Ch'in Fen received his middle school and college education in Shanghai and in 1906 he went to America and studied mathematics and astronomy at Harvard University, from which he graduated in 1909 with the degree of Bachelor of Arts (magna cum laude). The same year he obtained the degree of Master of Arts. During 1909-1910 he spent a year in England and Germany taking postgraduate courses at Glasgow University and Albert Ludwigs University of Freiburg.
Mr. Ch'in returned to China in June 1910 and became dean of the Jiangnan High School, Nanjing. Later he was made dean of the Pudong Middle School, Shanghai. From 1912 to 1915 he served as a professor of mathematics of the Nanyang College, now known as the National Chiao Tung University. Mr. Ch'in held the post of a professor of mathematics and astronomy at the Government University in Peking and also dean of the Science Department between 1915 and 1919.
In March, 1919, Ch'in Fen was appointed director of the Ministry of Education in charge of the department of technical education. He was promoted to councillor of the Ministry of Education in November, 1920. In April, 1923, he was appointed Chinese Delegate to the International Educational Conference and in 1926 Mr. Ch'in was appointed vice-Minister of Education.
During 1927-1928 he served as a director of the college of science of Peking University. Since 1929 Mr. Ch'in was a director of the bureau of general education of Central University (now Nanjing University). He was made director of the department of accounts, budget and statistics in the Ministry of Finance in Nanjing in 1929. Since 1933 Mr. Ch'in became a Vice-Minister of Finance and concurrently Secretary-General of the National Economic Council.