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Common Questions

Answers to commonly asked questions are provided elsewhere on the website, but are consolidated here for your convenience. Do not hesitate to contact us for further information.

PCBS Prerequisites
PCBS Attendance & Enrollment
Time Needed to Complete the PCBS Program
Fee Structure
Contact Information

PCBS Prerequisites

The prerequisites underlie the core curriculum. It is our intent to help every candidate for PCBS be fully prepared to be successful, receive maximum benefit from the course work, and to contribute to the learning environment. The prerequisite standards help optimize use of classroom time and insure that learning and discussion are at the highest possible levels. The instructors presume that participants have the introductory material (terms and theory) well in mind.

Prerequisites exist in the following categories:

Financial Statement Analysis / Accounting
Must understand basic concepts of:

  1. The elements of financial statements
  2. Analysis of transactions and accrual accounting concepts
  3. How the balance sheet, income statement and statement of cash flows interrelate
  4. Forecasting financial position

Commercial lending experience may provide useful background in financial statement analysis, but by itself does not satisfy this requirement.

Corporate Finance
Must understand basic concepts of capital structures and shareholder wealth, including:

  1. Assessment of risk
  2. Calculation of time value of money
  3. Cost-benefit analysis and estimating cash flows
  4. The cost of capital
  5. Dividends, repurchases and other distribution methods

Economics / Bank Financial Markets
Must understand basic concepts of macro economics, including:

  1. Monetary and fiscal policy
  2. Financial markets, including fractional reserve banking
  3. Creation of bank deposits
  4. The role of the Federal Reserve
  5. Principal financial instruments

Prerequisites can be met in one of two ways; either the candidate has completed or will complete prior to the session post-secondary coursework directly related to the prerequisite category (most common), or the candidate has had sufficient career experience to understand the concepts and provides a detailed written description and explanation of such exposure and experience. If a candidate has a knowledge gap in a particular area, additional course recommendations may be made to the student during the acceptance process. PCBS offers a variety of webinars to meet these needs. It is not our intent to have candidates take redundant course work just to be clear that they meet any prerequisite. It is our experience that, with full explanation as to why the prerequisites exist, candidates make the appropriate decision about their level of qualifications to attend PCBS. Candidates who have taken the recommended coursework before attending PCBS have told us that they were glad they did so.

If a candidate has enrolled in a course to meet a prerequisite, only proof of that enrollment and an indication of commitment to complete the course work before attending PCBS is required to accompany the application. It is not necessary to wait to apply to PCBS until the prerequisite course work has been completed.

Only the information requested on the application is necessary regarding courses completed to meet the prerequisites. No formal transcripts or other proof is required. We strongly encourage candidates with any questions regarding prerequisite work to contact PCBS for an evaluation of their qualifications. Return to top

PCBS Attendance & Enrollment

When planning to apply to PCBS, candidates must understand that PCBS requires participants to attend every class, every day, just as employers require employees to be at work every day and to work for a full day. If any event will require missing class time during PCBS, candidates should consider rearranging those commitments or delaying applying until their time is fully available for attendance.

PCBS Considers Circumstances: PCBS is reasonable in its administration of policies. Participants and their sponsoring institutions can expect that PCBS will be flexible and practical in responding to the participant's and their organization's circumstances.

Interrupted Enrollment - Unable to Attend all Three Resident Sessions in a Row: Some candidates delay enrollment fearing something will happen to preclude their finishing PCBS. While there is never a perfect time to take on any new school responsibilities, it is important that candidates consider the time commitment required by PCBS. Candidates should carefully consider applying if they know they will have increased job responsibilities due to a promotion, a special project, or if they anticipate some challenges in their personal lives that will jeopardize their commitment. However, candidates should not put off enrollment on the mere possibility of circumstances that may cause them to withdraw. If circumstances require a participant to withdraw while actively enrolled, PCBS encourages them to return at any time in the future without repeating courses or assignments already complete – essentially, participants may continue from where they left off and go forward in the program.

Qualified participants rarely "fail" PCBS: The purpose of the extension work is to enhance learning. Challenges in completeing it typically come from the inability to find the time to complete the extension work, since participants also have demanding jobs and full personal lives. Average grades on extension work are usually in the top half of the grading scale. If an extension assignment is determined to be "Unsatisfactory" by a grader, the participant is given the opportunity and support to rework and resubmit the assignment. Unsatisfactory grades are rare and PCBS faculty members are always willing and available to answer questions and offer support. PCBS expects course work to be completed independently. You may improve your understanding of concepts through study groups, but you must answer your extension work based on your own analysis of each assignment and what is required to thoroughly complete the assignment.

PCBS will enhance your career: PCBS should be a meaningful part of a participant's career path. Both the sponsoring institution and the participant should be in a position to take advantage of the education PCBS offers. Enrollment in PCBS should not be considered a way to "fix" an underachiever.

PCBS is designed for experienced officers who are leaders or who have been identified as potential leaders of their institutions and the industry. Enrollment in PCBS is highly appropriate for those who are interested in working hard to gain a better understanding of the industry and who will be in positions to contribute to the future success of their institutions. Return to top

Time Needed to Complete the PCBS Program

There are three resident sessions, six assignments and one management report that are completed within an elapsed time of two years and two weeks. While each student is different, it takes an average of 25-30 hours to complete a paper and approximately 100 hours to complete the management report, or 15 to 20 hours per month.

To get a better perspective on the time needed for intersession assignments, you might want to talk to one of our current students or graduates. We can supply some names if you would like. Return to top

Fee Structure

The 2018 tuition is $5,190 per session and includes a single dormitory room, meals, instruction, and all course materials received prior to and during the session. It also includes the support and processing of between-session extension assignments and a $295 non-refundable annual registration fee. Tuition is paid annually (expect a small price increase, as necessary, year to year). It is an amazing value. PCBS is a non-profit 501C-3 organization, which exists to serve the financial institutions and their employees. Return to top

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