Make Training Your Resolution for 2024

Melissa Maichle .

There’s been major change over the last year, so it is a great benefit that financial aid administrators have so many training resources. Now, finding the time to take advantage of them is a completely different story! It’s up to you to make it a priority!

Here are some new options available: If you attended the FSA Virtual Training Conference but missed sessions you wanted to see, the recordings are now available online. Federal Student Aid (FSA) recently announced that their Top Compliance Findings module has been updated and can be accessed from the Training Center by selecting Learning Tracks and then School Eligibility from the main menu. As part of the same announcement, FSA confirmed they have developed a training video that explains the borrower defense school notification and adjudication process under 34 CFR § 685.222 (the 2016 Borrower Defense Regulation). This video can be found via the main menu under Systems Training and Borrower Defense.

Do you have a lot of new staff in your office or are you a new staff member trying to get up to speed? The Training Center has self-paced modules on all the topics for which financial aid administrators are responsible. Everyone needs a break during the busy season. Give yourself one and use it to hone your skills and improve your knowledge. If you supervise staff, you can assign modules to your reports and track completion. Make it fun by organizing a competition or giving prizes.

If you prefer something more visual or need additional clarification, check out FSA’s  webinar series. Live sessions are hosted most months, and the topics are timely for the financial aid calendar. They are also recorded, so you never have to miss one!

The hot topic of 2023 was FAFSA Simplification – FSA has complied a host of resources for administrators in the Training Center. Options include upcoming live webinars, recorded training sessions, links to relevant communications from the Department of Education (ED), and a tool kit with resources for your students and their parents to help them understand all the changes.

FSA’s training resources are always free, but you do need to create an account in the Training Center to take advantage.

Another great resource is the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA). We all know about the national conference, but did you know NASFAA offers a certification program? Check it out to see if you’re eligible to participate. Nothing says ‘I’m an Expert’ like a certification!

Don’t have time for the full certification program? Get credentialed on individual topics instead. Sometimes you don’t have to know everything about everything to do your job and this program allows administrators to earn the NASFAA credentials for the topics of their choosing.

Finally, NASFAA has an extensive webinar series with live options and the ability to access recordings on demand after the presentations have been held. Note that some options are available to member institutions only and/or have a fee.

Last, but certainly not least the Higher Education Assistance Group can provide training — on a wide variety of topics for any level of expertise — customized to your specific needs. Visit our website or email for more information.