Common Myths about FRM Course Fees

Estimated reading time: 5 minutes



Being the world’s leading qualification for financial risk manager professionals, there are numerous myths surround GARP’s FRM course fees. 

Some of these are simply an attempt by people to discourage you from pursuing the accreditation. 

However, many others arise out of nothing but fear of the unknown.

Let’s bust some of these myths, paying special attention to the FRM course fees in particular.


Myth #1: Enrollment is too costly

Despite what many think, this course is one of the least expensive certifications. The program requires candidates to pay an enrollment fee plus individual exam fees.

Each of the FRM exams cost between $350 and $650 depending on whether you register early or late.

If you don’t pass either of the exams in the first go, you are only required to repay for the exam when you request for a re-sit. (You don’t repay the enrollment fees in this case). 

If you pass both level 1 and level 2 in the first attempt, the cumulative exam and enrollment fees is not far over $1,000. This amount is substantially lower than the upfront amounts in several other programs.


Myth #2: The deadlines are too tight

GARP’s exam registration is structured in a way to accommodate early, regular and even late registrants.

Even if you start the year with a bleak financial outlook, you’ll still have a 3-month window to enroll. 

The governing body is actually quite accommodating of all types of candidates, unlike other professional programs.


Myth #3: The cost of study materials is excessive

It’s true that after paying for the exam fees, you may have to purchase study materials from GARP and other providers.

These materials are critically vital for your success in the exams. Nevertheless, you can slash costs by going for the e-book versions of the guides which cost significantly less for both levels.

What’s more, if you join a study group, you can buy the books as a group and further reduce the costs of your materials. 

So, should $500 or so, in terms of study materials, hold you back from getting a globally recognized accreditation?


Myth #4: Working will interfere with my success

Most candidates are graduates already working in various fields and industries. This is how many get the ability to pay for registration fees and the cost of study materials.

The FRM program does not require you to quit your job. Remember that it doesn’t involve in-class training, and so you can plan your work and study life in a way that’s manageable to you.

Working as you pursue certification is a good way to meet your expenses, including third-party study materials, exam questions, or online coaching.


Myth #5: One must incur a lot of debt to complete the program

One of the myths revolving around the course fees is that candidates bear a crazy amount of expenses by the time they finish.

The truth is that the total cost of the program is under $2,600 when all costs are summed. Let’s do the math.

The total FRM enrollment and exam fees as we saw earlier are about $1,000. GARP digital books total up to $500. 

For third party study materials, providers charge an average of around $700 for a package that includes notes and practice questions.

Totaling these amounts gives you a bit over $2,000 for the full cost for certification. This risk manager course simply costs way less than many.

In addition, it is less invasive on your personal life and pays just as much in dividends as other high-qualification programs.


Myth #6: It’s better to just use this money elsewhere

Is $2,100 a lot of money? There are many answers to that question, but the truth remains that especially in the current economic environment, you must be wise with your spending.

  • It could be a week’s holiday somewhere
  • Half of that amount gets you some version of the iPhone
  • Or, you could purchase some new clothes

The truth is you can blow $2,100 in a single day on items or services that won’t pay you anything in return.

On the other hand, if you choose to invest the money in career advancement, GARP’s program guarantees excellent returns.

This benefit is for life.


Myth #7: I can’t afford a professional certification

Student debts are suffocating, that’s for sure. But, hindering your educational advancement will have far worse consequences.

Degrees are common nowadays, and a majority of the holders have student debts. However, given the competitive nature of today’s work environment, you will need something to set you apart from the rest.

You will need something to get you a better salary so you can clear your debt. Graduate and postgraduate programs are costly and protracted.

However, a professional certification can be a great path to success. And accomplishing this soon after college could improve your chances of clearing your debt much faster.


Myth #8: Fewer students are enrolling

The United Nations recently reported that the world economy suffered the slowest growth rate in a decade, falling to 2.3 per cent in 2019.

As the global economic situation grows bleaker, businesses are demanding trained risk professionals to steer their visions. 

There is increased demand for certificate holders from GARP, it being the main professional body in this field.

The official body reported that between 2010 and 2018, registration grew at a steady rate of 15%, driven by demand from the financial world.

As the future of companies is compounded by uncertainties of globalization, technological trends and changing regulations, there is a high demand for professionals that can turn financial risks into opportunities.


Myth #9: You are alone

Have you heard of the scholarships provided by GARP? Not many have, and so they trade such myths as above. The governing body provides scholarships to deserving cases in order to ease the financial burden of the program.

The subsidy covers the costs of level 1, leaving you better prepared to handle the expenses of level 2. Another way to offset your fees is getting your employer to sponsor you.

Many companies realize the value of the designation and they often willingly sponsor their employees as a part of internal talent development strategies. 

Even if there is no automatic or standard sponsorship outlets in your organization, don’t let that deter your efforts!

You may still get support by:

  • Talking to HR and find out about possible tuition reimbursement plans
  • Selling the benefits of the designation and its subsequent benefits for the company
  • Proving your loyalty
  • Showing a realistic work-study schedule

In the end, know that you are not alone. If nothing else, family and friends will support you.

The misconceptions that you will be alone in the program are meant to hold you back from achieving and improving your career. It’s a lie spread by pessimists and cynics.


Our takeaway

Your risk manager certification is an amazing lifetime investment and costs lower than many other graduate and postgraduate programs.

There are plenty of ways to offset course costs; by pooling resources with friends, applying for a scholarship, and getting your employer to sponsor you. 

Even though the program involves an investment on your part, it is the most cost effective and shortest route to career growth and advancement.


Fight on!

The QuestionBank Family