Financial Aid Verification Advisor/Counselor
The Financial Aid Verification Counselor 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 Financial Aid Program Manager.
This position supports the delivery and accountability for more than $105 million dollars of federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid funds to over 8,800 undergraduate and graduate students. The primary responsibilities of this position are to assist in advising students and families in receiving financial aid and with verification processing.
Advising duties will include daily advising and counseling of 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 as to other community resources that are available. This position also acts as an advocate and liaison between students and UCCS and other outside agencies.
Verification duties will include review of student documents collected for verification and correcting discrepant data. Duties may also include: imaging of student and parent documents, query creation, review of verification rules and interpreting federal policy in terms of institutional action and responsibility.
Processing duties may include running of system queries to maintain a timely response to document receipt and continue to uphold the office's compliance with federal, state and institutional regulations, evaluation of suspended ISIRs, adjusting aid and overawards and assisting in other IT related tasks.
- Review of financial aid documents that need resolved and the updating of the student information system.
- Make changes to student's Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and financial aid awards when applicable.
- Comment student file for discrepant data and seek resolution from the student either through mailings, e-mails, or phone calls.
- Research applicable U.S. Department of Education directive and/or Internal Revenue Service publications for the proper handling and resolution of student files.
- Assist in form creation to collect required information.
- Assist in aid year set-up to interpret Federal Regulations and translate into queries to be utilized in the Student Information System (CUSIS).
- Handle customer service related to verification questions; this includes: email and phone.
- Collaborate and train with the Counseling area to ensure a smooth verification process and seek ways to improve the student's experience while still adhering to federal regulations.
- Be a member of the IT staff meetings as well as trainings.
- Ensure queries are run and worked daily for optimal processing of aid.
- Review processing requirements and seek to improve upon current daily operations.
- Seek to automate processes where applicable and work with the more technical staff in office for the successful understanding and deployment of automation.
- Evaluate suspended and pushed ISIRs and apply federal and institutional policy to these files in a consistent manner.
- Assist in improvements to the Imaging system for both the external and internal customer.
- Be a technical resource for the Office in the absence of the more technical staff.
- Be an integral team member to the behind the scenes processing that takes place in order for aid to be delivered.
- Seek out new technologies to improve internal and external customers' experiences while working with our Office.
- Program responsibility will be responding to student emails received in the general email account as well as the uploading of any documents received into the financial aid office imaging system.
- Increase the student budgets and thereby; 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 of household members 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. Advise students on additional resource possibilities.
- Audit and verify application materials for completeness and accuracy. Contact students and parents by mail, email 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 students' files justifying decision.
- Counsel and advise students regarding satisfactory progress requirements to receive and retain their financial aid. Refer students who are having academic and/or personal problems to the Student Success Center, Counseling Center, or the Excel Centers.
- Help the University's recruiting effort by participating in Mountain Lion Experience, new student orientations, and 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 and to provide other information about the University.
- Written and telephone contact with students and parents in a recruiting effort based on referrals from the Admission Office, the athletic department, the University connection office, student success center, and other campus offices.
- 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 High Education Handbook, our national and state financial aid association newsletters and miscellaneous trade magazines and newsletters.
- Collaborate and confer 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.
- Troubleshoot why a student's aid was not paid and determine the path to rectify the situation. (e.g. packaging problem, disbursement error, SAP issue, residency issue, etc.).
- Approve short term loans for students from institutional funds for books & emergencies
- Outstanding knowledge of financial aid programs, eligibility requirements, needs analysis, and delivery of financial aid to students and families
- Strong analytical skills
- Detail oriented
- Excellent interpersonal and written communication skills
For the purposes of FLSA, this position has been determined to be exempt from (not eligible for) overtime under FLSA.
Salary Range: $43,000 - $46,000
The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs offers a full benefits package. Information on university benefits programs, 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 with at least one year of financial aid experience to be eligible as an advisor, if the successful candidate has at least three years of financial aid experience, they will be considered as a financial aid counselor in a higher education setting as a financial aid advisor/counselor or similar position.
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. Also requires strong customer service skills and experience working with diverse populations and excellent oral and written communication skills.
Special Instructions to Applicants:• Applications submitted by March 22, 2018 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, Unofficial transcript(s)
Application Materials Instructions:If you have technical difficulties with your application, please contact the CU Careers help desk at 303-860-4200 #5 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Job related inquiries should be directed to the posting contact.
Job Category: Academic Services
Primary Location: Colorado Springs
Department: C0001 -- Colorado Springs Campus - 40126 - Financial Aid / Std Emplmnt
Posting Date: Mar 8, 2018
Closing Date: Ongoing
Posting Contact Name: Amy Sutz
Posting Contact Email: email@example.com
Position Number: 00742968