NASFAA Staff has compiled these frequently asked questions regarding the new Certified Financial Aid Administrator (CFAA) program. If you have any additional questions that are not answered below, please let us know.
NASFAA expects to launch the CFAA Program at the NASFAA National Conference in Orlando, FL during June of 2019. The CFAA Exam will be available during specific testing periods that will be announced.
Candidates interested in applying for the CFAA must complete an online application verifying that he or she meets the established eligibility requirements. At this time, the qualifying criteria for candidacy is expected to be a combination of:
Each application will be reviewed and, if approved, the applicant will qualify to sit for the CFAA Exam, which will be administered online.
The CFAA Program fees will be announced closer to the launch of the program. Check back in a few months for additional information.
The CFAA Program will provide a Candidate Handbook that outlines the subjects included on the CFAA Exam. The Handbook also will include a list of recommended resources to utilize while preparing for the assessment. We expect the Handbook to be available for download during the spring of 2019.
To maintain the CFAA designation, certificants will recertify every three years. Recertification will require accrual of professional development points, which will include--but will not be limited to--activities such as attending state, regional, and/or national conferences, participating in NASFAA U online courses, and conducting training sessions. A recertification fee will be required. More information regarding the recertification process will be available upon launch of the program.
NASFAA Credentials and the CFAA Program are both excellent professional development opportunities for financial aid administrators. These programs complement each other, while offering unique benefits.
NASFAA offers 17 credentials that cover specialized areas of financial aid administration, such as verification and consumer information. These credentials are a great way to build a portfolio of demonstrated knowledge in specialized financial aid topics. NASFAA credentials are not renewable and do not expire; however, given the rapidly changing nature of this profession, continued training is strongly encouraged. Credentials serve as a starting place for new financial aid administrators, and also as great refreshers for more experienced professionals looking to strengthen their knowledge.
To earn a credential, the candidate must successfully complete the corresponding credential test. Four pathways enable candidates to access the credential tests:
Those who earn a credential are added to the NASFAA Credential Earners Honor Roll.
The CFAA Program is a certification in financial aid administration that covers the wide range of skills and knowledge required to perform competently in Title IV financial aid administration at any type of college or university across the country. Compared to the NASFAA Credential tests, which are specific to certain subject areas, the CFAA Exam assesses the broader knowledge required of a financial aid administrator across multiple subject areas. Credentials may serve as a pathway to the CFAA, as well as a means of maintaining the CFAA designation.
The CFAA Program application will verify the candidate meets the criteria--that is, the education, experience, and commitment to ethical behavior--necessary to gain access to the CFAA Exam. Once certified, the CFAA must recertify every three years, a process that will require an accumulation of points earned by completing various professional development activities. Those who earn and maintain the certification may display the “CFAA” designation.
Publication Date: 3/5/2019