2023 Benchmarking Report

NASFAA 2023 Benchmarking Report CoverNASFAA has conducted benchmarking surveys of financial aid administrators and offices for more than three decades. This report presents findings from the 2022-23 NASFAA Benchmarking Survey. NASFAA members may access the report free of charge.

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If you are not a NASFAA member yet, you can purchase a copy of the report, or join NASFAA to access the report and other member benefits.

Major Findings from the 2023 Benchmarking Report

Overall, we continue to find financial aid office staffing difficulties as workloads and administrative requirements continue to rise, increasing the burden on already understaffed financial aid offices.

Workloads Continue to Increase

  • The average number of full-time equivalent (FTE) staff per 1,000 aid applications continued to decline, with respondents reporting an average of 2.3 FTE for the 2021-22 award year, down from 2.5 in the 2016 NASFAA Benchmarking Report. 
  • Institutions reported concerns about their ability to be administratively capable and serve students. Institutions that reported needing more staff and resources indicated they needed an average of 3.5 more FTE positions to feel adequately staffed.

Turnover Remains a Concern

Along with this increased workload, respondents reported increasing rates of turnover. The 2021-22 award year saw an average of 2.32 FTE administrators permanently leaving the field for promotion and an average of 2.65 leaving due to resignation, which is up from 1 FTE position in NASFAA’s 2022 staffing challenges update report. 

Salaries Remain Inadequate

Data from CUPA-HR show a median salary dollar increase for all positions in FAOs; however, the percentage of increase compared to inflation measured by the consumer price index shows increases have not kept up with consumer prices.

Misclassification of Financial Aid Positions Needs Further Exploration

Nearly half of responding institutions reported the FAO, their division, or their institution had misclassifications.

NASFAA Staffing Model

Due to the lower response rate this year, we could not update the Staffing Model to produce valid or reliable estimates, and it has been removed from the NASFAA website. We recognize this tool is a great resource to the field, and NASFAA’s research department is presently exploring how we can collect the data needed to update it in the future.

NASFAA is grateful to our 2022-23 Staffing and Benchmarking Task Force for their work on this project.

For additional questions about the 2023 Benchmarking Survey Report please contact NASFAA's Research Department at [email protected], or (202) 785-7284.

Publication Date: 11/2/2023

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