CFP Board, University of Illinois Free, Online Financial Planning Course Open for Registration

Offered through Coursera, course provides an introduction to financial planning

Nov 16, 2015, 12:16 ET from Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A free, online financial planning course is now open for registration. The course provides an introduction to financial planning, including the benefits of a career in the field.

Financial Planning for Young Adults is being offered by Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. and the University of Illinois. The Massive Open Online Course or MOOC provides an introduction to basic financial planning concepts. It is open to the general public through Coursera, an education platform that partners with universities and organizations worldwide to offer courses free of charge.

For more information about the course and to register, visit

"This course is for people to learn more about how financial planning can impact their lives in a positive way. It is also for people who are interested in the field of financial planning and maybe even thinking about becoming a CFP® professional," said University of Illinois associate professor of agricultural economics Nicholas Paulson.

Within each module, students will view a combination of traditional lecture-style videos, along with video vignettes that introduce financial topics for discussion among the course participants.  Each of the videos introduces a real-world scenario where financial decisions must be made and financial planning concepts can be applied. Although the videos were produced with young adults in mind, Paulson believes they will engage students of any age. The videos will help all students in the course think critically and decide how they would resolve the financial situation presented.

The content of the course is divided into seven separate modules, which are each intended to be completed in approximately one week:

  1. Setting Financial Goals and Assessing Your Situation
  2. Saving Strategies
  3. Long-term Savings and Investment
  4. Budgeting and Cash Flow Management
  5. Risk Management
  6. Borrowing and Credit
  7. Financial Planning as a Career

Paulson is a co-developer and instructor of the course, along with Dr. Charles R. Chaffin, CFP Board's Director of Academic Programs and Initiatives, and University of Illinois Extension consumer economics educator Kathy Sweedler. The course also includes information about career opportunities in financial planning with advice from CFP® professionals across the country.

"Both the University of Illinois faculty and those working in the profession as CFP® professionals believe that this course will be a wonderful introduction to a career, as well as a great way for people to learn more about financial planning," Chaffin said. He stressed that the course is not intended to be a replacement for any portion of the education requirements for CFP® certification.

The University of Illinois has worked with CFP Board in the past and offers a bachelor's degree in financial planning. Students study finance and economics as they apply to individuals, households, and small businesses in the course of accumulating and using financial resources. All students who graduate with a degree in financial planning from the University of Illinois Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics are eligible to sit for the CFP® certification exam.

"Because financial planning is such a personal topic, students will be encouraged to define their own financial goals and objectives while we discuss concepts and provide tools that they can apply to reach those goals," Sweedler said. 

The mission of Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc. is to benefit the public by granting the CFP® certification and upholding it as the recognized standard of excellence for competent and ethical personal financial planning. The Board of Directors, in furthering CFP Board's mission, acts on behalf of the public, CFP® professionals and other stakeholders. CFP Board owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner™, CFP® (with plaque design) and CFP® (with flame design) in the U.S., which it awards to individuals who successfully complete CFP Board's initial and ongoing certification requirements.  CFP Board currently authorizes nearly 73,000 individuals to use these marks in the U.S.

About the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics in the College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences at the University of Illinois

For over 75 years, the Department of Agricultural and Consumer Economics has had a forward-looking vision for excellence in teaching, research, and outreach related to important economic and social challenges. Applying relevant economics to solve real world problems is the goal.

The undergraduate program has over 650 students. In addition to a highly ranked financial planning program, the department offers concentrations in agribusiness, accounting, finance in agribusiness, consumer economics and finance, environmental economics, farm management, policy and law, and international trade and development. The program's strengths are experiential learning outside the classroom; research opportunities in classes and through independent studies; and excellent placements both in employment and in graduate and law schools.


SOURCE Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.