Lee Bray Earns Notable Financial Aid Certification
WINTERVILLE—Pitt Community College’s Lee Bray used a combination of experience, persistence and preparation to earn a prestigious and somewhat rare certification this month from the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA).
Bray, who has worked as Pitt’s financial aid director the past five years, received NASFAA’s FAAC designation by successfully passing a two-hour exam that covered all aspects of financial aid and administrative capability. The certification affirms she has the foundational knowledge necessary to effectively administer Title IV federal student aid programs at colleges and universities across the country as a financial aid professional.
“The certification is an important step in my financial aid career,” Bray said. “With regulations changing constantly and the breadth of information we have to retain, this exam certifies that I am among the best in my field at administering financial aid and adhering to regulations.”
With 16 years of financial aid experience, including six at PCC, Bray initiated the process for earning FAAC status nearly a year ago. After gaining approval from Pitt administrators to pursue the certification, she successfully applied to NASFAA to take the test.
“I needed a certain number of years working in financial aid in order to even qualify to take the exam,” she said. “After I was approved, I had to study for the exam, which took about nine months.”
PCC Assistant Vice President of Enrollment Services Brian Jones said Bray’s certification is significant.
“There are only 388 financial aid directors in the nation who hold this designation and very few within the community college landscape,” he said, adding that Bray is certified for the next three years.
An active member of four financial aid organizations and a pair of executive state boards, Bray has recently begun working closely with the N.C. Community College System Office on various state-driven committees. She says she is happy to know PCC will also receive recognition through her certification.
“There is a national registry of individuals who have passed the NASFAA exam, and it includes the schools they work for, so I am proud to know that I will be representing PCC on that list,” she said.