Online courses begin soon! Register now!

(Classes are subject to change and/or cancellation. Minimum class size is 8 students. If a class does not have the minimum enrollment by the registration deadline, it may be cancelled. Registration deadlines for each class are listed on the registration form.)

Online Course Outline

Course Contact Hours - For each of 5 courses (except FPC 306, Capstone)

The CFP Board’s requirement is 45 hours per course, on average.

12.0      2 hours of live chat with the instructor per week

12.0      Discussion boards (2 posted discussion questions from the ME books each week – 2 one hour sessions per week)

  6.0      1 hour quiz per week

  3.0      Final exam – minimum score required

12.0      2 hours per week of graded problems

45.0      Total contact hours per course

Note: Students required to login online 4 out of 7 days per week and the first discussion post must be done by Thursday at midnight (Eastern Standard Time) each week.


24%      Discussions, 4 points each week (2pts per question)

24%      Weekly quiz, 4 points each week

28%      Final exam (3 sets of 20 questions – an accommodation to Blackboard’s stability)

24%      Weekly problems, 4 points each week


Note:  A minimum score of 75% in the course is necessary to pass the course.  Students who do not achieve this score can retake the exam within 1 week of the class end date. If still not at 75%, then the course needs to be retaken at full course cost.


Financial Planning Curriculum
and Course Descriptions


FPC 301 Insurance Planning
This course will provide a basic framework for the identifying personal risk exposures and managing them through insurance, avoidance, or self-insurance. Major topics include risk identification and evaluation, risk management techniques, legal principles, life insurance, and the insurance industry. Also, other types of personal insurance, such as health, auto, disability, and liability will be covered, as well as the Social Security program.
FPC 302 Investment Planning
An understanding of the types and characteristics of investment alternatives is critical to the success of financial planning. The purpose of this course is to develop that understanding. Major topics include: types of investment vehicles and their characteristics, government regulation of securities and financial markets, the historical record of risk and returns, security valuation, investing strategies, asset allocation strategies, the efficient market hypothesis, matching investments with clients' needs, and the impact of tax policy on investment choices.
FPC 303 Personal Income Tax Planning
This course identifies many of the income tax problems that arise in financial planning and addresses alternative courses of action to maximize clients' after-tax wealth. Major topics include: the U.S. income tax system, individual income tax determination and the impact on investment and financial planning decisions, taxes on investment income and capital gains losses, the cost basis of investment, and tax planning for retirement and death.
FPC 304 Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits
This course focuses on retirement planning considerations, many of which are heavily influenced by clients' employee benefits. Major topics include types of retirement plans, legal and ethical considerations in retirement planning, determining the size of contributions necessary to accomplish retirement goals, qualified vs. non-qualified plans, asset allocation considerations within retirement plans, and employee fringe benefits.
FPC 305 Estate Planning
This integrative course applies principles of insurance, taxation, the time value of money, retirement planning, and investments to the problems of estate planning. Major topics include government regulations, especially with respect to taxation, wills and trusts, probate, marital deductions, charitable contributions, and gifts. This course integrates many of the principles you will have learned in the previous courses. Accordingly, it must be taken last in the sequence of Financial Planning courses. Prerequisite FPC 303.
FPC 306 Capstone Course in Financial Planning
In this course, you will learn the basics of gathering relevant financial data from clients, analyzing it, preparing financial plans, and presenting them. You also will learn several principles of financial planning including planning for education funding, how the economy and economic policy affects financial planning, the regulatory environment for financial planners, and the CFP® Board’s candidate fitness standards. This course is a requirement for anyone taking their first financial planning course after 1/1/12. Prerequisites: FPC 301, 302, 303, 304, and 305.
FPC 399 Review for CFP® Certification Examination
The purpose of this course is to prepare students to take the CFP® National Examination. This review includes highlights from the 101-item topic list covered by the exam. During the first three days, five instructors from the Seidman Financial Planning Certificate Program will spend four-hour segments covering the highlights of six major topical areas including financial planning principles, risk and insurance, investments, personal income taxes, retirement planning, and estate planning. The last day of the review covers solving and discussing financial case problems. NOTE: This course is an elective - it is NOT part of our CFP Board-Registered program.
Prerequisite: Must have completed a CFP Board's education requirement.

Information about our REVIEW COURSE

Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the marks CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, and , which it awards to individuals who successfully complete initial and ongoing certification requirements.

Grand Valley State University does not certify individuals to use the CFP®, CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ and certification marks. CFP® certification is granted only by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. to those persons who, in addition to completing an educational requirement such as this CFP Board-Registered Program, have met its ethics, experience, and examination requirements.

Page last modified May 27, 2015