September 26, 2020

ANN2005

ANN2005

Dear Colleague:

We are pleased to announce the launch of our 2020–21 Fundamentals Training Series program. This training series is comprised of two courses:

  • FSA Coach Fundamentals 2020–21, a self-paced, online course that launches Oct. 1, 2020 on our Federal Student Aid E-Training website, and

  • Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration virtual workshop, scheduled for November 2020 through September 2021. Each virtual workshop is instructor-led, four and one-half days in length, and conducted online.

Participants wishing to register for and attend a Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration virtual workshop must first successfully complete the online FSA Coach Fundamentals 2020–21 course. Together, the online course and virtual workshop comprise the Fundamentals Training Series.

Please Note: Due to the unprecedented disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) emergency, we canceled several 2019–20 Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration in-person workshops earlier this year. To accommodate those impacted by these cancellations, participants who successfully completed the online FSA Coach Fundamentals 2019–20 course will be allowed to register for one of the virtual workshops scheduled through March 2021. Participants who have already completed the 2019–20 Fundamental Training Series (both the online and in-person training) will NOT be allowed to register for the virtual workshops due to space restrictions.

This announcement provides information about the virtual workshops scheduled for November 2020 through March 2021. Please note that the virtual workshops are categorized by school type: clock hour or credit hour. Additional virtual workshops for April 2021 through September 2021 will be announced in the spring.

The following Questions and Answers provide important information about the workshops.

QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

Q1: Who must attend the training?

A1: If your school meets either of the following criteria, you must attend the Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration training:

  • Your school is applying to participate in the Title IV federal student aid programs for the first time, and needs to fulfill the Fundamentals training requirement to complete your certification, or

  • Your school is undergoing a change of ownership (in some instances).

Questions about these requirements should be directed to the regional School Participation Division office that serves your school. Contact information can be found on the Electronic Application for Approval to Participate in the Federal Student Financial Aid Programs (E-App) home page.

If your school meets one of the criteria above, you must ensure that the Owner/President/CEO (or their high-level school official designee) and Financial Aid Administrator attend and complete Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration training. Both the Owner/President/CEO (or their high-level school official designee) and the Financial Aid Administrator must complete the online course and attend all four and one-half days of the virtual workshop to fulfill the requirement. Please note that these two officials may attend different workshops; they do not need to attend the same session. To get started, see Q6: How do I register for the training?

Q2: Who may attend the training?

A2: Individuals who do not meet the criteria as outlined above but wish to attend as a refresher or as basic training on the Title IV programs may attend.

Q3: I work at a clock-hour school. May I attend any training session?

A3: No. The redesigned virtual workshops are divided into clock and credit-hour workshops to streamline the workshop in an online format. Please be sure to register for a workshop that covers your school type.

Q4: I work at a credit-hour school. May I attend any training session?

A4: No. The redesigned virtual workshops are divided into clock and credit-hour workshops to streamline the workshop in an online format. Please be sure to register for a workshop that covers your school type.

Q5: What will the training cover?

A5: The online course, FSA Coach Fundamentals 2020–21 and the virtual workshop, Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration, address the following topics:

  • What are the Title IV federal student aid programs?

  • How does a school obtain and maintain institutional eligibility?

  • What must a school do to request and receive funds from the Department of Education?

  • What policies and procedures does a school need to have in place?

  • How does a school process aid for its students by determining eligibility, calculating financial need, packaging aid, adjusting aid, and recalculating aid?

  • What are the requirements for disbursing aid to students?

  • What must a school do in regard to exit interviews and calculating a return of Title IV aid (R2T4)?

  • What are the reporting requirements for a school?

Q6: How do I register for the training?

A6: Anyone wishing to attend the virtual, four and one-half day workshop, Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration, must first successfully complete the online, self-paced prerequisite course, FSA Coach Fundamentals 2020–21. The online course will be available on Oct. 1, 2020. Please plan ahead and complete the online training so that you can register for the virtual workshop you want to attend.

After successfully completing the online course, you will be provided a link to register for one of the virtual Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration workshops. If you are unable to attend, we require that you cancel your registration so that other individuals who wish to attend may do so. Your seat in the workshop is reserved until you cancel your registration.

Each person wishing to attend the virtual workshop must register with their own, unique email address. The registration system will allow an email address to be used only once for registration.

Please Note: As stated previously, due to the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) emergency, we canceled several 2019–20 Fundamentals of Federal Student Aid Administration in-person workshops. To accommodate those impacted by these cancellations, participants who successfully completed the online course for 2019–20 but were unable to attend an in-person workshop will be allowed to register for one of the virtual workshops scheduled through March 2021. Participants who have already completed the 2019–20 Fundamental Training Series (both the online and in-person training) will NOT be allowed to register for the virtual workshops due to space restrictions.

To access the online FSA Coach Fundamentals 2020–21 course and receive information about the registration process, follow these steps on or after Oct. 1, 2020:

  1. Go to the Federal Student Aid E-Training website, located at https://fsatraining.ed.gov.

  2. Log in to Federal Student Aid E-Training with your username and password.

    If you do not have a username and password for Federal Student Aid E-Training, click on “Create new account” at the bottom of the login page and follow the instructions to create a username and password.

  3. After logging in, click on the “Fundamentals Training Series” box in the middle of the home page (identified with a graduation cap icon).

  4. Click on the “Let’s Get Started” tab and click on the select here link in the first bullet.

  5. Click on Self Enrollment for the “FSA Coach Fundamentals 2020–21” course and proceed with the train.

Q7: When are the virtual workshops?

A7: The virtual workshops will be offered November 2020 through September 2021.The schedule through March 2021 is as follows:

Clock Hours Workshops Credit Hours Workshops
Nov. 2–6, 2020 Nov. 16–20, 2020
Jan. 11–15, 2021 Feb. 22–26, 2021
Jan. 25–29, 2021 March 22–26, 2021
Feb. 8–12, 2021  
March 8–12, 2021  

ALL WORKSHOP HOURS ARE NOTED IN CENTRAL TIME (CT). Workshop hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. CT, Monday through Thursday, and 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. CT on Friday. In addition, participants will be required to complete activities before and after these core hours.

Note: This information is provided for planning purposes only. As a reminder, you may not register for one of the virtual workshops until you have completed the online FSA Coach Fundamentals 2020–21 course and have received the registration link. The one exception to this are participants who successfully completed the online course for 2019–20 but who were unable to attend an in-person workshop: as stated previously, these participants may register for one of the virtual workshops scheduled through March 2021.

Q8: Is there a charge to attend the workshop? What do I need to bring?

A8: There is no charge to attend the workshop.

Once you have registered, your registration confirmation email will provide specific instructions for the downloading and printing of all workshop materials. We recommend you have pens/pencils, highlighters, and a calculator on hand for the virtual sessions. In addition, because our goal is to replicate the in-person classroom experience as much as possible, a webcam on your local computer is required.

Q9: Will I receive a workshop record of completion?

A9: Upon successful completion of the virtual workshop, attendees may access their “Record of Learning” through the Dashboard menu link in the black main menu bar on the home page of the E-Training website. You will be able to view and print your Completed Learning page as proof of completion of the Fundamentals Training Series.

We look forward to your participation in this training opportunity. If you have questions about the Fundamentals Training Series or the registration process, please send an email to coursehelp.fsatraining@ed.gov.

Sincerely,

Federal Student Aid