Professional Judgment

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Class starts: May 4, 2015

Cost: $299 per registrant (members and non-members).

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This course introduces participants to professional judgment, including circumstances for which a financial aid administrator may exercise it, documentation requirements, recalculating a student’s financial need, and adjusting financial aid. This online course is a perfect collaborative learning tool for advanced financial aid professionals, and has been designed with the necessary tools, equipment and subject matter expertise to aid you through the educational process. A credential is provided after successfully completing and passing the credential test, which is available at the conclusion of the course and included in your course fee.

NASFAA University courses are 100% online with an asynchronous focus, meaning the individual attendee can log on anytime/anyplace (assuming they have Internet access) and participate in course requirements – naturally there are due dates they will need to adhere to, i.e. weekly assignments that must be completed. There are also weekly synchronous class meetings held one night per week at 6pm ET (schedule to be released soon). However, these “live” classes are optional and recorded for on-demand viewing by the course attendee. While there will be no grade reductions for students that do not attend these live classes, we do encourage attendance to due to the highly collaborative nature of the courses.

As a participant of this course you will be asked to:

  • Review educational presentations
  • Complete learning assignments and quizzes
  • Participate in online discussions
  • Collaborate with other financial aid administrators  
  • Lesson 1 – Overview of Professional Judgment Authority 
  • Lesson 2 – Using Professional Judgment in Need Analysis
  • Lesson 3 – Using Professional Judgment in Originating Direct Loans
  • Lesson 4 – Using Professional Judgment in Satisfactory Academic Progress 

Important Dates

  • 05/04/15 Class Meeting #1 (Optional Attendance) -- Live/Online 6pm - 7pm ET  
  • 05/11/15 Class Meeting #2 (Optional Attendance) -- Live/Online 6pm - 7pm ET  
  • 05/18/15 Class Meeting #3 (Optional Attendance) -- Live/Online 6pm - 7pm ET  
  • 05/27/15 Class Meeting #4 (Optional Attendance) -- Live/Online 6pm - 7pm ET  
  • 06/02/15 - 06/16/15 Credential Testing   

Course Scenario-Based Learning Video Example  

Below is an example of one of the scenario-based lesson videos made available to attendees each week. Learn how you should handle these complicated and often unique situations to determine if professional judgment is warranted, what documentation you should collect, and the important adjustments you might need to make to remain compliant.

Course Facilitators

Debra La Grone Debra La Grone began her career in higher education in 1990 after graduating from the University of Utah. Since then, she held various positions in financial aid offices at the University of Utah, Texas A&M University, Stephen F. Austin State University and Texas A&M University –Texarkana. She joined the NASFAA staff in 2011 as a Training Specialist in the Division of Training and Regulatory Assistance. She is responsible for researching and writing NASFAA training materials and webinars, updating NASFAA publications, and responding to technical questions regarding regulatory issues posed by NASFAA members. 

Eunice Powell Eunice Powell began her career in financial aid in 1979 at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she worked for more than 12 years in the Office of Student Financial Aid. Since 1994, Eunice has worked at NASFAA. Currently, she is a Senior Training Specialist in the division of Training and Regulatory Assistance. Eunice is responsible for researching and writing NASFAA training materials and webinars, updating NASFAA publications, and responding to technical questions regarding regulatory issues posed by NASFAA members. She is a graduate of Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland and Columbia College in Chicago, Illinois. 

brendamurthaBrenda Murtha, Director of Financial Aid, Augustana College, will be serving as adjunct faculty for the duration of this course. NASFAA is also excited to have Pam Fowler, Executive Director, Office of Financial Aid at the University of Michigan as a guest lecturer during one of the live classes! Please stay tuned for the date and time she will be presenting live to the class.

Cancellation Policy

We limit our online class size to ensure that we provide an effective, collaborative learning environment where participants receive experience and attention they need. Requests to cancel must be sent to

By submitting your registration, you agree to the following cancellation schedule:

  • $25 cancellation fee before May 1
  • $50 cancellation fee May 2 - 3 

If you do not cancel by 6:00 am ET May 4, you will be responsible for the full amount of the registration fee. Medical emergencies will be re-scheduled to another available course with a doctor’s note.