Financial Aid Counselor

Job ID#: 21-0304
Department: Financial Aid
Job Type: Staff
Job Status: Full-time
Date Posted: 03/04/2021
Desired fill date: Open until filled
Reports to: Associate Director of Financial Aid
Supervision required: No

Job Summary

The Financial Aid Counselor will be responsible for counseling students and parents on financial aid eligibility inquiries. The role will require awarding student financial aid for all academic programs in accordance with federal and institutional guidelines.  The Counselor will provide Program Management for one or more of the following programs: Federal Pell Grant, Student Employment, State Grants, Direct Loans, Endowed/Restricted scholarships and grant funds.  This role is also responsible for facilitating one or more of the following regular processes of the financial aid office: data integration; verification; withdrawals and the Return to Title IV Aid process (R2T4’s); disbursements; satisfactory academic progress reviews; outside scholarships and state grants.

This position may be considered for remote work from home, however in such cases and depending on departmental needs, occasional physical presence may be required at the Prescott Campus.  

Essential Responsibilities

Counsels students and parents                    

  • Manages a caseload of students, responding to inquiries and advising students and parents relative to various financial aid programs (i.e., eligibility criteria, application procedures, verification standards, academic progress requirements) and processing student documents as they are submitted
  • Explains institutional policies and federal regulations as they relate to financial aid eligibility
  • Provides clarification on the completion of the verification process
  • Advises students in conjunction with professional judgment procedures
  • Resolves issues regarding default, duplicate loans, denied loans, overlapping loan periods, etc. and follows through with Direct Loans to ensure loans are issued.

Reviews financial aid files and awards aid in accordance with federal regulations

  • Evaluates verification documents and resolves conflicts as appropriate
  • Communicates with students/parents when conflicts exist
  • Evaluates subsequent ISIR’s for potential changes to eligibility
  • Awards institutional scholarships
  • Packages students in all academic programs on a weekly basis
  • Conducts weekly file review and quality control checks

Provides Pro-Active Community Outreach re: Financial Aid and College Affordability

  • Works with the admissions team to support community education efforts re: financial aid.
  • Attends Preview Days, Student Acceptance Days, and Parent Panels to answer financial aid questions
  • Assists incoming students in understanding options for financing their education.

Oversees one or more major processes within the Financial Aid Office possibly including:

  • Data Integration: Facilitates and provides oversight to the integration of student data between admissions and financial aid, maintaining the current process while working with others on process improvements.
  • Verification: identifies and reaches out to families selected for federal regulation to assist them in completing verification requirements.  Reviews and processes verification documents as they come in.
  • R2T4 & Withdrawals: Maintains the process required when a student withdraws and/or goes on Leave of Absence, completing Return to Title IV (R2T4) aid calculations when required, educating students and families re: their financial responsibilities if and when aid must be returned, and maintaining accurate records for required reporting.
  • Disbursements: Oversees the weekly financial aid disbursement process, verifying student eligibility, reporting pending disbursements to the Department of Education, reviewing and troubleshooting possible rejects, facilitating the disbursement process to student accounts, and reconciling reports of transactions.
  • Satisfactory Academic Progress (SAP) review: Works with the registrar office on the review of student Satisfactory Academic Progress each term and informs students of the financial implications of poor performance including Financial Aid Warning and/or Suspension.  Reviews SAP appeals for extenuating circumstances and makes decisions regarding SAP probation.
  • Outside Scholarships and State Grants: Researches applicability of outside scholarships for all academic programs and updates Prescott College scholarship website monthly.  Advises students on researching scholarships and state grant opportunities on their own and coordinates periodic scholarship workshops for resident undergraduate students and prospective students.  Coordinates enrollment verifications and 3rd party invoicing for one or more 3rd party payment providers.

Education and Experience

EDUCATION

  • College degree - bachelor’s preferred, or combination of HS Diploma and equivalent work experience.                                                     

EXPERIENCE

  • Two years of generalized administrative office experience required.  Excellent customer service skills required.  Previous experience Title IV financial aid or in another highly regulated field (such as mortgage industry) preferred.  Previous public speaking experience preferred.

AUTOMONY AND ORGANIZATIONAL IMPACT

  • The financial aid counselor works independently on ongoing projects, and also works in collaboration with Director, Associate Director, other Financial Aid Counselors and other members of the Enrollment Management Team which includes veterans’ services, student accounts, registrar, admissions, and marketing.  Accurate and timely completion of the above responsibilities is crucial to the awarding of student aid; the colleges’ continued compliance with federal guidelines and regulations; and to providing an appropriate standard of customer service to our constituents.