CFA Level 1 Fees | Get the Details of CFA Course Fees

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The CFA Program is a great way to start on the way of becoming a financial analyst. Now there are a lot of things that you need to know for the CFA exam. One of the important things that you should understand is the CFA Level 1 fees. In this post, we are going to talk about the CFA Fees so that you know the costs of the participating in the exam

CFA Level 1 Program Enrollment Fees

The first fee you will pay is the Program Enrollment Fee. This is a one-time fee to enter the series of CFA exams. The fee is $450 and is paid when you register for your first Level I exam. You can consider this your application fee since you have to pay this in order to apply for the CFA exam.

CFA Exam Registration Fees

You will pay registration fees are every exam you take. In addition to the exam, the fee mainly covers the eBook which has the complete curriculum, topic area practice tests and mock exams. As you can see below, the price of the exam varies greatly depending on when you register. In order to save money, make sure you register early for all three exams.

CFA Exam Registration CFA Exam Fees and Costs Sign up Deadline
Early Registration $650 8 – 9 months before exam
Standard Registration $930 3 –4 months before exam
Late Registration $1,380 < 3 months before exam

CFA Institute Member Fees

Once a you pass all three exams and your application is approved, you must pay annual dues. Regular dues are $275 per year, which runs from July 1 through June 30. Some of the benefits you receive as a CFA Member include exclusive career resources and continuing education, access to select publications and discounts on CFA Institute Conferences. This fee must be paid annually to be considered a CFA Member.

3 Hidden CFA Exam Fees You Didn’t Expect

In addition to the fees mentioned above, there are some hidden and / or ancillary fees associated with the CFA exam to be aware of. Some of these fees include:

Exam Re-take Fees

If you do not pass any of the exams, you will have to pay again to re-take the exam. These amounts can quickly add up especially if you fail more than once

Travel Fees

The CFA exam is offered in only 170 cities in June and 70 cities in December around the world. Most of the exam locations are in major metropolitan locations. If you are lucky enough to live by one of the test centers, then travel expenses will be minimal. However, if you need to travel to take the test, you may need to account for gas mileage, plane tickets and / or hotel rooms.

Additional Study Fees

Many candidates use study resources other than those provided by CFA Institute to help prepare for the exam. For example, the Kaplan Schweser CFA Exam study packages range from $379 for the self-study notes to $2,099 for in-person classes and study reviews.

There’s a standard cost to buy the course initially. If you fail the exam or pass the expiration date on your review course, you will have to pay an extra fee to renew it. This is really stupid because you already paid for it once. That’s why I would recommend a study guide like Wiley CFA that doesn’t have an expiration date. You can use it for as long as you need it to pass the exam.

Total Costs to Become a CFA

In sum, the cost to become a CFA Member can be significant and vary greatly depending on additional ancillary fees. At the very minimum, a Member will spend $2,650, assuming paying early registration fees and one year of annual membership fees.

CFA Exam Fees CFA Exam Costs
CFA Program Enrollment Fees $450
CFA Level I Registration (Standard) $930
CFA Level II Registration (Standard) $930
CFA Level IIII Registration (Standard) $930
CFA Annual Membership Fee $250

In another, arguably more realistic scenario, a Member can end up paying over $4,800 for the total cost of the CFA exam and membership. This is assumes paying standard registration fees, one exam re-take fees, some travel fees and purchasing Schweser notes (minimum package) for all three tests.

CFA Exam Fees CFA Exam Costs
CFA Program Enrollment Fees $450
CFA Level I Registration (Standard) $930
CFA Level II Registration (Standard) $930
CFA Level IIII Registration (Standard) $930
CFA Exam Re-take Fee $930
Tavel Fees $300
CFA Study Material Costs ~$1,137
CFA Annual Membership Fee $250

While the CFA exam is not cheap, the largest chunk of cost comes from registration. Make sure you register early for all exams to save a significant amount of money.