Stay Certified

CFAA LogoThe Certified Financial Aid Administrator® designation must be renewed every three years, based on the date you pass the certification exam.

To recertify, one must do all of the following:

Recertification Points System

To maintain your certification, you must earn a minimum of 60 Recertification Points (RPs), representing financial aid-related continuing education, qualifying leadership, instruction, authorship, advocacy, and other activities contributing to the profession. Individuals who earn more than 100 RPs will receive special recognition. All points must be earned within the three-year recertification period.

A full list of approved recertification activities is found in Appendix B of the Candidate Handbook.

You will track your RPs in the CFAA Dashboard. You can select from pre-approved recertification activities to indicate what you have completed. A list of the required documentation per activity is included in Appendix C of the Candidate Handbook.

If an activity is not included on the list of pre-approved recertification activities, you may submit information about the activity and suggested point value for the CFAA Commission to review within the CFAA Dashboard. Policy 21 in the CFAA Commission Standing Rules and Policies document provides more information on this approval process.

Once you have accrued the minimum required RPs, you can submit your recertification application and pay the recertification fee — all within the CFAA Dashboard. You can apply to recertify during the six-month period prior to the date your current certification expires. The next three-year recertification period begins as of the date your recertification application is approved.

CFAA Dashboard | Candidate Handbook

Inactive Status

Inactive Status is available to CFAAs who do not meet their renewal eligibility requirements, but do not wish to permanently lose their certification status. Inactive status provides CFAAs with a one-year period beyond their period of active certification in which to meet the renewal eligibility requirements.

While an individual's status is inactive, the CFAA designation MAY NOT be used.

You can apply for Inactive Status and pay the associated fee within the CFAA Dashboard. Applications must be received prior to the end of the certification period for the request to be honored. Consecutive periods of inactive status are not allowed.


The CFAA certification may be reactivated at any time during the inactive period as long as the renewal requirements are met. Any remaining recertification points must be accrued within the one year leading up to the resumption of certified status. To reactivate, you must submit the CFAA Reactivation Application and pay the reactivation fee within the CFAA Dashboard.

For More Information

Candidate Handbook  |  CFAA Program FAQs  |  Email

Publication Date: 2/26/2020

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