CFA Institute has expanded the CFA Level 1 eligibility for the program: students with two years remaining in their undergrad studies will be able to register and sit for the CFA Level 1 exam, effective immediately.
Here’s a quick summary of the change.
What has changed?
Previously, you could only register for the CFA Program if you were in your final year of undergrad studies or later.
This has now been expanded slightly – you can now register for the CFA Program if you’ve got two years remaining in your undergrad studies.
In other words, you can now register and sit for CFA Level 1 one year earlier than before the change.
What does this mean for me?
If you’re already registered for the CFA Program, nothing changes for you – carry on as usual.
For undergraduate students interested in the CFA Program – this means you can start one year earlier than planned. But before registering, do consider your personal position and whether balancing CFA and your university courses at the same time is a good idea.
If you do decide to register, be sure to check out our Journey Planner to figure out which exam window works best for you.
What about Level 2?
Under current rules, you can only sit for CFA Level 2 if you’ve completed your undergraduate studies. This has not changed.
This means that if you pass CFA Level 1 with two years to go in your undergrad studies, you’ll have to wait two years while you finish your undergraduate studies before sitting for CFA Level 2.
You can register beforehand though – you just need to have finished your undergrad before your Level 2 exam date.
Why are CFA Institute doing this?
Chris Wiese, CFA, Managing Director, Credentialing at CFA Institute, commented that the change “allows us to meet the expressed needs of student candidates, providing them with the opportunity to prepare for investment careers, while also addressing industry demand for well-trained, ethical professionals.”
CFA Institute also mentioned in their release that they “found that undergraduate university students — already immersed in studying and skilled at exam preparation — expressed interest in enrolling in the CFA Program earlier as they seek an edge in the highly competitive marketplace for coveted internships and employment.”
CFA Level 2 is still not accessible to undergrads, we believe that CFA Institute is angling to push CFA Level 1 as a “CFA-lite” qualification that undergrads can use as an indicator on their CVs for internships and entry-level positions.
CFA Institute Press Release in Full
CFA Institute to Extend CFA Program Candidate Eligibility by One Year
Going forward, students with two years remaining in their undergraduate studies will be able to sit for the Level I exam; expanded eligibility began on 1 November 2022
CFA Institute, the global association for investment professionals, has extended CFA Program candidate eligibility by one year to include students with two years remaining in their undergraduate studies. This change took effect on 1 November 2022.
The expansion of the eligibility policy will provide students with the opportunity to use Level I of the CFA Program as a clear signal to employers that they are serious about a career in the investment profession.
The change is underpinned by extensive research that CFA Institute has conducted with candidates and the financial services industry as a whole. The research found that undergraduate university students — already immersed in studying and skilled at exam preparation — expressed interest in enrolling in the CFA Program earlier as they seek an edge in the highly competitive marketplace for coveted internships and employment. These findings are bolstered by the recent independent benchmarking of the CFA Program by Ecctis. The exercise formally deemed the CFA charter as comparable to Master’s degree standard in 12 markets, which account for over 80 percent of CFA Program candidate volumes.
Chris Wiese, CFA, Managing Director, Credentialing at CFA Institute, commented:
“The CFA Program has continuously evolved since its inception in 1963. By opening up CFA Program eligibility by one year, this policy change allows us to meet the expressed needs of student candidates, providing them with the opportunity to prepare for investment careers, while also addressing industry demand for well-trained, ethical professionals. This change also reinforces our standard-setting position in the industry by ensuring the continued rigor, relevance, and value of the CFA charter by supplying both interns and early career entrants with the foundational knowledge they need for success.”
This change also applies to the May 2023 exam window for those atypical candidates who could graduate in or shortly before April 2024. Requirements to register for the Level II exam (students must have graduated before the exam date) and to ultimately earn the CFA charter remain unchanged, including the work-experience requirement.
Details will be released to prospective candidates beginning the week of 14 November 2022, when registration for the August 2023 exam cycle opens.Source: CFA Institute
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