CSLA Institute

The CSLP Program

A training program and specialty designation for financial professionals focused on the advisement of consumers repayment student debt and in the form of a comprehensive financial plan.
CSLP Interactive Course

Program & Course

The CSLP Program is the most comprehensive training tool for financial advisors who need to know how to accurately advise clients with student loans.

Key Features

  • 4 Courses and 40+ modules
  • 41 Hours of Presentations
  • Online support
  • Client ready forms & documents
  • Loan calculators and spreadsheets
  • Additional reference resources
  • Self Paced & viewable on tablets
  • Indexed videos for easy navigation
  • Use it continuously throughout the year

Powerful, Learning & Reference Resource

The CSLP Program is more than an educational course. It’s a resource that you will use for reference year over year as we update the content. Your annual CSLP membership keeps you informed and armed with valuable knowledge for your clients.


The CSLP provide helps you understand how to analyze a client’s loan programs and create a comprehensive plan that includes repayment within the scope of their overall financial plans and goals.

Through the course, you’ll learn that clients may need to make adjustments in their student loan strategy as their life changes. Early career professionals have different needs, incomes, and goals than those who may be 10 or more years into their work.


The program also helps advisors understand how to help those who may be facing temporary challenges of high loan payments in the start of the professions. This can enable the client to free needed cash flow at critical times.

CSLP Resources

The CSLP Exam

The CSLP certification examination is designed to assess your knowledge and ability to accurately advise clients on student loan repayment planning.  Successfully completing the CSLP demonstrates to the public that you are advancing your knowledge about student loan programs, the advising process, laws, and strategies. You are also communicating your emphasis on incorporating a well-structured financial plans that include repayment of student loans.

The CSLP exam is a rigorous, comprehensive test of the participant’s knowledge of student loan programs and how to advise clients about the ongoing management of their loans.

The exam is based on all of the course content and includes case studies exemplifying common scenarios a financial advisor may encounter. The exam will present a series of questions based on case information that includes loan amounts, interest rates, loan types, family size, and location.

The CSLP Exam Process

The CSLP™ Exam is a 2 hour online, remotely proctored multiple choice test. It is strongly recommended that you complete the entire CSLP course before registering for the exam. When you have completed the course material or at 6 months after your purchase, you will receive a notification to take register for the exam. The exam fee is included in the initial course fee.

After registration, you will receive exam instructions within 2 business days.

Participants must pass the exam with a minimum score of 70% within the 2-hour time limit. Results will be provided via email within 2-3 business days. In the event a participant needs to retake the exam a $150 fee will apply. Retakes may occur after a 7-day waiting period.

Program Course & CSLP Designation Renewals

CSLPs renew their certification annually by completing a shorter, non-proctored exam, and paying the annual $225 fee (subject to change).  Renewal entitles you to use of the CSLP mark, access to all course content and updates, participation in the public directory, and other benefits. Failure to renew will result in the expiration of your CSLP and a reinstatement fee of $200. If you fail to reinstate beyond 60 days, a fee equal to 40% of the currently published course price will apply.

Continuing Education Credits

Completion of the CSLP Course and Exam entitles you to up to 13 CFP CE Credits.

You will receive your exam results along with information on how to complete the CE application, credits from HSU, and directory registration.

Important Timing

Program participants should prepare to complete the CSLP exam within 6 months of entering the program. This should be easily achievable in less time. Most participants complete the program and exam with 1-2 months.

After passinig the exam, the CSLP designation is granted for the following 12 months. Renewal notifications will be sent approximately 60 days prior to expiration.

Maintaining Your CSLP Designation

The CSLP designation denotes specialized knowledge of student loans within the context of financial and tax planning.   In order to ensure all CSLPs are competent, the Board requires designees to take an annual knowledge assessment.  To maintain eligibility as a CSLP, all CSLP designees will be required to:

  1. Complete all educational lessons that have been released or amended by the Board since the designee completed their course study.
  2. Take and pass an Annual Recertification Exam (minimum 70% correct answers). 

CSLP 100 – Introduction To Student Loan Finance

Topics include:

  • The student loan problem – in depth
  • Cost of borrowing programs
  • Simple interest in student loans
  • Amortization in student loans
  • Student loan defaults
  • Federal loans – rates and costs
  • Income driven repayment plans
  • Estimating repayment costs
  • Variances in costs based on loan type
  • Consolidations and refinancing
  • The double student loan consolidation
  • Public service loan forgiveness
  • Helping borrowers avoid student loan scams

CSLP 200 – Income Driven Repayment Plans

Topics include:

  • Introduction to the advising process
  • Federal student loan programs
  • Private student loan programs
  • Statutory discharge of student loan programs
  • Addressing student loan defaults
  • Bankruptcy and student loans
  • Minimizing student loan interest charges
  • Applied advanced public service loan forgiveness
  • Income contingent repayment programs

CSLP 300 – Student Loan Repayment In Tax & Financial Planning

Topics include:

  • Tax consequences: Credits, deductions, and taxation
  • Tax considerations: Community property states
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
  • Student loan and home purchases
  • Employee Student Loan Benefits
  • Double consolidation for Parent Plus loans
  • IDR & Direct Consolidation forms
  • Financial planning and Student debt – Retirement
  • Financial planning and Student debt – Insurance
  • Best practices for working with loan servicers
  • Profession specific: Teachers, MD, Dentists, Attorneys, and Nurses

CSLP 400 – Advising Clients – Student Loan Cases

The case study examples contain over 7 hours of presentations illustrating the advising process of a variety of hypothetical clients. The presentions take the process from end-to-end and cover the identification of client goals, analysis of options, and presentation of solutions. Each case ends with a financial presentation of the cost benefits.

Cases include:

  • Sarah – Single, DVM, 85k student loans
  • Jimmy – early career, seeking advanced education, other personal goals
  • Jackson – Middle School teacher, married, dual income earner, in graduated income plan
  • Lin – Single, nurse, deliquent loans, eligible 403b, 1k/month student loan payment, 60k+income
  • The Casillas family – dual income earner, wife is MD, husband is DDS, one in forbearance, 300k+ student debt
  • Daniel – Business owner, 3 children with loans (parent plus), seeks business exit strategy, retirement goals, pay off home

CSLP 400 – Advising Clients – Student Loan Cases

The case study examples contain over 7 hours of presentations illustrating the advising process of a variety of hypothetical clients. The presentions take the process from end-to-end and cover the identification of client goals, analysis of options, and presentation of solutions. Each case ends with a financial presentation of the cost benefits.

Cases include:

  • Sarah – Single, DVM, 85k student loans
  • Jimmy – early career, seeking advanced education, other personal goals
  • Jackson – Middle School teacher, married, dual income earner, in graduated income plan
  • Lin – Single, nurse, deliquent loans, eligible 403b, 1k/month student loan payment, 60k+income
  • The Casillas family – dual income earner, wife is MD, husband is DDS, one in forbearance, 300k+ student debt
  • Daniel – Business owner, 3 children with loans (parent plus), seeks business exit strategy, retirement goals, pay off home

CSLP 400 – Advising Clients – Student Loan Cases

The case study examples contain over 7 hours of presentations illustrating the advising process of a variety of hypothetical clients. The presentions take the process from end-to-end and cover the identification of client goals, analysis of options, and presentation of solutions. Each case ends with a financial presentation of the cost benefits.

Cases include:

  • Sarah – Single, DVM, 85k student loans
  • Jimmy – early career, seeking advanced education, other personal goals
  • Jackson – Middle School teacher, married, dual income earner, in graduated income plan
  • Lin – Single, nurse, deliquent loans, eligible 403b, 1k/month student loan payment, 60k+income
  • The Casillas family – dual income earner, wife is MD, husband is DDS, one in forbearance, 300k+ student debt
  • Daniel – Business owner, 3 children with loans (parent plus), seeks business exit strategy, retirement goals, pay off home

CSLP 300 – Student Loan Repayment In Tax & Financial Planning

Topics include:

  • Tax consequences: Credits, deductions, and taxation
  • Tax considerations: Community property states
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
  • Student loan and home purchases
  • Employee Student Loan Benefits
  • Double consolidation for Parent Plus loans
  • IDR & Direct Consolidation forms
  • Financial planning and Student debt – Retirement
  • Financial planning and Student debt – Insurance
  • Best practices for working with loan servicers
  • Profession specific: Teachers, MD, Dentists, Attorneys, and Nurses

CSLP 400 – Advising Clients – Student Loan Cases

The case study examples contain over 7 hours of presentations illustrating the advising process of a variety of hypothetical clients. The presentions take the process from end-to-end and cover the identification of client goals, analysis of options, and presentation of solutions. Each case ends with a financial presentation of the cost benefits.

Cases include:

  • Sarah – Single, DVM, 85k student loans
  • Jimmy – early career, seeking advanced education, other personal goals
  • Jackson – Middle School teacher, married, dual income earner, in graduated income plan
  • Lin – Single, nurse, deliquent loans, eligible 403b, 1k/month student loan payment, 60k+income
  • The Casillas family – dual income earner, wife is MD, husband is DDS, one in forbearance, 300k+ student debt
  • Daniel – Business owner, 3 children with loans (parent plus), seeks business exit strategy, retirement goals, pay off home

CSLP 300 – Student Loan Repayment In Tax & Financial Planning

Topics include:

  • Tax consequences: Credits, deductions, and taxation
  • Tax considerations: Community property states
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
  • Student loan and home purchases
  • Employee Student Loan Benefits
  • Double consolidation for Parent Plus loans
  • IDR & Direct Consolidation forms
  • Financial planning and Student debt – Retirement
  • Financial planning and Student debt – Insurance
  • Best practices for working with loan servicers
  • Profession specific: Teachers, MD, Dentists, Attorneys, and Nurses

CSLP 400 – Advising Clients – Student Loan Cases

The case study examples contain over 7 hours of presentations illustrating the advising process of a variety of hypothetical clients. The presentions take the process from end-to-end and cover the identification of client goals, analysis of options, and presentation of solutions. Each case ends with a financial presentation of the cost benefits.

Cases include:

  • Sarah – Single, DVM, 85k student loans
  • Jimmy – early career, seeking advanced education, other personal goals
  • Jackson – Middle School teacher, married, dual income earner, in graduated income plan
  • Lin – Single, nurse, deliquent loans, eligible 403b, 1k/month student loan payment, 60k+income
  • The Casillas family – dual income earner, wife is MD, husband is DDS, one in forbearance, 300k+ student debt
  • Daniel – Business owner, 3 children with loans (parent plus), seeks business exit strategy, retirement goals, pay off home

CSLP 200 – Income Driven Repayment Plans

Topics include:

  • Introduction to the advising process
  • Federal student loan programs
  • Private student loan programs
  • Statutory discharge of student loan programs
  • Addressing student loan defaults
  • Bankruptcy and student loans
  • Minimizing student loan interest charges
  • Applied advanced public service loan forgiveness
  • Income contingent repayment programs

CSLP 300 – Student Loan Repayment In Tax & Financial Planning

Topics include:

  • Tax consequences: Credits, deductions, and taxation
  • Tax considerations: Community property states
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
  • Student loan and home purchases
  • Employee Student Loan Benefits
  • Double consolidation for Parent Plus loans
  • IDR & Direct Consolidation forms
  • Financial planning and Student debt – Retirement
  • Financial planning and Student debt – Insurance
  • Best practices for working with loan servicers
  • Profession specific: Teachers, MD, Dentists, Attorneys, and Nurses

CSLP 400 – Advising Clients – Student Loan Cases

The case study examples contain over 7 hours of presentations illustrating the advising process of a variety of hypothetical clients. The presentions take the process from end-to-end and cover the identification of client goals, analysis of options, and presentation of solutions. Each case ends with a financial presentation of the cost benefits.

Cases include:

  • Sarah – Single, DVM, 85k student loans
  • Jimmy – early career, seeking advanced education, other personal goals
  • Jackson – Middle School teacher, married, dual income earner, in graduated income plan
  • Lin – Single, nurse, deliquent loans, eligible 403b, 1k/month student loan payment, 60k+income
  • The Casillas family – dual income earner, wife is MD, husband is DDS, one in forbearance, 300k+ student debt
  • Daniel – Business owner, 3 children with loans (parent plus), seeks business exit strategy, retirement goals, pay off home

CSLP 200 – Income Driven Repayment Plans

Topics include:

  • Introduction to the advising process
  • Federal student loan programs
  • Private student loan programs
  • Statutory discharge of student loan programs
  • Addressing student loan defaults
  • Bankruptcy and student loans
  • Minimizing student loan interest charges
  • Applied advanced public service loan forgiveness
  • Income contingent repayment programs

CSLP 300 – Student Loan Repayment In Tax & Financial Planning

Topics include:

  • Tax consequences: Credits, deductions, and taxation
  • Tax considerations: Community property states
  • The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
  • Student loan and home purchases
  • Employee Student Loan Benefits
  • Double consolidation for Parent Plus loans
  • IDR & Direct Consolidation forms
  • Financial planning and Student debt – Retirement
  • Financial planning and Student debt – Insurance
  • Best practices for working with loan servicers
  • Profession specific: Teachers, MD, Dentists, Attorneys, and Nurses

CSLP 400 – Advising Clients – Student Loan Cases

The case study examples contain over 7 hours of presentations illustrating the advising process of a variety of hypothetical clients. The presentions take the process from end-to-end and cover the identification of client goals, analysis of options, and presentation of solutions. Each case ends with a financial presentation of the cost benefits.

Cases include:

  • Sarah – Single, DVM, 85k student loans
  • Jimmy – early career, seeking advanced education, other personal goals
  • Jackson – Middle School teacher, married, dual income earner, in graduated income plan
  • Lin – Single, nurse, deliquent loans, eligible 403b, 1k/month student loan payment, 60k+income
  • The Casillas family – dual income earner, wife is MD, husband is DDS, one in forbearance, 300k+ student debt
  • Daniel – Business owner, 3 children with loans (parent plus), seeks business exit strategy, retirement goals, pay off home