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Certified College Planning Specialist (CCPS)

Searching for CCPS certification? Then you've come to the right place!

ABTrainingCenter.com offers CCPS training and certification courses for those individuals interested in earning the prestigious Certified College Planning Specialist designation.

The CCPS designation is the nation's first and only professional certification program for experienced financial planners and advisors who wish to assist families in reducing the financial impact of sending children to college.

The purpose of the CCPS certification program is to provide designees with the knowledge and resources necessary to start and manage a successful college planning advisory practice. The CCPS certification is a symbol of knowledge, experience, expertise, and professionalism that will surely differentiate you from other financial advisors.
College Planning Completing the CCPS certification and CCPS designation program will also earn you 16 hours of CE for both CFP and CPA.

Curriculum

The CCPS is accomplished through self-study; candidates will receive access to online materials that cover the entire curriculum. Candidates must pass the comprehensive competency tests associated with each of the following three modules:

I. Paying for College

  • Financial aid overview
  • Student resources, grants, scholarships
  • Work-study
  • College loans
  • Alternative loans
  • College admission issues
  • Advanced financial aid topics (EFC worksheet, Federal vs. Institutional Formulas, etc.)
II. Saving for College
  • Section 529 qualified tuition programs
  • Coverdell education savings accounts
  • UGMA/UTMA
  • Roth and traditional IRAs
  • Savings bonds
  • Life insurance
  • Tax efficient mutual funds
  • Real estate
  • Associated financial planning considerations
III. Advanced College Funding Strategies
  • Academic strategies
  • Hope and Lifetime Learning Credits
  • Parent and child tax planning opportunities, implications, and tax capacity
  • Coordinating investment contributions and withdrawals
  • Cash flow & creative borrowing strategies
  • Funding college and retirement at the same time
  • Parent and grandparent estate planning considerations
  • Middle and upper income family issues

Examination Requirements

The competency test for each of the three modules is a 30-minute, 40 question, web-based examination. Candidates must answer at least 70% (28 out of 40) of the questions correctly to pass, with test results provided immediately upon the completion of each exam.

Candidates may take the tests at the completion of each module or all at once. The cost of the testing is included in the price of the Program registration. If the candidate does not pass one or more of the modules, he or she will be required to pay a $75 re-test fee.

Additional Requirements

Candidates must ensure that securing, maintaining, and promoting the CCPS Certification is fully compliant with all of their firm's internal operating policies and procedures. Additionally, candidates must meet one of the following pre-qualifying criteria before entering the certification program:

  • Professional certification/designation (CFP, RFC, ChFC, CLU, CEP, CPA, etc.), or
  • Professional financial licensing (securities, insurance, any state financial license, etc.), or
  • A combination of education and experience deemed satisfactory by the NICCP Advisory Council

Ongoing Designation Requirements

A CCPS certification comes up for renewal every year. To renew, a certificant must:

  • Not be in violation of the NICCP and CCPS's Code of Ethics
  • Have completed 24 hours of approved continuing education courses
  • Be current on your NICCP membership dues. Note: Your NICCP membership dues includes the $395 CCPS certification renewal fee.
CCPS Certification Renewal Fee.

NICCP membership dues are $885 per year, then $50 per month thereafter.

Recommended Courses & Available Training Options

ABTrainingCenter.com offers the required curriculum study materials for earning the CCPS designation.

Simply select either of the recommended courses below, or search under "Licensing/Designations" in the search box thereafter for "CCPS - Certified College Planning Specialist".

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