and achieve lasting financial well-being.


ABILITIES OF THE AFC®

  • Educate clients in sound financial principles.
  • Assist clients in the process of overcoming their financial indebtedness.
  • Help clients identify and modify ineffective money management behaviors.
  • Guide clients in developing successful strategies to achieve their unique financial goals.
  • Support clients as they work through their financial challenges and opportunities.
  • Help clients develop new perspectives on the dynamics of money in relation to family, friends and individual self-esteem.
  • Navigate cultural and emotional aspects of money

Elevate your knowledge and skills with the credibility and confidence that the AFC® certification provides.

Top Reasons Professionals Become AFC® Certified

76%

Provides credibility to client

60%

It represents the highest standard

56%

The network and access to ongoing professional development

Data from 2017 AFC® Professional Survey Results. Survey Completed by 319 AFC® professionals.

THE FOUR STAGES TO COMPLETE YOUR AFC® CERTIFICATION

AFC® EDUCATION PATHWAYS

Self-Paced Study

Complete within 3 years from date of registration.

$1,455 - $2,130

Details
Financial Education Challenge

Complete within 3 years from date of registration.

$830 - $1,855

Details
Professional Designation Challenge

Complete within 3 years from date of registration.

$1,130 - $1,805

Details
University Program

Complete within 3 years from date of registration.

$780

Details
Distance Learning Program

Complete within 3 years from date of registration.

$780

Details

The AFCPE Certification Council does not develop, approve, recommend, or endorse any educational programs, study programs, or other offerings. AFCPE courses are developed and delivered by the AFCPE independent of the Certification Council with no access to confidential AFC examination content. All applicants are encouraged to choose the educational pathway best suited to their educational background and professional experience.

SELF-PACED STUDY

Get the course materials and study at your own pace for the exam.

Time: up to 3 years from date of registration
Total Cost: $1,455 - $2,130

Cost Includes:

  • $50 registration fee
  • $675 AFC Online Study Guide & Books
    - and/or -
    $675 AFC Online Study Guide & Webinar Review Session
  • $730 AFC exam


PATHWAY REQUIREMENTS

You’ll start by submitting your registration form with payment to the AFCPE® national office. We will process the registration and either mail you your study materials or send you an email with instructions to access online materials. (Please allow 14 business days for shipping and handling.)

You can then study for the examination using the selected study materials. Syllabi for course options are available in Certification Resources.

Note: Review sessions are offered four times per year. The first three review sessions are offered once per quarter and are web-based. We also offer a 2-day review in conjunction with the AFCPE® Symposium each November.

 
 

FINANCIAL EDUCATION CHALLENGE / A Challenge-Based Pathway

For those who have completed applicable course work in Personal Finance, Financial Planning, Financial Counseling, Consumer Sciences, or equivalent curriculum from a regionally-accredited college or university.

Time: up to 3 years from date of registration
Total Cost: $830 - $1,855

Cost Includes:

  • $50 registration fee
  • $50 transcript review fee
  • $730 AFC exam
  • $100 AFC Online Study Guide (optional)

If coursework covers some, but not all of the AFC Core Competencies, course materials may be required:

  • $350 AFC Online Study Guide & books, or 
  • $675 AFC Online Study Guide and Webinar Review Session


PATHWAY REQUIREMENTS

You’ll start by submitting your registration form, including documentation of completed upper-division coursework in personal finance, financial planning, financial counseling, consumer sciences or another comparable discipline through a regionally accredited college or university in the United States. You will complete an application outlining which course(s) specifically meet each AFC Core Competency.

We will review your transcript and process your application within 30 business days. Once we determine whether the educational requirement has been fulfilled, we’ll send you written notification, including instructions for either scheduling the AFCPE® examination or completing additional educational requirements.

University coursework must be no older than 7 years to qualify for the Education Challenge. If coursework is older than 7 years, you may still qualify if you have been working full-time in the financial services field for at least 4 of the last 7 years or part-time in the financial services field for at least 5 of the last 7 years (validated through an Employment Verification Form). 

Are you an Alumni from an AFCPE Registered Education Program, but you did not enroll in the AFC® program within one year of graduating?
If so, you may be eligible for a waived Transcript Review fee through the Financial Education Challenge Pathway. Your school needs to have been a registered program at the time the required courses were taken.  For more information, email Sheena Parrish.
 
 
 

PROFESSIONAL DESIGNATION CHALLENGE / A Challenge-Based Pathway

If you hold a CFP®, CPA, ChFC or CFA, then this pathway is for you.

Time: up to 3 years from date of registration
Total Cost: $1,130 – $1,805

Cost Includes:

  • $50 registration fee
  • $350 AFC Online Study Guide & books
    - and/or - 
    $675 AFC Online Study Guide and Webinar Review Session
  • $730 AFC exam


PATHWAY REQUIREMENTS

If you hold the CFP®, CPA, ChFC or CFA certification, you may submit documentation of a pre-approved credential. The credential must be in good standing. These marks will fulfill your educational requirement for the personal finance competencies of the AFC®.

AFCPE will review the application and confirm with the certifying body that the designation is held in good standing. Additional competencies satisfied by upper-division coursework through a regionally accredited college or university will be required to be documented via transcript.

Certified Financial Planner (CFP), Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC), or Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) professionals must provide verification that the professional certification is current and in good standing AND complete either:

 (1) Verify completion of applicable course work (corresponding to the remaining competencies not met by the professional designation in Financial Counseling, Consumer Sciences, or comparable curriculum) from a regionally-accredited college or university in the United States by submitting a transcript electronically, or

(2) Enroll in the AFCPE Financial Counseling and Debt Management self-study module.  Practitioners may use the self-study materials in one (or more) of three methods that best meets the needs of the individual’s learning style: books, onsite review, or webinar review.

 
UNIVERSITY PROGRAM / A Registered Education Pathway

For those who have satisfied the educational requirement for the AFC® by completing coursework through an AFCPE Registered Education Program.

Time: up to 3 years from date of registration
Total Cost: $780

Cost Includes:

  • $50 registration fee
  • $730 AFC exam 
  • $100 AFC Online Study Guide (optional)


PATHWAY REQUIREMENTS

You may satisfy the educational requirement for the AFC® by completing coursework through an AFCPE® Registered Education Program. Options are available for both students and professionals.

Note: Each AFCPE® Registered Education Program has their own tuition and fees that are assessed independent of the AFC® Certification program.

You must register with AFCPE® to confirm completion of education requirements and to complete the exam, experience, and ethics requirements. Registration with AFCPE must be done either while enrolled as a student or within one-year post-graduation from the registered university.

REGISTERED FACILITIES AND FACULTY

To find a complete list of registered programs and faculty contact information please click here. This page also contains information for providers who are interested in learning how to get your programs registered.

 
DISTANCE LEARNING PROGRAM / A Registered Education Pathway

Designed for working professionals and offering courses that help satisfy the educational requirement to sit for the AFC® exam.

Time: up to 3 years from date of registration
Total Cost: $780

Cost Includes:

  • $50 registration fee
  • $730 AFC exam 
  • $100 AFC Online Study Guide (optional)


PATHWAY REQUIREMENTS

Each AFCPE® Registered Education Program has their own tuition and fees that are assessed independent of the AFC® Certification program.

Upon completion of the coursework, you must register with AFCPE® under the AFCPE® Registered Education Program Pathway (select Distance Learning) to confirm completion of education requirements and to complete the exam, experience, and ethics requirements.

REGISTERED PROGRAMS

Metropolitan Community College
Applied Finance Institute
Major: Financial Counseling Certificate
Contact: Ashley Peters

 

Park University
School of Business
Major: Financial Counseling Program
Contact: Rob Jones

 

AFC® Candidate Resources

AFCPE® Membership

Want to save $50 on your AFC® exam?

Separate from AFC® certification, AFCPE Membership is the intersection of financial education, research & practice. Membership brings together professionals from a variety of financial fields, creating a strong network of knowledge and delivering professional development, resources, and benefits that positively impact your work and enhance your career.

Why AFCPE® Membership? 

  • Free Professional Development – to support your experience hours and knowledge base and, once certified, to help you earn your CEUs. Our library of content is available to AFCPE Members 24-7, live and on demand.
  • MentorConnect Program – to connect with a mentor to gain insights and expand your professional network
  • Virtual Meet Ups – to connect with other professionals on topics that matter to you
  • Discounts – including $50 off your AFC exam!
  • And so much more!

AFCPE® membership and certification are completely separate divisions of the organization. While membership offers additional benefits to our certified professionals and provides a community for them to network and share best practices, membership is not required to hold certification. AFCPE® Membership dues are nonrefundable. Read AFCPE®’s Refund Policy here.

NCCA Accredited Certification Program Badge

The NCCA accredited the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education® (AFCPE®)’s AFC® certification for a five-year period, expiring December 31, 2025. NCCA is the accrediting body of the Institute for Credentialing Excellence (formerly the National Organization for Competency Assurance). Since 1977, the NCCA has been accrediting certifying programs based on the highest quality standards in professional certification to ensure the programs adhere to modern standards of practice for the certification industry. The AFC’s compliance with NCCA standards shows that the educational content and testing for the AFC is psychometrically sound and has been developed, maintained and governed by the highest standard. This recognition and achievement sets the certification mark apart from others in the field and emphasizes the highest standard of excellence that AFCPE has built for this field.

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