Are your MBA and Certificate programs accredited?
CLUs MBA in Financial Planning Program has been accredited through the Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). For more information about WASC, please refer to: www.wascweb.org WASC is listed by the US Department of Education as a recognized accrediting association.
Our program has also been registered with the Certified Financial Planning Board of Standards, Inc. Upon completion of the financial planning courses you will be qualified to sit for the CFP® Exam. For more information about the CFP Board, including their requirements for becoming a Certified Financial Planner® please refer to www.CFP.net
How does California Lutheran University compare to other schools?
Our commitment to high standards and quality education at a reasonable price has earned CLU its place in the top tier of Western Regional Colleges and Universities in the U.S. News and World Report ranking for the ninth straight year.
What is the reputation of the MBA-FP Program?
CLU's MBA in Financial Planning Program is the largest program of its kind in the US. It is well respected in the financial planning and academic communities. Quoting financial-writer Richard Hoe, "If you want to become credentialed in financial planning, I can think of no finer way to do it than the California Lutheran — CIF program. I urge you to consider becoming an MBA and a CFP in one fell swoop." (Life Insurance Selling, March 2007, page 86)
What makes your program unique from other MBA or MS programs?
CLU's innovative MBA in Financial Planning program consists of eight business administration courses and eight financial planning courses. This structure creates an opportunity for you to earn your Masters in Business Administration (MBA) degree while gaining eligibility to sit for the Certified Financial Planner® (CFP®) at the same time. The MBA and CFP® is a distinguished combination that will differentiate you from many other planners when competing for high-net-worth clients. Our specialized MBA program offers curriculum and rigorous coursework that reflects a multidisciplinary approach -- integrating formal education, research and analysis with experience and ethics.
How do know this is a quality online program?
CLU's online MBA in Financial Planning program was awarded the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) silver award in 2007. This distinguished award honors excellence in online learning.
The online MBA in Financial Planning courses carry the same weight as our on-campus MBA in Financial Planning courses and are inter-changeable.
Will I get the same interaction and inter-connectedness from an online program as I would in a traditional campus program?
Absolutely. Our 24/7 online courses are dynamic, fast-paced and interactive. They interweave a variety of learning activities including: pre-recorded lectures, discussion boards in which students interact in threaded posts, live audio/video chats (which are archived if you can't attend), guest lecturers and group activities. Moreover, the virtual classroom offers a unique opportunity to bring together students stretched out across the United States and overseas. The diversity of professional and cultural backgrounds creates a unique learning opportunity that is completely accessible from the comfort of your home, office or anywhere you can get an internet connection.
Is there someone I can speak with one-on-one about your MBA in Financial Planning Program?
We are delighted to answer any and all of your questions. Harry Starn, Jr., Associate Director, can be reached at (805) 493-3410. He will answer your questions about program curriculum, online courses, and military transition into a financial planning career. Cindy Grether, Project Manager, can be reached at (888) 372-4155 and Ashley Ryan, Assistant to Project Manager, can be reached at (805) 493-3993. They will answer your questions about course scheduling, university administration and program logistics. We can also arrange for you to speak with a military student in the program.
I plan on using my VA Benefits or Vocational Rehab Benefits to help pay for my schooling. How should I go about applying?
The CLU application process is designed to be user friendly. Here is what you will do:
I will be applying for tuition assistance. How will I go about applying?
The CLU application process is designed to be user friendly. Here is what you will do:
Does California Lutheran University offer any financial aid to military students?
In general, graduate students can be awarded assistance in the form of federally sponsored Stafford Loans. Those wishing to participate in our Certificate Program (rather than the MBA-FP Program) are not eligible for federal financial aid but may be eligible for alternative loans. The Student Financial Planning Office may be contacted for information at (805) 493-3115 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Students must be fully admitted to regular graduate standing to be eligible for financial aid.
Can I transfer college credit into the program?
Students can petition to transfer up to nine semester credits of graduate coursework taken at other regionally accredited colleges or universities to the financial planning program at California Lutheran University.
My work schedule demands flexibility. Do I have to be in an online course at a certain time and day?
No you don't have to be in the course at any particular time. Our online courses are structured but designed to accommodate the flexibility required of working professional. The courses are eight weeks in length, and the pace is rigorous. Each week you will have weekly reading assignments, pre-recorded lectures, discussion board activities, and assessments. But the structure of the online course allows you flexibility as to when you complete those assignments during the week. There is also one live chat per week; however, it is archived in the event that you are unable to attend. Now if you are unable to participate in any given week contact your professor so that alternative due dates can be arranged.
If I get deployed or transferred can I continue my training at a later time?
The faculty and staff in the MBA in Financial Planning program will work with you to accommodate your deployment or post transfer needs.
I'd like to complete the program at an accelerated pace. How quickly could I complete the program?
Our MBA-FP Program consists of 16, eight-week long courses. This program is part of the School of Business, and the graduate curriculum is rigorous, but many working adult students participate in two courses per term. The accelerated program format allows a student to complete the program in approximately two years.
I'd like to take only one course at a time. How long do I have to complete the program?
Students have seven years from their start date to finish the program. By taking one course at a time you can expect to finish the program in approximately 3.5 years.
How do I register for classes?
You can register for the courses about six weeks prior to the start of the term. Each course is offered every other term (i.e., eight courses this term and the other eight courses next term). Cindy Grether, our Project Manager, is available to help you plan out your timeline so that you make sure you take the courses you want, in the order you want to remain on track for your targeted CFP® Exam test date and your CLU graduation date.
Do I have to take the courses in any certain order?
You have significant flexibility in deciding the order of your classes, especially when taking the eight business administration courses. There are some prerequisite courses among the eight financial planning courses; however, Cindy Grether is here to help you strategically consider your opportunities.
Does your faculty have practical expertise in the fields of business administration and financial planning?
Our MBA in Financial Planning faculty includes professionals with the following academic and industry credentials: PhD, MBA, MS, JD, CFP®, ChFC®, CFA®, CPA, and CLU®. Every faculty member has earned a Masters Degree or above.
I want to be in a program that gives me direct contact with instructors. How accessible are your faculty?
Our online classes are typically capped at 20 students. This smaller class size offers you an opportunity to directly communicate with your professor — either by email, on the discussion board or during the weekly live chat. Quoting one of our students, "If I had to choose the single biggest strength with this academic experience, it has been the availability and access to high quality instructors and their knowledge base." (Lorri Craig, CFP®)
Are you able to provide me with any job placement assistance when I'm in the program or upon graduation?
Yes, we arrange for a Financial Planning Career Fair; that fair is scheduled during graduation weekend. You are also invited to post your resume and view employer job posting on the CIF Careers Website. You can access that site at: http://www.cifjobs.org/
As a student in the program you are able to join national organizations — such as the FPA and NAPFA — for a very reasonable fee as a student affiliate. That gives you access to their job boards and internship listings.
Perhaps one of the greatest resources of job placement is the students you will network with. Many of our students are currently professionals in the field.
We are 100% committed to building and improving an alumni website/network that offers real value — webinars, continuing-education credit, subject blogs, and alumni profile pages. This website will provide you an excellent resource for job networking.