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Training for New Financial Aid Professionals



Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Training Series

This training is a comprehensive, two-course series that covers the basics of administering the Federal Student Aid programs. It is required for schools applying for initial participation in the Federal Student Aid programs—and, in some cases, when a change of ownership occurs. It is also open to anyone who wishes to attend.

To meet the requirement for newly participating or change of ownership schools, both the owner/CEO (or a high-level school official designee) and a financial aid administrator (FAA) must successfully complete the two-part training series. Read the training announcement.

The training consists of two courses:

  • Introduction to Federal Student Aid, an online self-paced tutorial that introduces the concepts, processes, and systems that schools must utilize in administering the Federal Student Aid Programs. This online course must be successfully completed by anyone who wishes to register for the second required course, Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration.
  • Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration, a 4.5-day in-person, instructor-led course offered in ED's 11 regional offices, which reinforces and applies the concepts of Federal Student Aid administration introduced in the online course. Both the owner/CEO (or a high-level school official designee) and FAA of schools seeking to begin participation in the Federal Student Aid programs are required to attend the entire 4.5-day course.

Please note: Both the owner/CEO (or a high-level school official designee) and a financial aid administrator are required to complete both courses in their entirety in order to fulfill the training requirement for schools seeking to begin participation in the Federal Student Aid programs, undergoing a change in ownership, or for any other reason they are required to attend by the U.S. Department of Education.

View the dates and locations of Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration workshops scheduled for July 2015–June 2016. Note that we are providing two workshops exclusively for schools with clock-hour programs: those scheduled for February 22–26, 2016, in San Francisco and June 6–10, 2016, in Philadelphia. This page is for your planning purposes only. Classes are held from 9:00 am–5:00 pm Monday to Thursday and 9:00–1:00 on Friday for everyone. There are also additional, required classes for the CEO on Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday beginning at 8:00 am. Please make your travel plans accordingly.

Please remember that you must successfully complete the online course, Introduction to Federal Student Aid, before you will be able to register for one of the Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration workshops.

Access the online course

  1. To access the online Introduction to Federal Student Aid tutorial and receive information about the registration process, go to the Federal Student Aid E-Training website at http://fsatraining.info.
  2. Log in using your username and password. If you do not have a username and password for Federal Student Aid E-Training, click on "Create new account" in the right-hand column on the homepage and follow the instructions to create a username and password.
  3. After logging in, point your cursor to "Required Training" on the main menu bar. From the drop-down menu that appears, choose "Fundamentals Training Series" and select "Introduction to Federal Student Aid 2015–2016." To launch the online course, click "To continue."

Q & A's

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FSA Coach Web-based Training, 2015–2016 Update

FSA Coach has been redesigned as a suite of interactive courses to train both new and experienced financial aid administrators in the essential knowledge and skills needed to successfully administer the federal student aid programs. The Basic Training courses, now updated for the 2015–2016 award year, are comprehensive and self-paced online courses that are written at an introductory level.

  • FSA Coach Basic Training offers 26 lessons of training in the fundamentals of federal student aid program administration and provides more than 40 hours of instruction.
  • FSA Coach Basic Training for Foreign Schools offers 23 lessons (approximately 30 hours of instruction) on federal student aid program administration for schools outside the U.S. serving U.S. students who wish to receive William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program loans.

To complement the Basic Training courses, The Intermediate Training course offers training in these specific areas of interest to more experienced financial aid administrators:

  • Beyond the Basics of Packaging: Awarding for Summer Sessions and Modules
  • Beyond the Basics of R2T4, Including R2T4 for Modules
  • Limits to Direct Subsidized Loan Interest Benefits
  • Monitoring for Pell Grant LEU and Resolving Unusual Enrollment History Flags

We expect that the Advanced Training course, offering training in topics such as recertification and program review preparation, will be available later in 2016.

All FSA Coach lessons can be completed individually or as a full course, allowing users to tailor the training to their specific needs. In addition, the lessons feature hyperlinks to other Federal Student Aid information and products, interactive exercises, review questions, and quizzes that help learners assess their mastery of the course material.

To access the training, log in to Federal Student Aid E-Training with your username and password. After logging in, point your cursor to "FSA Coach" on the main menu bar. From the FSA Coach Suite page that appears, choose "Basic Training," "Basic Training for Foreign Schools," or "Intermediate Training," as appropriate, and then select "Enroll Me" to launch the course.

Note: If you do not have a username and password for Federal Student Aid E-Training, select "Create new account" from the home page and follow the instructions to create a username and password.

The training may also be accessed from the Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP) website at http://www.ifap.ed.gov/ifap/fsacoach.jsp.

go to FSA COACH website



Web Demo: FAFSA on the Web and FAA Access to CPS Online

The CPS Web Applications Demo System offers demonstration versions of FAFSA on the Web (FOTW) and FAA Access to CPS Online. The demo site contains all of the features of the production versions of the websites.

Financial aid staff can learn about FOTW and FAA Access to CPS Online, including the new Return of Title IV Funds on the Web, and they can also show students and parents how to use FAFSA on the Web.

Test student IDs and PINs are available for preloaded renewal application and correction records. These test records can be accessed in both the FOTW and FAA Access demos. FAA IDs and PINs are available for FAA Access. The data you enter is saved for the day you enter it and is cleared from the database each evening.

The CPS Web Applications Demo site is located at fafsademo.test.ed.gov. It is password-protected, so when you click on the link, a login box will appear. Enter the following:
User name:  eddemo  (case-sensitive).
Password:  fafsatest  (case-sensitive).

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Last updated January 21, 2016

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