What does the CFA cost? A LOT. How much exactly is up to YOU. We give you the lowdown in this post for all 2018 CFA Program fees.
CFA Program Fees
Mandatory CFA Program Fees
There are three layers of fees you will pay for the CFA Program:
(1) CFA Program enrollment fee: US$450
You can’t escape this one. When you apply for the level I exam you will need to pay US$450 (to enroll in the CFA Program). However, this is a one-time fee and you will NOT have to pay this again EVER.
(2) CFA Exam fees: US$650 to $1,380 per level depending on when you register
The exam fees are the same for all levels, but depend on when you register. To get the early bird rate of US$650, you need to register at least 9 months before the exam. For the standard rate of US$950, you need to register at least 4 months in advance. Registering between 3 and 4 months before the exam will set you back a whopping US$1,380.
(3) Curriculum fee for each CFA Exam
The CFA Exam fee only covers the cost of the curriculum eBook. The print version will cost you US$150.
Total CFA Program Fees
|Months before exam||9||4||3|
Optional CFA Exam prep Costs
The CFA curriculum published by the CFA Institute is extremely thorough. However, some of the topics are tough and a helping hand from an expert can be useful. If you are obsessed with efficiency, focused self-study materials can shave off tens of hours of your study time.
Low historic CFA pass rates show how tough it is to pass the exam. Think about this. How many exams do you know where highly educated and well-prepared professionals only pass in ~40% of cases? The need is evident.
Guides range from eBooks for self-study all the way to full-blown one-on-one tutoring and live classrooms. That’s why courses can go from US$100 all the way to US$2,000.
Travel & Accommodation Costs
The CFA Exam tends to be available only in major cities. If you don’t live in one, you might have to include the cost of travel and accommodation. Because of the high level of stress you may experience, it’s probably wise to pick a hotel close to the test center. Don’t take risks with breakfast, suck up the cost and have it at the hotel.
Of course, you have to multiply these costs by the number of times you take the exam.
You need a CFA approved calculator. You’ll also need to consider the possibility of exam retake fees and passport renewal fees.
CFA Level I Fees for June 2018 Exam
As a potential level I candidate, you also need to consider the US$450 CFA Program enrollment fee.
CFA Program Fee
|US$||Enrollment||CFA Level I||Total|
CFA Prep Course Costs
Add anywhere from US$100 to US$2,000 depending on how much help you would like or need.
Obviously, the total cost will depend on you. If you register early and don’t require any study help, then you could get away with only $1,100. In case you register late and require a full-blown course, you could spend up to $3,000!
CFA Level II and III Fees for June 2018 Exam
You don’t need to pay the CFA Program enrollment fee for levels II and III, which is the main difference from level I.
CFA Program Fee
|Registration Date||Exam Fees|
CFA Prep Course Costs
Add anywhere from US$100 to US$2,000 depending on how much help you would like or need. Your experience with level I should give you an idea whether you need a CFA prep course.
Similar to level I, the total cost will depend on you. If you register early and don’t require any study help, then you could get away with only US$650. In case you register late and require a full-blown course, you could spend up to US$2,500!
Total CFA Program Costs
Let’s sum all the costs up:
- CFA Program enrollment: US$450
- CFA Exam fees: US$1,950 to $4,140
- Prep courses: US$0 to US$6,000
- Miscellaneous (calculator & sundry items): US$100
- Travel & Accommodation: US$0 to US$3,000
- Possible retakes: US$0 hopefully, but could be meaningful
At the bare minimum, you will spend $2,400. This is assuming you register early for all exams, don’t take any prep courses, already have all the necessary items (calculators etc.) and live next to the test center.
More realistically, you will spend between US$3,000 and US$5,000. Assuming you mostly register early, use only the bare minimum self-study (e.g. SchweserNotes or similar), have to buy the sundry items and live in a city that has a test center.
As you can see, the CFA Program is a significant investment. Not just from a time perspective, but also monetary!
Maximize Your CFA Studies
Supercharge your efforts with our 7 Tips and Tricks for your CFA Exam studies. Stay tuned for our CFA prep reviews and guides. Already started your studies? Check here why Ethics is of prime importance for your success in the CFA Program.