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  • Affinity Group

    GSA Committee on Student Financial Assistance (COSFA)

    The GSA National Committee on Student Financial Assistance (COSFA) provides guidance on legislative and regulatory issues regarding the types, availability, and delivery of financial assistance, both loan and scholarship, to medical students.

    Committee Charge

    The mission of COSFA is to provide guidance on legislative and regulatory issues regarding type, availability, and delivery of financial assistance to medical students. COSFA achieves its mission through:

    • Receipt of regular reports from the Association staff on the status of specific financial aid legislation and national Association data describing the distribution of financial aid to medical students.
    • Consideration of educational and support programs and activities to assist schools in counseling medical students regarding the financing of their medical education and the repayment of student loans.
    • Assist with the development of topics for AAMC/GSA conferences and learning opportunities, including webinars.
    • Identification of special projects related to issues of national importance and interest.
    • Participation in GSA Professional Development Conferences and other AAMC/GSA learning opportunities. 

    Message from the Chair

    It is my honor to serve the national medical school financial aid community and the AAMC as the Chair of the Committee on Student Financial Assistance (COSFA). COSFA is one of the five national committees of the Group on Student Affairs (GSA) who are advisory to the GSA Steering Committee and AAMC. Our committee is comprised of the COSFA Chair, four regional representatives, an Organization of Student Representative (OSR) Liaison, Committee on Student Diversity Affairs (COSDA) representative, a Committee on Student Records (COSR) Liaison, and the GSA National Chair.

    The mission of COSFA is to provide guidance to our members and others on legislative and regulatory issues regarding the type, availability, and delivery of financial assistance to medical students. COSFA achieves its mission through:

    • Reviewing reports from AAMC staff on the status of specific financial aid legislation and national AAMC data describing the distribution of financial aid to medical students.
    • Assessing educational and support programs and activities to assist schools in counseling students about financing their medical education and the repayment of student loans.
    • Collaborating with the AAMC’s FIRST (Financial Information, Resources, Services, and Tools) team as well as other GSA committees.
    • Identifying special projects related to issues of national importance and interest.
    • Participating in Professional Development Conferences.

    On behalf of my fellow COSFA members we would like to thank the outgoing members for their contributions to the committee: Wendy Clark, Dr. Donna Jackson, Dr. Kathleen Kashima, Rich Ronnestad and Casey Wiley.  We would also like to welcome our new committee members, Dr. Alberto Diaz, Jessica Le Duc, Dr. Hilit Mechaber, Dr. Ranna Nash, and LaShaundria Thomas.   

    The COSFA committee will look forward to continuing the work of our previous COSFA chairs and representatives.  I encourage you to get involved by participating in our community calls, attending the AAMC regional meetings and national professional development conference.  Your ideas and suggestions will help achieve the committee goals and advance our efforts.

    Best,

    Cynthia R. Gonzalez (she/her/hers)
    Senior Assistant Director Financial Aid
    Northwestern University-Feinberg School of Medicine

    Member Resources

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    Financial Aid Officer Calendar

    The “Financial Aid Officer Calendar (Excel)" outlines key financial aid officer activities and responsibilities throughout the year. Developed by the Association of American Medical Colleges’ Committee on Student Financial Assistance (COSFA), the reference calendar is not intended to serve as an exhaustive list of financial aid officer duties, as priorities and tasks can vary. Please utilize this online format to add your own key dates and deadlines.

    COSFA Committee Roster

    Chair
    Cynthia  Gonzalez (November 2021- November 2024)
    Senior Assistant Director FSM MD Financial Aid    
    Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine

    GSA National Chair
    Hilit Mechaber, MD (November 2022 – November 2023)
    Senior Associate Dean for Student Affairs
    Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine
    University of Miami Miller School of Medicine

    Committee on Student Diversity Affairs (COSDA) Representative
    Ranna Nash, PhD (November 2022 - November 2025)
    Assistant Professor of Clinical Medical Education
    Assistant Dean for Student Development
    Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California

    Committee on Student Records (COSR) Liaison to COSFA
    Vacant

    COSFA Liaison to Committee on Student Records (COSR)
    La Shaundria L. Thomas, MSM (November 2022 - November 2025)
    Program Manager I 
    Medical Student Financial Services/Admissions and Enrollment Management 
    Heersink School of Medicine UAB | The University of Alabama at Birmingham

    Central Region (CGSA) Representative
    John Stiles, MEd (March 2022- November 2024)
    Office of Student Financial Services
    University of Cincinnati College of Medicine

    Northern Region (NEGSA) Representative
    Michael Sabara, MEd (November 2021- November 2024)
    Director of Financial Services
    University of Pennsylvania
    Perelman School of Medicine

    Southern Region (SGSA) Representative
    Alberto J. Diaz Jr., Ph.D. (November 2022 - November 2025) 
    Director of Financial Assistance
    Office of Student Affairs 
    Florida International University 
    Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine

    Western Region (WGSA) Representative
    Jessica R Le Duc, MS (November 2022 – November 2025)
    Director of Financial Aid
    The University of Arizona
    College of Medicine-Tucson

    Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) Liaison
    Vacant

    AAMC Staff Liason
    Irena Tartakovsky, MD, MS
    Director, Constituent Engagement
    Association of American Medical Colleges