Mapping Your Future: The basics of what you need to know about financial aid


The basics of what you need to know about financial aid

By Catherine Mueller

June 07, 2021

Anyone who has worked in financial aid for a few years knows when it comes to this industry, you learn something new every day.

And with so much to learn about financial aid, both new and experienced financial aid professionals can benefit from a basic training course.

The Department of Education recently announced the release of the FSA Basic Training for New Staff 2021-22 training course. In a June 4 Dear Colleague Letter, the Department said the “asynchronous, online course is designed for newly-hired, entry-level financial aid administrators” and “can also be used as a comprehensive refresher course for more experienced staff.” In addition, school officials from outside the financial aid office who want to learn about administering federal financial can use the course.

The course, which is self-paced and takes 20–30 hours to complete, includes the following modules:

  • Federal Student Aid Overview
  • The Student Aid Application Process
  • Packaging Aid/Pell and Loan Concepts
  • Managing the Campus-Based Programs
  • Cash Management
  • Student Departures
  • FAA Resources

FSA Basic Training for New Staff 2021–22 is available in the FSA Training Center, located at To access the training, log in to the FSA Training Center with your username and password. After logging in, select “Training Courses” from the main menu bar. From the drop-down menu, choose “FSA Basic Training for New Staff” and then select "Start Here" to launch the course.

For more information about the course, send an email to