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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

    On behalf of my fellow COSFA members, we are looking forward to another productive and exciting year for our financial aid community.

    First, some introductions:

    Please join me in welcoming to our new committee members: Dr. Donna Jackson (COSDA Liaison), Casey Wiley (Southern Regional rep), Kris Slaney (COSFA/COSR Liaison) and Marissa Miles (COSFA/COSR Liaison). We are all looking forward to working with you.

    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 in order 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) program.
    • Identifying special projects related to issues of national importance and interest.
    • Participating in Professional Development Conferences.

    This year, we will focus on:

    • Advocating around matters that affect medical schools and students, such as PSLF and GRAD Plus.
    • Providing improved professional development opportunities for our members that will result in credits towards nationally recognized certifications.
    • Collaborating with other student affairs committees to tackle recurring issues in our communities, such as SAP, Standard Term definitions, etc.
    • Providing tools for our New and seasoned graduates to navigate the PSLF and TEPSLF process.

    Our community is defined by its engaged, exciting, diverse, and thoughtful members, and I genuinely value input from each of you. I welcome your ideas and suggestions about how we can best achieve our goals and advance our efforts. I'd also be interested in hearing about your personal or professional endeavors, accomplishments, service efforts, or life events you would like to share with the COSFA community.

    Thank you, and here's to another great year!

    Damien Jackson MEd
    Asst. Dean, Office of Student Finance
    Albert Einstein College 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
    Kathleen Kashima, PhD (November 2021 – November 2022)
    Senior Associate Dean for Students
    University of Illinois College of Medicine

    Committee on Student Diversity Affairs (COSDA) Representative
    Donna H. Jackson, EdD (November 2019 - November 2022)
    Assistant Dean for Admissions
    Director, Student Outreach Programs
    School of Medicine
    Virginia Commonwealth University

    Committee on Student Records (COSR) Liaison to COSFA
    Kris Slaney, MBA (November 2019 - November 2022)
    Director of Student Records/Registrar
    University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson, Arizona

    COSFA Liaison to Committee on Student Records (COSR)
    Wendy Clark (November 2020 - November 2023)
    Financial Aid Administrator     
    University of Utah School of Medicine

    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
    Casey Michael Wiley, MEd (November 2019 - November 2022)
    Manager of Financial Aid and Registration
    University of South Carolina College of Medicine

    Western Region (WGSA) Representative
    Rich Ronnestad, MS, CFP (November 2020 - November 2023)
    Director of Financial Education, Scholarship Support
    Washington State University Elson S. Floyd College of Medicine

    Organization of Student Representatives (OSR) Liaison
    Vacant

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