Financial Aid Counselor
University of Puget Sound
Financial Aid Counselor
Job ID: 4175
Location: Student Financial Services
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Provides financial aid and scholarship counseling to students and parents. Determines need-based financial aid awards for students not awarded through automated packaging programs. Employs professional judgment as appropriate for university, federal and state financial aid programs when there are special circumstances not accounted for in the student financial aid application. Updates student aid eligibility as additional information is reported. Reviews documentation submitted as part of the federal verification process. Communicates with financial aid applicants and parents/spouses to resolve incomplete or inaccurate financial aid information. Responds to telephone and e-mail inquiries from parents and students about university financial policies and account status. Provides one on one consultation with student and/or parent visitors regarding matters pertaining to student financial services (SFS) at Puget Sound. Supports members of the SFS Specialists front line team in managing walk-in visitors, especially during periods of high volume student service needs. Participates in admission/orientation activities. Teams with admission staff to provide exceptional student service for prospective students and their families.
Assists with Early Decision awarding process. Performs federal & university refund and repayment calculations in accordance with federal regulations and university policy. May serve on committees or acts as a liaison with areas such as Admission, Study Abroad, Residential Programs, Registrar, and Veterans benefits.
Essential Job Functions and Responsibilities:
- Determines student eligibility for financial aid. Processes documents related to the evaluation of aid eligibility. Reviews special circumstance appeals. Prepares student award packages. Meets with students and/or families to discuss financial aid related issues. Participates in both on and off campus outreach activities.
- Participates and shares in the team's responsibility for interpreting and implementing Federal Methodology, verification requirements, tax law regulations and requirements, State aid regulations and University policies as they relate to providing financial aid counseling and determining financial aid eligibility. Actively participates in teams shared responsibility for maintaining current knowledge and compliance requirements for Title IV federal aid and state aid programs.
- May act as primary contact and resource for awarding for special populations such as Americorps, Veterans Benefits and Yellow Ribbon Benefits, OT/PT Clinical Internships, and Study Abroad. Assists with Summer Session awarding and Early Decision awarding.
- Assists Associate Director for Financial Aid with all levels of endowed institutional and outside scholarship processing, tracking, awarding, promotion, stewardship and reporting.
- Assists in administration of Federal Pell and associated federal grant programs. Administers Washington State Need Grant and other State programs. Primary responsibility for maintaining current knowledge of Washington State aid program rules, regulations and requirements. This includes periodic reporting and reconciliation for state programs and submission of requests for funds.
- Monitors financial aid web sites and list serves (including IFAP, NASFAA, DOE, Finaid-L) and notifies Student Financial Services team regarding system and regulation updates.
- Serves as part of the Student Financial Services team that evaluates, enhances and designs awarding and office processes. In conjunction with others, provides support to Associate Director for Financial Aid and participates in new award year set-up responsibilities, to include establishing and testing document tracking parameters, verifying the accuracy of dates, amounts, and values entered in new award year tables; proofing student awards, and participating in programming testing to ensure the awarding program is functioning correctly.
- Maintains a current knowledge of computer software used by Student Financial Services including PeopleSoft and/or other ad hoc reporting tools, Excel, EDExpress, Edconnect and other software used by the U.S. Department of Education. Creates supporting policy and procedure documents.
- Produces reports from the mainframe database utilizing PeopleSoft Query Tool, SQL, Excel or other Ad hoc Reporting programs. Creates queries to identify possible problems.
- Calculates return of funds for federal and institutional aid in accordance with federal and institutional regulations/policies for students dropping from full to part-time or completely withdrawing. Teams with Student Accounts staff to communicate effect of changes in enrollment on financial aid award and tuition, room and board charges.
- May assist with management of private loan programs, to include providing training to staff members to assist with private loan certification and student loan lender selection processes, and partnering with Functional Analyst to resolve problems related to the loan process.
- As part of a dynamic professional team, helps inform the coordination and training support for the SFS team to ensure success in achieving periodic and daily goals. Active participant in Counselor Team, which includes convening discussions about unique individual student and family circumstances, special evaluation and awarding cases, and program management functions. Responds to referrals and appeals from students and families in matters relating to financial aid award inquiries or appeals. Manages an active student caseload for awarding and other student finance services.
- Regular and predictable onsite attendance is an essential function of this position.
- Other duties as needed
Must demonstrate excellent organizational, written and verbal communication skills. Demonstrated problem-solving skills. Proven ability to work well with diverse populations of people. Demonstrated ability to work independently yet harmoniously in a team environment. Must be solutions oriented, possess excellent customer service skills, and work well under pressure to meet deadlines. Must be cooperative, patient and demonstrate diplomacy.
- Bachelor's degree or equivalent related experience.
- Minimum of two years related experience in university student services.
- Experience in the use of Federal Methodology (FM) need analysis is desirable. Must have financial counseling experience.
- A strong knowledge of Federal financial aid regulations is highly desirable.
- Experience using word processing, spreadsheet and database programs (Word, Excel) is required.
- Prefer at least two years of increasingly responsible data management experience.
- Experience with Department of Education software programs and work with automated financial aid systems highly desirable.
- Experience with Federal Direct Loan programs preferred.
- Accounting background would prove helpful in this position, but not required.
- A commitment to liberal arts education and cultural diversity required.
- Ability to respectfully work, communicate and provide leadership within a diverse campus community
- We acknowledge the richness of commonalities and differences we share as a university community; the intrinsic worth of all who work and study here; that education is enhanced by investigation of and reflection upon multiple perspectives.
- We aspire to create respect for and appreciation of all persons as a key characteristic of our campus community; to increase the diversity of all parts of our University community through commitment to diversity in our recruitment and retention efforts; to foster a spirit of openness to active engagement among all members of our campus community.
- We act to achieve an environment that welcomes and supports diversity; to ensure full educational opportunity for all who teach and learn here; to prepare effectively citizen-leaders for a pluralistic world.
Puget Sound is committed to an environment that welcomes and supports diversity. We seek diversity of identity, thought, perspective, and background in our students, faculty, and staff. To learn more please visit: http://www.pugetsound.edu/about/diversity-at-puget-sound/
Compensation and Benefits: Decisions about starting salaries are made based on the extent and relatedness of the candidate's education and experience and on internal equity and market considerations.
This position is non-exempt from the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Puget Sound offers a generous benefits package. For more information, visit: http://www.pugetsound.edu/about/offices--services/human-resources/overview-of-university-benefit/.
Application Deadline: Search and selection procedures will be closed when a sufficient number of qualified candidates have been identified. Interested individuals are encouraged to submit application materials no later than May 11, 2018 to ensure consideration.
Applications submitted without the required attachments will not be considered.
- Letter of Interest
All offers of employment are contingent on successful completion of a background inquiry and if applicable for the position, drug screen, physical test and functional assessment.
The University of Puget Sound is an equal opportunity employer.
How to Apply
For complete job description and application instructions, visit: www.pugetsound.edu/employment
About Puget Sound
Puget Sound is a selective national liberal arts college in Tacoma, Washington, drawing 2,600 students from 48 states and 20 countries. Puget Sound graduates include Rhodes and Fulbright scholars, notables in the arts and culture, entrepreneurs and elected officials, and leaders in business and finance locally and throughout the world. A low student-faculty ratio provides Puget Sound students with personal attention from faculty who have a strong commitment to teaching and offer 1,200 courses each year in more than 40 traditional and interdisciplinary fields, including graduate programs in occupational and physical therapy and in education. Puget Sound is the only nationally ranked independent undergraduate liberal arts college in Western Washington, and one of just five independent colleges in the Pacific Northwest granted a charter by Phi Beta Kappa, the nation’s most prestigious academic honorary society. Visit "About Puget Sound" (http://www.pugetsound.edu/about) to learn more about the college.
As a strategic goal and through our core values, University of Puget Sound is committed to an environment that welcomes and supports diversity. We seek diversity of identity, thought, perspective, and background in our students, faculty, and staff. EOE/AA