Assistant Director of Counseling
The Assistant Director of Counseling position for the Office of Financial Aid, Student Employment & Scholarships is a full-time professional exempt position that provides professional services and expertise to the Office of Financial Aid and reports to the Associate Director of Client Services. This position supports the delivery and accountability for more than $100 million dollars of federal, state, institutional and private financial aid funds to over 8,800 undergraduate and graduate students.
The primary responsibility of this position is to supervise and train the staff of 4 Financial Aid Counselors and Financial Aid Advisors as they assist students and families in receiving financial aid. The position will oversee the operation of the front lobby, the phone bank and the daily email responses to the general financial aid email address. It will also be one of a hands-on counselor to assist with coverage when needed to provide quality customer service to families at all times of the year as they seek assistance with the financial aid process. The position will be responsible for the training, scheduling and reviews of the counseling and peer counseling staff and ensure proper coverage of all front-line operations of the office. In addition, this position will organize requested speakers for all outreach events that require counseling assistance, including orientations, high school nights, Mountain Lion Experience, tours and general outreach requests.
The Assistant Director of Counseling will also be a crucial part of quality assurance of the financial aid delivery at University of Colorado Colorado Springs, and will be an integral part of troubleshooting financial aid issues and assist in communications review and development. As part of the counseling team, the Assistant Director of Counseling will also be responsible to provide direct assistance to students and their families by examining financial aid applications for completeness, evaluating incoming documents for accuracy, resolving discrepancies in information, ensuring proper payments of awards, and giving students alternatives to Federal and State financial aid to meet their educational costs. The position is also responsible for reviewing the accuracy of numerous federal and state reports required by the office to complete. This position is also an advocate on the local, state, and national level for students and their families regarding financial aid.
Supervising counseling staff and overseeing daily operations of front-line lobby, phone bank and email responses to ensure top-notch customer service of the financial aid programs. Daily advising and counseling students and families on all aspects' of the financial aid process for example: how to apply for need based and non-need based federal, state, institutional and private aid. Also advises them as to other community resources that are available to them. The position also acts as an advocate and liaison between students and UCCS and other outside agencies.
This advising will include:
- A student or their parents' financial situation has had a negative change since applying for financial aid. This could be from loss of job, divorce, death or other changes in the student's or family's situation. Federal, state and institutional guidelines are applied and an appraisal is made to adjust the student's eligibility. The student's file is updated and annotated to justify the decision.
- Determine if a student's financial stop can be lifted in order for a student to register by analyzing their financial aid for the academic year.
- Approve short term loans from institutional funds for books & emergencies for students.
- Increase the student budgets and, therefore, increase the eligibility for federal, state and institutional aid because of extraordinary expenses. Review the students' documentation and request for the increase and approve or disapprove the adjustment
- Adjust financial aid awards to student (increase/decrease) after new information is received. This could be from a change in enrollment status, family income, housing status, third party payments, assets, size of family or number enrolled in college. Adjustments to aid could include grants, loans, and/or work study.
- Be a resource for the peer counselors and be available for specific student requests to see a counselor in a more private setting.
- Deals with the highly technical field of "Need Analysis" and must apply state, federal, and institutional statues and regulations to determine eligibility and award students' appropriate aid. Counsels students on additional resource possibilities.
- Audit and verify application materials for completeness and accuracy. Contact students and parents by mail or phone to clear up any inconsistencies. Make final award decisions for the University, which include appeals to general rules and regulations by interpreting federal, state and institutional guidelines. Adjust students' budgets and/or need using "professional judgment." Update and annotate the student's file justifying decision
- Counsel and advise students regarding satisfactory academic progress requirements to receive and retain their financial aid. Refer students who are having academic and/or personal problems to the Student Success Center, Wellness Center, or the Excel Centers.
- Help the University's recruiting effort by participating in Mountain Lion Experience orientations by providing general financial aid information to prospective students.
- Conduct workshops and presentations in high schools, community colleges and other community forums to educate and inform the public about the process and application for state, federal, and institutional aid, as well as the availability of private funding. Also, to provide other information about the University.
- Written and telephone contact with students and parents in a recruiting effort based on referrals from the various campus offices such as Admission Office, the athletic department, and, student success center.
- Maintain expertise in areas of financial aid by attending staff meetings, conferences and workshops, and by studying federal, state, institutional and outside reading sources. These would include the Federal Regulations, Colorado Commission on Higher Education Handbook, our national and state financial aid association newsletters and miscellaneous trade magazines and newsletters
- Collaborate and confers with other campus offices and individuals on how changes in our or their policies will affect each other, the students and other offices. These offices include Admission and Records, University Connection, University Learning Center, Student Success Center, Bursars and Academic Advising.
- Trouble-shoot why a student's aid was not paid and determine path to rectify the situation (e.g. packaging problem, disbursement error, SAP issue, residency issue, etc.).
- Research why a student aid report was not processed and if a student might have made priority date. Decide whether to repackage the student's aid accordingly.
- Cancel financial aid awards for students who fail to meet eligibility requirements as set forth by institutional policies.
- Make changes in policies and procedures to reflect changes in the financial aid process.
- Assesses the need for and the eligibility amount of institutional short term loans to cover emergency situations.
- Determine if a student is eligible to apply for a dependency override by assessing student's individual circumstances and collecting documentation for the committee members to vote on.
- Determine specialties for each counselor position so that there is an equitable work process and sense of fairness within the counseling staff. For example, assigning Consortium Agreements to one counselor, Financial Aid Satisfactory Academic Progress issue to another, Policies and Procedures Manual maintenance to another, etc., and then following up to ensure that duties are being carried out.
- Communicates with students and parents to facilitate receipt of required documents to complete the student's financial aid file. Checks current students' satisfactory progress toward their degrees according to institutional policy. This process ascertains their continued eligibility to receive financial aid. Explains the appeal process to students who have not maintained satisfactory progress and what they must do to reinstate their eligibility for financial aid. Performs verification process, checking tax returns and verification worksheet against the FAFSA information, correcting when necessary and changing aid appropriately.
- Interprets Federal and State regulation concerning the administration of financial aid program for student and parents. Provides direction in form completion, explaining the need analysis process and the funding sources used to offer financial aid.
- Counsels student about the loan programs which are available to help meet educational expenses. Explains the difference between need based and non-need based loans, interest rates and repayment options. Emphasizes the need to properly manage the loans debt, the obligation to repay the loan and conductions exit interviews to offer deferment options for students leaving school. Explains a refund and repayment procedure for students who withdraw from school during a refund period.
- Attend training sessions conducted by the Federal Department of Education (DOE) in order to stay abreast of changes in regulation dealing with the application for and disbursement of financial aid. Receives training material thru the DOE site and from NAFSAA pertaining to changes in rules dealing with financial aid regulations. Shares knowledge with other financial aid professionals through participation in state, regional and national association conferences.
- Supervises all financial aid counselors as to the quality of information disseminated to students pertaining to the complete financial aid application process to insure that all current and prospective students are treated in a fair and expeditions manner. Conducts ongoing training in order to maintain the highest level of expertise in the area of forms completion and verification of the information supplied by the students/parents. Updates office policies and procedures manual yearly to reflect changes in the Federal, State and institutional guidelines. Is responsible for all PPP (Yearly planning, coaching, and evaluation) for financial aid counselors. Utilizes effective management approaches and techniques for enhancing and increasing job satisfaction of counseling staff.
- Advise, counsel, or guide to solve problems or complaints and influence or correct action and behaviors. (i.e. Counsel students who are contemplating withdrawing from school due to academic problems. Offer alternative solutions such as dropping a class, taking an incomplete, and referring the student to the Learning Center to upgrade skills.)
- Mediate problems with irate student and/or parents who feel they are not being understood by counseling staff. (i.e. If a student meets with a counselor and then files a complaint with higher administration because they feel they were misunderstand, they are referred to the Assistant Director of Counseling who has to mediate the situation and clarify the results to all parties involved.)
- Excellent supervisory skills and experience
- Outstanding knowledge of financial aid programs, eligibility requirements, needs analysis, and delivery of financial aid to students and families.
- Leadership abilities
- Excellent interpersonal communication skills
- Excellent written communication ability
- Outstanding public speaking experience and ability
- Strong customer service skills and experience working with diverse populations and excellent oral and written communication skills.
- This position requires a strong working knowledge of federal financial aid rules and regulations and full knowledge of financial aid programs, eligibility requirements, needs analysis, and delivery of financial aid to students and families.
For the purposes of FLSA, this position has been determined to be exempt from (not eligible for) overtime under FLSA.
Salary Range: $60,000 - $70,000.
The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs offers a full benefits package. Information on University benefits, including eligibility, is located at http://www.cu.edu/employee-services.
The University of Colorado is committed to providing a safe and productive learning, living and working community. To assist in achieving this goal, we conduct background investigations for all prospective applicants being considered for employment. Background investigations include a criminal history record check, and when appropriate, a financial and/or motor vehicle history check.
- Bachelor's degree
- At least seven years experience in positions that require detailed application of financial aid rules and regulations.
- Minimum of 3 years supervisory experience in a multi-faceted customer service operation required.
- Master's degree preferred but can substitute with matching years of experience.
Special Instructions to Applicants:• Applications submitted by July 14, 2017 will receive full consideration. • Applications submitted through email or surface mail will not be considered. Please apply at www.cu.edu/cu-careers. • Upon request, please be prepared to provide five professional references (at least two previous/current supervisors), including their email contact information. • Official Transcripts will be required upon hire.
Application Materials Required:Cover Letter, Resume/CV
Job Category: Academic Services
Primary Location: Colorado Springs
Department: C0001 -- Colorado Springs Campus - 40126 - Financial Aid / Std Emplmnt
Posting Date: Jun 29, 2017
Closing Date: Ongoing
Posting Contact Name: Brooke Allen
Posting Contact Email: email@example.com
Position Number: 00413501