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Financial Aid Officer Handbook

Whether you're new to financial aid or a seasoned veteran, the Handbook for Financial Aid Officers, developed by the Committee on Student Financial Assistance (COSFA), can serve as a valuable resource. This publication provides easy access to a broad range of information, resources, and tools to assist with your responsibilities as a financial aid officer.

Financial Aid Fundamentals

Available on the AAMC's Group on Student Affairs website, the Financial Aid Officer Handbook  contains a very detailed section on the fundamental 'basics ' every FAO should be familiar with to do their job effectively. This section provides a thorough overview of student aid programs for medical school students; including in depth descriptions of the most relevant student loan sources and websites to help you research and compile source and compliance information. In addition to the fundamentals, there is a considerable amount of information concerning the role of the FAO, both within your institution and with external partners.

Glossary, Acronyms, Timeline, and Webliography

No matter how long you have been in the business, the number of acronyms and specific jargon used in the financial aid profession can remain unfathomable. Perhaps one of the most valuable components of the Handbook is the section on Glossary and Acronyms . If it has been used by the financial aid community, it's included in this extensive compilation. The section containing the Timeline , which includes details of many federal requirements, provides FAO's with a solid foundation to build an office calendar. For the information too broad to include in the Handbook, the Webliography  provides an extensive resource of federal and other websites.

Loan Deferment Chart

Another frequently used and extremely helpful resource is the Loan Deferment chart , located at the end of the Handbook. Financial Aid Officers can print out the chart and provide it for their students to use in researching deferment eligibility. The chart is delineated by student/resident/employment status and displays the maximum amount of time allowed for various deferments. Loans included are: Stafford and SLS Loans, Consolidation Loans, Perkins and PLUS Loans. The far right column of the chart has an eligibility check box for students to check each deferment for which they qualify.

Handbook Quick Links

1. Understanding the Mission of the Institution 

2. Relationships with Internal and External Offices 

3. Role of the FAO 

4. Financial Aid Fundamentals 

5. Office Operations 

6. Timeline 

7. Glossary and Acronyms 

8. Webliography