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Financial Aid Counselor

University of Puget Sound

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Academic Affairs, International Programs, Institutional & Business Affairs, Financial Aid
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Job Details

Financial Aid Counselor
University of Puget Sound
Job ID: 5843
Location: Student Financial Services
Full/Part Time:
Regular/Temporary: Regular

Staff Posting Details
Appointment: Regular, full time (1.0 FTE)

Position Summary: Reporting to the Director of Financial Aid, the Financial Aid Counselor provides the highest level of customer service in managing a caseload of prospective and currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students at Puget Sound. This position evaluates and helps determine need-based financial aid packages for students not awarded through automated programming, 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, and updates student aid eligibility as additional information is reported throughout the cycle of an academic year. This individual will also review documentation submitted as part of federal Title IV financial aid compliance, communicate with financial aid applicants and their families to resolve incomplete or inaccurate financial aid information, and respond to inquiries from all mediums about university financial aid policies and account billing status.

The Financial Aid Counselor provides comprehensive one-on-one consultation and expertise with student and family visitors regarding matters specific to financial aid and billing at Puget Sound. This position also supports members of the Student Financial Services (SFS) front line team in managing walk-in visitors, especially during periods of high volume. Participation in admission and/or new student orientation activities will be expected, as well as financial aid open-house/community FAFSA literacy events hosted throughout the region.

This individual will team with admission counseling staff to provide exceptional student service for prospective students and their families, while equally teaming with campus colleagues in academic advising, student affairs, and registrar to support persistence of the current student body toward graduation.

Work schedule includes option for partial telework arrangements.

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 responsibility for interpreting and implementing Federal Methodology (FM), verification requirements, tax law regulations and requirements, state aid regulations and university policies as they relate to determining financial aid eligibility. Actively participates in the teams shared responsibility for maintaining current knowledge and compliance requirements for Title IV federal aid and state aid programs.
  • May act as a resource for awarding special populations such as Veterans benefits and Yellow Ribbon benefits, OT/PT Clinical Internships, and Study Abroad. Assists with summer session awarding.
  • Serves as part of the SFS team that evaluates, enhances and designs awarding processes. In conjunction with others, provides support in award year set-up responsibilities and participates in program testing to ensure the awarding program is functioning correctly.
  • Maintains a current knowledge of computer software used by Student Financial Services, such as PeopleSoft, as well as other financial aid system tools such as EDExpress, Edconnect etc. used by the Department of Education.
  • Produces reports utilizing PeopleSoft Query Tool, Excel, and/or other ad hoc reporting programs. Creates queries to identify errors that require resolution.
  • Calculates return of funds for federal, state, and institutional aid in accordance with federal, state, and institutional regulations/policies for students dropping from full to part-time or completely withdrawing. Teams with SFS staff to communicate effect of changes in enrollment on financial aid award and tuition, room and board charges.
  • Assist with Federal PLUS and private educational loan programs and partner with team to resolve problems related to loan processes.
  • As part of a dynamic professional team, helps inform the coordination and support for the greater SFS team to ensure success in achieving goals. Active participant in discussions about individual student and family circumstances, special evaluation, and awarding cases. 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 service needs.
  • Regular and predictable attendance is an essential function of this position.
  • Other duties as needed.

  • Bachelor's degree required. Experience in financial aid/higher education preferred.
  • Experience in customer relations required.
  • Excellent math, analytical, and data interpretation skills is desirable.
  • Experience in the use of Federal Methodology (FM) need analysis and knowledge of federal financial aid regulations is desirable.
  • Experience with Federal Direct Loan programs is preferred.
  • Demonstrated computer proficiency in Microsoft Office. Experience with enterprise system such as PeopleSoft and other Financial Aid programs such as: COD, NSLDS, EdConnect, IFAP, FAA access to CPS online, and ELM preferred.
  • Accounting background would prove helpful in this position, but not required.
  • Ability to professionally represent University of Puget Sound in a variety of situations.
  • Ability to work with a high level of accuracy in a fast-paced environment with many interruptions.
  • Ability to handle information in a confidential and professional manner.
  • Strong oral and written communication skills. Ability to communicate effectively and professionally with a variety of different groups including students, government agencies, vendors, and offices within the University.
  • A commitment to liberal arts education and cultural diversity required.
  • Ability to successfully work, communicate, and provide leadership within a diverse campus community.

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.

Puget Sound offers a generous benefits package. For more information, visit:

Application Deadline: Review of applications will begin immediately. Search and selection procedures will be closed when a sufficient number of qualified candidates have been identified.

Required Documents:
    Resume Letter of Interest

Applications submitted without the required attachments will not be considered.

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.

Diversity Statement:
    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:

The University of Puget Sound is an equal opportunity employer.

How to Apply
For complete job description and application instructions, visit:

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" ( 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


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Working at University of Puget Sound

The University of Puget Sound is an independent residential undergraduate liberal arts college with selected graduate programs building effectively on a liberal arts foundation. The University, as a community of learning, maintains a strong commitment to teaching excellence, scholarly engagement, and fruitful student-faculty interaction.

The mission of the University is to develop in its students capacities for critical analysis, aesthetic appreciation, sound judgment, and apt expression that will sustain a lifetime of intellectual curiosity, active inquiry, and reasoned independence. A Puget Sound education, both academic and co-curricular, encourages a rich knowledge of self and others, an appreciation of commonality and difference, the full, open, and civil discussion of ideas, thoughtful moral discourse, and the integration of learning, preparing the University's graduates to meet the highest tests of democratic citizenship. Such an education seeks to liberate each person's fullest intellectual and human potential to assist in the unfolding of creative and useful lives.

The University of Puget Sound campus offers a unique blend of ingredients for immersing yourself in learning: the unparalleled scenery of the Pacific Northwest, traditional Tudor-Gothic architecture, leafy enclaves for quiet study, and common areas infused with an indisputable energy. The campus is just minutes away from downtown Tacoma, with its revitalized waterfront, thriving arts and culture scene, and an eclectic mix of retail shops and restaurants.

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