Certified Financial Aid Administrator® Knowledge Exam

*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. For details, refer to the NASFAA Testing Center.

To become certified, you must demonstrate your knowledge of Title IV financial aid by passing the Certified Financial Aid Administrator® Knowledge Exam. You may purchase the exam upon approval of your certification application.

The certification knowledge exam will be:

  • Available online within NASFAA's Testing Center.
  • Proctored remotely, requiring candidates to meet basic technical requirements.
  • Approximately 115 multiple choice questions.
  • Two hours in length, not including the time it takes to connect to the virtual proctor.

Exams are available during the 1st -21st of each month throughout the year.

The knowledge exam assesses knowledge of twelve competency areas:

  • Institutional Eligibility
  • Data Management
  • Administrative Capability
  • Consumer Information
  • Cash Management
  • Student Eligibility
  • Cost of Attendance and Need Analysis
  • Awarding and Packaging
  • Verification
  • Return of Title IV Funds
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Professional Judgment

To prepare for the exam, review these Candidate Resources.

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.

You will find out whether you passed immediately after submitting your completed exam. Your exam score and the passing score will not be visible. Instead, you will be able to view a diagnostic report showing your performance in each content area. In general, every three out of four candidates pass the certification exam.

If you are not successful, you may purchase one additional attempt that must be completed within one year from the date of approval. To prepare to retake the exam, consider additional professional development opportunities and review the list of core resources identified in the Candidate Handbook.

Successful candidates will receive special recognition and benefits. For example, each time you certify or recertify, you will receive a complimentary certificate and lapel pin in the mail, and you will have the opportunity to purchase a frame for your certificate. To acknowledge your accomplishment, your name will be added to the Registry, unless you opt out by notifying certification program staff at [email protected].

Accommodation Requests

Complete the Certification Exam Accommodation Request Form to provide a written explanation of the requested accommodations specific to the certification exam. Requests must be submitted prior to scheduling the exam within the testing center. 

For More Information

Candidate Handbook  |  Certification FAQs  |  Email [email protected]


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