Need Analysis & Professional Judgment

NASFAA U Online Courses LogoStart Date: March 2, 2020
Duration: 8 weeks
Cost: $499 per registrant (members and non-members)

Registration for this course is now closed.


This eight-week course will provide the learner with an understanding of the calculation of the Expected Family Contribution (EFC), as well as a comprehensive review of the concept of professional judgment. The combination of these topics will not only allow the learner to master each area, but also to better understand the application of professional judgment to need analysis.

Those who successfully pass this course will be granted complimentary access to both the Need Analysis and the Professional Judgment credential exams.

Course Outline

  • Lesson 1: Introduction to Need Analysis and the Regular EFC Formula
  • Lesson 2: Simplified EFC Formulas
  • Lesson 3: Recalculating the EFC
  • Lesson 4: Introduction to Professional Judgment in Need Analysis
  • Lesson 5: Professional Judgment in Need Analysis Calculations
  • Lesson 6: Professional Judgment in Originating Direct Loans
  • Lesson 7: Professional Judgment in Satisfactory Academic Progress
  • Lesson 8: Breakout Group Learning Activity

Course Structure

This course utilizes multiple teaching and learning methods to ensure participants develop a true understanding of the topic. Live instruction, reading assignments, discussion forums, interactive content, and assessments will reinforce key course concepts.

As a participant of this course you will be asked to:

  • Review educational video lessons
  • Complete learning assessments
  • Engage in online discussions
  • Collaborate with other financial administrators

Weekly due dates for assessments are included in the course syllabus, and all assessments must be submitted by the course end date. The live instruction classes last approximately one hour and are recorded for on-demand viewing by the course attendee. While attendance in the live sessions is optional, we do encourage you to attend due to the collaborative nature of the courses. Please see the Get-Together schedule below for this course (subject to change at the discretion of the course instructors).

Live Instruction Schedule





2:00 pm ET

Intro Session and Lesson 1 Instruction


2:00 pm ET

Application Session


2:00 pm ET

Lesson 1 Review and Lesson 2 Instruction


2:00 pm ET

Application Session


2:00 pm ET

Lesson 2 Review and Lesson 3 Instruction


2:00 pm ET

Application Session


2:00 pm ET

Lesson 3 Review and Lesson 4 Instruction


2:00 pm ET

Application Session


2:00 pm ET

Lesson 4 Review and Lesson 5 Instruction


2:00 pm ET

Application Session


2:00 pm ET

Lesson 5 Review and Lesson 6 Instruction


2:00 pm ET

Application Session


2:00 pm ET

Lesson 6 Review and Lesson 7 Instruction


2:00 pm ET

Application Session


2:00 pm ET

Lesson 7 Review and Lesson 8 Instruction


2:00 pm ET

Application Session


2:00 pm ET

Lesson 8 Review & Wrap-Up


Credential Test Access

Complimentary access to the credential tests in both topics is provided after successfully completing and passing the course.

Course Instructor

Tonya HsiungTonya Hsiung joined NASFAA's Training and Regulatory Assistance team in 2019. Prior to joining NASFAA, she was the Senior Assistant Director of Financial Aid at Franklin & Marshall College. She started her financial aid career as a work-study student. She has worked professionally in financial aid for over 16 years. She has experience in several areas of financial aid including verification, federal grants, veterans affairs, direct loans, scholarships, work study, professional judgment, international students, and study abroad. She enjoys teaching financial aid and has previously served as an adjunct instructor for NASFAA U courses in addition to teaching multiple NASFAA Authorized Events. She received a bachelor’s degree in Secondary Mathematics Education and Master’s Degree in Student Affairs in Higher Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and a second bachelor’s degree in Business Administration/Accounting from Millersville University. She is married to her husband, Danny, and they have a six-year old daughter, Alana.

David DowningDavid Downing joined NASFAA's Training and Regulatory Assistance team in October 2019. Prior to joining NASFAA, he was the Associate Director of Financial Aid Operations at Arizona State University responsible for oversight of Verification processing and the Federal Pell Grant program. He has worked professionally in financial aid for a little over 15 years also working at Washington State University as the Assistant Director of Communications and at the University of Phoenix in training and content development as well as several other roles. He received his Bachelor of Science in Business with a Minor in Human Resource Management from Western International University and Master of Arts in Education/Adult Education and Training from the University of Phoenix. He has also served as the Communications Chair, Secretary, and volunteered on a variety of committees with the Western Association of Financial Aid Administrators (WASFAA). He has been married to his high school sweetheart, Charity, for sixteen years and they live in Mesa, AZ with their two boys, Skyler age nine, and Owen age five.

Ashley ReichAshley Reich is the Vice President of Student Financial Services at Liberty University and has been working in higher education for 13 years. Ashley has worked in practically every area of financial aid and currently, overseas financial aid, state approvals, student accounts, and military affairs. Ashley is very active in her state organization, VASFAA, and has held various volunteer positions on the Board as well as committees. Ashley has also had the privilege of volunteering to serve on several negotiated rulemaking panels in Washington, D.C. that include Borrower Defense to Repayment as well as the Accreditation and Innovation panel. In her spare time, Ashley enjoys cooking and being active outdoors with her family. Ashley has been married to her husband, Peter, for 10 years and they have son, Theodore, who will turn 2 years old in May.

NASFAA U Course Policies

Attendance Requirements and Due Dates

While there is flexibility built into our online courses to accommodate busy work and life schedules, our courses have weekly due dates, and all assessments must be submitted by the course end date. These due dates will be available in the syllabus, which becomes available on the first day of the course.

We also strongly encourage participation in the live instruction sessions, but archives will be available for on-demand viewing.

Technical Requirements

Your online course will be fully browser-based. We strongly recommend using Google Chrome or Firefox as your internet browser for the live instruction meetings. Internet Explorer is not supported. The audio portion of online courses will be delivered directly through your computer’s speakers or attached headphones. We recommend you test your computer's ability to stream audio prior to joining the first live session. We encourage you to have a microphone set up so you can participate in our live instruction sessions, although it is not required.


If you require any special accommodations for this course, please contact us at Accommodations must be requested at least two weeks prior to the start of the course.


By submitting your registration, you agree to the following cancellation schedule:

  • $25 cancellation fee before February 27, 2020
  • $50 cancellation fee February 27, 2020 - March 1, 2020

If you do not cancel by 6:00 a.m. ET, March 2, 2020, you will be responsible for the full amount of the registration fee. Medical emergencies will be rescheduled to another available course with a doctor’s note.

Requests to cancel must be sent to

Additional Questions

For additional questions, please review the helpful guide of Online Course Frequently Asked Questions.

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