Overview of the Financial Aid Programs

NU - Online Course IconStart Date: September 12, 2016
Duration: 3 weeks
Cost: $199 per registrant (members and non-members)



Back by popular demand in an accelerated format, 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. 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.

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

  • Review educational video lessons
  • Complete learning assessments
  • Participate in online discussions
  • Collaborate with other financial aid administrators  

Course Outline

Lesson 1

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

Lesson 2 

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

Lesson 3 

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

Course Facilitators

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 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 joined the NASFAA Training and Regulatory Assistance team in 2012. David has been in the financial aid field since 1992. Prior to joining NASFAA, David was the Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships at Boise State University. He also taught Principles of Microeconomics courses when his schedule allowed. Prior to that he held various positions in the financial aid office at the University of Utah. Like many financial aid administrators, he thought his first financial aid job would just be a temporary thing. As an Instructional Content Specialist, David is able to combine his experience in financial aid and his love of teaching and training. His education includes a Master’s degree from Arizona State University and a Bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University. David lives with his family in Boise, Idaho.

NASFAA U Course Policies


NASFAA U 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 assessments that must be completed. There are also weekly synchronous class meetings. These live "Get-Together" classes last approximately one hour and recorded for on-demand viewing by the course attendee. While attendance is optional, we do encourage attending due to the highly collaborative nature of the courses. Please see the following Get-Together schedule for this course (subject to change at the discretion of the course instructors):

  • 9/12/16 - 2:00 pm ET - Intro Session and Lesson 1 Preview
  • 9/19/16 - 2:00 pm ET - Lesson 1 Review and Lesson 2 Preview
  • 9/26/16 - 2:00 pm ET - Lesson 2 Review and Lesson 3 Preview
  • 10/3/16 - 2:00 pm ET - Lesson 3 Review


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

  • $25 cancellation fee before September 8, 2016
  • $50 cancellation fee September 8 - 11, 2016 

If you do not cancel by 6:00 am ET September 12, 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.

Requests to cancel must be sent to nasfaa-u@nasfaa.org.

Additional Questions

For additional questions, please review the helpful guide of Online Course Frequently Asked Questions.

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