Three members of Bridgewater College’s Financial Aid Department have earned credentials from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), the only national nonprofit association with a primary focus on student aid programs.
Associate Director of Financial Aid Betsy Henderson and Financial Aid Counselor Tori Pullin earned credentials in August 2022, joining Director of Financial Aid Joshua North, who most recently renewed his credentials in May 2022. To earn credentials from NASFAA, each individual must demonstrate knowledge in the test-subject area and pass the respective test.
With three NASFAA-credentialed staff members, Bridgewater College is home to the second-largest number of staff holding credentials out of the 28 member colleges of the Council of Independent Colleges in Virginia (CICV). Along with North, Henderson and Pullin, BC’s financial aid department is rounded out by Financial Aid Coordinator Jennifer Puffenbarger who has 28 years of experience in the department.
“Our financial aid staff are proven leaders in the financial aid community and strong advocates for student success. The training and resources provided at the national level allow our financial aid team to maintain compliance and process financial aid applications more effectively and efficiently,” said Michael Post, Bridgewater College’s Vice President for Enrollment Management.
In addition, North is one of more than 220 financial aid professionals across the country who have earned all credentials offered by NASFAA. In Virginia, he is one of six professionals who hold the maximum amount of credentials.
North also holds the FAAC designation awarded through NASFAA’s certified financial aid administrator program. He is just one of two financial aid professionals in Virginia and the only one in the Shenandoah Valley who holds both the top credentials from NASFAA and the FAAC designation.
The FAAC designation affirms the individual possesses foundational knowledge necessary to effectively administer Title IV federal student aid programs at colleges and universities across the country. To be eligible for the designation, a financial aid professional must have a bachelor’s degree or higher, pass a comprehensive certification exam, agree to abide by NASFAA’s statement of ethics and work as a financial aid administrator for at least one year.
North holds credentials in multiple facets of financial aid including, but not limited to, the student aid application processes, direct loans, need analysis and cash management. He joined Bridgewater College in June 2021 and has worked as a financial aid professional for 16 years. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and French from Missouri Western State University and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in higher education student affairs from Fort Hays State University.