Financial Aid Specialist
Student Financial Planner is part of a highly motivated one-stop team that provides first class student–focused support who assists and advises students and families through the financial aid, registration and payment processes. The Student Financial Planner provides a sophisticated understanding of registration, billing and financial aid policies and procedures, as well as the ability to explain these policies and procedures to student, prospective students and their families. The Planner uses independent analysis and analytical abilities to administer financial programs within guidelines and regulations.
• Utilizing workshops, individual appointments, web tools, email, social media and telephone to disseminate accurate and clear information while counseling, advising and directly supporting students and their families at all CIA campuses with finance and related processes.
• Maintain a current working knowledge of the financial planning processes of financial aid, billing and payment options and VA Benefits, as well as Housing, Admissions, Academic Advising and Registrar processes and how they relate to the students finances in order to fully and accurately advise them.
• Analyze student files to make an independent determination regarding eligibility for financial aid and then reviews, awards, verifies and processes financial aid paperwork, ensuring funds are awarded in accordance with Federal, State and Institutional regulations and policies.
• Independently conducts analysis on students who have had their Free Application for Federal Student Aid selected for verification, determine and request additional information as needed, submits corrections to the Department of education, evaluates eligibility and changes awards if needed.
• Support the maintenance of the knowledge management protocols for Student Financial Planning, ensuring that information is efficiently communicated within the department, to all applicable stakeholders and to students / families. Assists with the development of FAQ's and knowledge databases as required. Presents at and participates in team meetings and student forums as required to disseminate information.
• Assist students and families in developing a financial plan to cover any unmet financial need and meet payment deadlines.
• Process, post and reconcile student payments and deposits daily in the college's student administrative software.
• Read, interpret, and apply federal and state regulations and school policies as they relate to student finance, ensures compliance and deadlines are met.
• Collaborate with other offices and departments to provide appropriate resources to students, represents Student Financial Planning at various programs on and off campus, and serves on college committees as appropriate.
• Assist Associate Director and collaborates with other departments in developing strategies that support the goals and objectives of the department, division and college in enrollment, retention, student satisfaction and other related areas.
• Conduct financial aid presentations during freshman /transfer information sessions, Accepted student days and other admissions related events.
• Monitor students' satisfactory academic progress and adherence to academic degree programs to maintain eligibility for federal, state and institutional aid programs.
• Preform other job-related duties as assigned.
Other responsibilities as determined by assignments
Incoming student assignments
o Perform audits and analysis on incoming student accounts to identify students at risk of not entering on time and provide regular reports and analysis for the review of the Associate Director.
o Evaluate students who move entry dates to re-calculate budget and aid packaging in a timely manner.
Continuing student assignments
o Identify students, prior to registrations and graduations, that require account review, perform the analysis of the account, determine if student is cleared or requires action, and follow up with students to ensure clearance, prior to event.
o Responsible to review, advise, monitor and maintain records of students with special schedules and perform enrollment status changes. Work collaboratively with internal resources across departments to resolve scheduling issues for students, counsel students on the reentry and remittance process, as well as work with students looking to transfer to another CIA campus.
o Responsible for pre-collection efforts by proactively performing audits and analysis on student accounts to identify students with debit balances that are at risk. Contacting these students to ensure they are well informed and assist students and families with the necessary financial planning to help them meet their financial responsibilities to the school
o Identify students who are leaving school, prepare and conduct exit interviews, refund calculations and R2T4, according to federal regulations and institutional policy, for students leaving school
o Working with Advancement and other outside agencies, maintain and update the database of scholarships and grants, assist students with application process, review and award funds to qualified applicants.
o Responsible for certifying and processing student loans including the disbursement process, sending electronic data files to DOE and outside agencies, reconciling and managing all loan related communications after disbursement of funds, to maintain compliance with federal regulations.
o Responsible for certifying students, payment rosters, disbursement, reconciliation and reporting requirements for state grants, including but not limited to NYS TAP and Cal Grant, in accordance with each states regulations.
o Manage all aspects of federal work study community service program including communicating with not-for-profit organizations on available positions, announcing job opportunities, assigning positions, tracking and monitoring hours worked and earnings.
Veteran and Veteran Dependent student assignments
• Certify veteran student enrollments to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), by means of the VA web portal, as the designated Certifying Official approved by the VA.
• Detect and resolve problems with eligibility, entitlement, and fund disbursement.
• Collect information from VA students, in person and via phone or email, to collaboratively determine the type of VA benefits the student is eligible to receive, including the remaining length, percentage and amount of benefits.
• Determine the interpretation of changes to VA regulations, state law, and Institutional policy to ensure the proper implementation of those changes in order to remain in compliance with the VA.
• Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience in student accounts, financial aid, or other related office.
• 3 years working in student finance, financial aid or student accounts
Licenses / Certifications:
Experience working in Higher Education strongly preferred.
• Experience in multiple areas of student services, such as Registrar, Bursar and Financial Aid, an asset.
• Customer service experience
• Commitment to Customer service
• Knowledge of Federal Title IV and cash Management regulations
• Must be organized, detail oriented, able to multi-task and work independently
• Accuracy and attention to detail are imperative
• Excellent oral and written communication skills
• Written and oral communication skills
• Must be able to have the ability to sit for long periods of time.
• Must be able to work evenings and weekends as required.