Exam Preparation Guide

This guide is useful in preparing to be a financial aid administrator and for preparing to take the Certified Financial Aid Administrator® Knowledge Exam. Each lesson covers concepts directly relevant to the administration of Title IV aid, within the scope of the twelve major content areas—or “knowledge domains”—that guide the composition of the Exam Content Outline in the Candidate Handbook. Included are assessments to gauge both knowledge and application of principles. Designed for use in conjunction with other generally available resources, including regulatory guidance provided by the U.S. Department of Education, the information will complement and enhance the knowledge you already possess.

This resource does not constitute the sole source of all exam questions, nor should it be construed as required to prepare for or to pass the Certified Financial Aid Administrator® Knowledge Exam. Candidates may choose to use this guide as part of a personal study plan, based on individual needs and knowledge.

Note: Test candidates are expected to know all aspects of a Title IV subject, regardless of any temporary waivers of regulatory requirements announced by the U.S. Department of Education.  


*Important Alert for Certification Candidates* On May 1, NASFAA’s certification exam transitions to the new rules in effect for the 2024-25 award year. Updated preparation materials will be available in April 2024. For details, refer to the NASFAA Testing Center


  • Lesson 1: Institutional Eligibility
  • Lesson 2: Data Management
  • Lesson 3: Administrative Capability
  • Lesson 4: Consumer Information
  • Lesson 5: Cash Management
  • Lesson 6: Student Eligibility
  • Lesson 7: Cost of Attendance and Need Analysis
  • Lesson 8: Awarding and Packaging
  • Lesson 9: Verification
  • Lesson 10: Return of Title IV Funds
  • Lesson 11: Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Lesson 12: Professional Judgment
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