State & Regional Associations: Help Your Members Become Certified
Financial aid administrators are entrusted with significant responsibility, and industry certification affirms the professional commitment not only to those responsibilities, but also their commitment to uphold the highest ethical standards.
Since 2019, an elite group of more than 350 financial aid professionals have earned this esteemed designation — and you now have the opportunity to help your members prepare for NASFAA's Certified Financial Aid Administrator® (CFAA) Program knowledge exam together, increasing their likelihood of success. At an in-person workshop hosted by your association, participants will use a suite of workshop materials already prepared for you by a team of practicing financial aid administrators who hold the FAAC® designation. Your participants will leave the workshop with greater confidence in their own readiness and knowledge of what to expect when they take the exam.
Workshop participants must have an approved certification application on file with NASFAA before they attend. Registered participants will receive a comprehensive set of preparation resources and complimentary access to the certification knowledge exam. Resources include:
- Exam preparation guide for candidates
- Self-assessment worksheet
- Exam preparation workshop handouts
- Practice exam and diagnostic report
Certification Exam Preparation Workshops are meant to facilitate review, not provide in-depth financial aid training, and do not guarantee every candidate will pass the knowledge exam. The workshops are designed to help recall and refresh what attendees already know, and identify gaps in knowledge. Participants should expect to continue with independent review after the workshop, to the extent additional review is needed.
NASFAA's suite of materials is updated each July 1, along with the certification knowledge exam. Candidates should be prepared to know rules and regulations applicable to the award year in which they take the exam.
Why Should You Participate?
- This bundle offers significant cost savings for certification candidates. Cost savings include:
- Exam Preparation Guide ($75 per person)
- Knowledge Exam ($375 per person)
- Group review yields a higher level of success on the knowledge exam than independent study.
- In beta tests, the pass rate for workshop participants was higher by an average of 15%.
- More certified financial aid administrators in your state and region can lead to more engaged members, especially since FAACs must earn recertification points to maintain their designation by attending conferences, volunteering, and/or participating in other professional activities.
NASFAA Certification Exam Preparation Workshop materials are a comprehensive set of instructional materials for group review of financial aid concepts in an in-person learning environment. Materials include a facilitator guide, accompanying presentation slides, slide handout, self-assessment worksheet, and the exam preparation guide. See the order form for information on pricing.
Your facilitators must hold the FAAC® designation to host a workshop. Need help finding certified facilitators? Contact Susan Shogren at [email protected].
Instructions for States/Regions
- Purchase Certification Exam Preparation Materials from NASFAA for your state or region using the order form. The preparation materials and instruction on roster submission will be sent to the individual identified on the order form to distribute to respective facilitators.
- Upon payment, you will receive immediate access to the preparation materials, including a coordinator checklist and instructions for how to submit participant rosters after each workshop. Your association will be authorized to offer one or more in-person workshops from the time of purchase through June 30 of the corresponding award year. Participation is limited to groups of no more than 25 for each in-person session.
- Prior to attending a workshop, participants must have an active, approved application on file to qualify to attend the workshop. Applications can be submitted within the certification dashboard and are free of charge.
- Associations should create a registration form to verify application status at the point of registration and ensure you do not exceed the 25-person cap.
- Suggested fields for the registration form include: First Name, Last Name, NASFAA ID, email, institution, and a statement verifying an active, approved application.
- You may consider gathering additional information including content areas your participants may wish to focus on, what they may need to be more successful, and what their expectations of the workshop include. View a sample registration form via Google Forms. Contact [email protected] if you're interested in using this template.
- Conduct each workshop using the Certification Exam Preparation Materials, as-is. If you make changes to the materials or eliminate sections, participants will not be prepared for the knowledge exam. The suite of materials is updated each July 1.
- Collect attendee first & last name, email, NASFAA ID in an Excel sheet for submission within three business days of the live event at nasfaa.org/roster_submission.
- Facilitators should complete the survey on the training materials.
- Optional: Join the Exam_Prep_Facilitators channel within the FAAC Slack Community for updates and to share best practices and ask questions of fellow facilitators.
Information for Your Participants
Participants do not have to be NASFAA members; however, they must create a myNASFAA account in order to provide the required NASFAA ID and to be able to log in to access their own certification dashboard.
- Participants must have an active, approved application on file to qualify to attend the workshop. Applications can be submitted within the certification dashboard.
- Encourage participants to complete the self-assessment worksheet to have a good understanding of the topics they'll need to especially focus on.
- Attendees will receive access to the practice test and the knowledge exam.
- Each test includes one attempt to successfully complete the test. If a candidate is not successful on the knowledge exam, a retake exam must be purchased.
- For best results, workshop participants are encouraged to sit for the knowledge exam within the two testing windows immediately following the workshop; however, they will have the entire length of their one-year certification eligibility period to take the exam, which is important if they realize during the workshop they are not ready yet.
- Please encourage participants to provide feedback for each event using this online survey.
Questions? Please contact Susan Shogren, Director of Certification and Credentialing, at [email protected] or (202) 785-6969.