OVERVIEW

The Association of Certified College Funding Specialists is the governing body for the Certified College Funding Specialist (CCFS®) designation.

The CCFS® is the premier college financial funding designation in the financial industry. We serve the public interest by promoting the value of professional, competent and ethical college financial planning services, as recognized by those who have attained CCFS® (Certified College Funding Specialist™) designation.

Our members are Certified Public Accountants, Enrolled Agents, Certified Financial Planners®, Registered Investment Advisors, Wealth & Retirement Planners, Financial Advisors, Lenders, and other licensed financial professionals.

Our members are licensed financial professionals qualified to share prudent financial, tax, cash flow, and lending advice that can help families lower the cost of college and pay their tuition bill.

All of our members must adhere to the highest standards of professional competence, ethical standards, and continuous professional education in college funding.

OUR MISSION

The Association of Certified College Funding Specialists educates, certifies, and promotes our member CPAs, Enrolled Agents, CFP’s, Registered Investment Advisors, Wealth & Retirement Planners, Financial Advisors, Lenders and other licensed financial professionals as the only advisors qualified to give advice on the financial aspects of paying for college and licensed to offer specific financial products and services that can be used to fund college.

While there are college counselors that deal with the general issues of preparing for college, such as admissions, ACT/SAT prep, essay writing, college selection, and financial aid; our members are licensed financial consultants qualified to share prudent tax, financial, cash flow and lending advice that can help families lower the cost of college and pay the tuition bill.

OUR FOUNDER

The Association of Certified College Funding Specialists was founded January, 1st, 2017 by Ron Them, CCFS®.

Using his 25 years of experience in college financial planning, Ron finally created an educational training program solely focused on college financial aid, financial planning, and financial product funding. Those that complete the program achieve the designation of CCFS® (Certified College Funding Specialist™).

The CCFS® designation has been receiving outstanding industry reviews from Life Insurance Agents and RIAs across the country.

Prior to creating the CCFS® designation, he co-created the first ever recognized designation for financial professionals on the subject of college planning called the CCFS® (Certified College Planning Specialists).

For over 25 years, the nation's leading financial advisors, broker/dealers, and major media outlets have been using Ron’s research, funding strategies, training, and insight.

Ron was the Chief Financial Officer of Foote Industries before transitioning to the financial services industry as a registered investment representative and supervisor with Series 7, 24, 63, and 65 investment licenses; as well as, insurance licenses and is now retired from financial services.

Ron is highly regarded as one of the top experts in the college funding field. He has been quoted in:

U.S. News and World Report, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Smart Money, Financial Advisor Magazine, Small Firm Profit Report, Practical Accountant, LIMRA's Market Facts, Senior Advisors Magazine, HR Magazine, BenefitNews.com, Employee Benefit News Magazine, ProducersWeb.com, Entrepreneur Magazine, Insurance Selling Magazine, CollegeNews.com, The Christian Voice, and Columbus CEO Magazine.

In 1994, Ron’s company, Educational Planning Services became an official Needs-Analysis Servicer for the United States Department Of Education. Ron currently holds copyrights on one of the original college financial aid software programs on the market, and also other publications, including:

  • College Financial Aid Wizard Software and Manual - U.S. Copyright Office Certificate of Registration No. TX3-440-502, effective July 1, 1992.
  • The College Decision Navigator Guidebook - U.S. Copyright Office Certificate of Registration No. TXu-740-709, effective April 11, 1996.
  • The College Decision Navigator Guidebook (Parent & Student Edition) - U.S. Copyright Office Certificate of Registration No. TXu-691-849, effective December 2, 1996.

Ron developed the Cash Flow Recovery™ process that uses cash flow management principles to increase asset value and build wealth for business owners. He is also the originator of several software calculators to help advisors and families make college affordable, including the: WIZARD Financial Aid Manager, College QuikPlan EFC Calculator, "Find the Money" College Cashflow Calculator and the College Debt Reduction Calculator.

Ron helped develop the Answers4College Blueprint, which is quickly becoming the leading college planning application and client management system for advisors in the college market.

TIMELINE

1992

April

Founder Ron Them travels to Washington D.C. to obtain a copy of the Congressional Methodology (EFC) formula from the Library of Congress.

1992

May

Ron Them hires a DOS programmer and builds one of the first college financial aid analysis tools called the "Wizard Financial Aid Software."

1992

July

Ron receives copyright approval for the "Wizard Financial Aid Software." (Registration # 3-440-502).

1994

May

Ron completes his educational training program and holds the first college financial planning training conferences for financial professionals in Columbus, OH.

1997

April

Begins marketing an education course called the "CollegePLUS Program - A Turnkey College Planning System for Affluent Families".

2002

April

Ron Them and two other CPAs (Joe Hurley & Ricky Darvis) form the National Institute of College Planners and create the first certification and designation for financial professionals on the subject of college planning called the Certified College Planning Specialist (CCPS).

2004

April

Joe Hurley, CPA leaves the NICCP to run his college savings plan website, SavingForCollege.com.

2009

September

Ron Them creates a Business Builder training series that teaches financial professionals how to add college planning to their financial practice.

2013

June

Ron Them assembles a team made up of marketing and IT professionals to educate, market, and promote the college niche to financial professionals across the country.

2015

April

Recognizing that parents and students are borrowing trillions of dollars, Ron and his team create an education course for financial professionals on the subject of “Educational Loans” called the Education Loan Analyst (ELA).

2016

October

Work begins on creating a new educational course that moves away from college planning using mostly tax planning strategies and focuses more on college funding strategies taking advantage of financial aid, financial planning, and financial products that can be used to fund college.

2017

January

The Association of Certified College Funding Specialists and a new designation called the Certified College Funding Specialist™ (CCFS®) is launched. With new education training materials that focus more on college financial aid, financial planning, and financial product funding.