Overview of the Financial Aid Programs

NU - Online Course Icon Class starts: February 1, 2016

Cost: $199 per registrant (members and non-members).



This course introduces learners to basic financial aid concepts, categories and types of financial aid, the Title IV aid programs, and other federal sources of assistance to students in an accelerated format. Presentations, discussion topics, and quizzes will help participants understand how basic financial aid concepts interact and the importance of the various aid programs to their institutions. The Overview course is not only an effective training tool for new financial aid staff, it also offers your institution's non-financial aid staff a basic understanding of financial aid programs and requirements. NASFAA does not offer a credential for the Overview of the Financial Aid Programs course; however, this course provides an excellent foundation for advancement to additional courses that lead to a credential.

NASFAA University courses are 100% online with an asynchronous focus, meaning the individual attendee can log on anytime/anyplace (assuming they have Internet access) and participate in course requirements – naturally there are due dates they will need to adhere to, i.e. weekly assignments that must be completed. There are also weekly synchronous class meetings. However, these “live” classes are optional and recorded for on-demand viewing by the course attendee. While there will be no grade reductions for students that do not attend the live classes, we do encourage attendance to due to the highly collaborative nature of the courses.  

As a participant of this course you will be asked to: 

  • Review educational presentations
  • Complete learning assignments and quizzes
  • Participate in online discussions
  • Collaborate with other financial aid administrators  


Week 1 

    • Academic Year
    • Cost of Attendance
    • Expected Family Contribution
    • Financial Need
    • FAFSA
    • Enrollment Status
    • Need-Based vs. Non Need-Based Aid 

Week 2 

    • Title IV Grant Programs
    • Perkins Loans
    • Direct Loans
    • Borrower Eligibility
    • Annual/Aggregate Limits
    • Federal Work-Study Program

Week 3 

    • State Aid
    • AmeriCorps
    • Assistance for Veterans
    • Student Assistance for Health Professionals  

Course Lesson Video Example

Below is an example of one of the weekly lesson videos made available to attendees of the course. In addition to the live weekly classes, discussion forums, weekly lessons, self-assessments, and reading material that is provided to the attendee - these streaming videos are an integral part of the content delivery and allow attendees to view presentations anytime they choose to view them. 

Course Instructors

Brenda MurthaBrenda Murtha has been involved in financial aid for over 35 years. She graduated from Northern State University in Aberdeen, South Dakota with a Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary Education (math and English). She began her financial aid career at Education Assistance Corporation (then a guaranty agency; now acquired by Great Lakes Higher Education, a federal loan servicer). For the last 25 years, she has served students and families at Augustana University in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, 17 years as Director of Financial Aid. She has training experience in state, regional and national venues, including work with RMASFAA Summer Institute and NASFAA online courses. Brenda recently joined NASFAA staff as a full-time instructor and is excited to begin this new chapter in service to the financial aid profession.

David TolmanDavid Tolman’s career in financial aid began in 1992. Before joining NASFAA, he had been the Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at Boise State University for nearly 12 years. His training experience includes many summers as faculty for WASFAA Summer Institutes, being a non-federal trainer with the U.S. Department of Education, and an instructor for NASFAA decentralized training. David also taught principles of microeconomics courses at Boise State University as an adjunct faculty member. His education includes a Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University and a Master’s degree from Arizona State University. 

Cancellation Policy

We limit our online class size to ensure that we provide an effective, collaborative learning environment where participants receive experience and attention they need. Requests to cancel must be sent to nasfaa-u@nasfaa.org.

By submitting your registration, you agree to the following cancellation schedule:

  • $25 cancellation fee before January 30, 2016
  • $50 cancellation fee Jan. 30- Feb. 1, 2016 

If you do not cancel by 6:00 am ET February 2, 2016, you will be responsible for the full amount of the registration fee. Medical emergencies will be re-scheduled to another available course with a doctor’s note.

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