Financial Aid Verification Advisor

Employer
University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Location
Colorado Springs, CO

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Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Financial Aid
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution
Description
Envision yourself in a collaborative, inclusive, and innovative work environment that has a deep commitment to position our graduates for success in their professional and personal lives. Visualize applying your energy and skills for an organization that respects and cares about its employees enough to offer some of the best benefits of the industry while encouraging every team member to grow, collaborate, and provide input on how to consistently make the workplace a place people love to work. Imagine working at a college that welcomes everyone — students, faculty, staff, and community members — regardless of their backgrounds, beliefs, or traditions. If what was just described is what you look for in a workplace, welcome to the University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS)!

The Financial Aid Verification Advisor 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.

The Financial Aid office provides over $110 million dollars of federal, state, institutional and private funds to over 9,000 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.

Who We Are:

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs (UCCS) is one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system and is home to over 9,000 undergraduate and 1,800 graduate students. UCCS offers 53 undergraduate degree programs, 24 graduate degree programs, and 8 doctoral programs. UCCS is also home to the world’s only Bachelor of InnovationTM program, which allows our graduates to master multi-disciplinary skills and graduate ready to create real change in the world. UCCS was recently classified as a “High Research Activity” university by the Carnegie Foundation and takes pride in being the only higher education institution in southern Colorado that explicitly includes research as part of its mission. We have a strong focus in fueling student success by creating, using, and maintaining a multitude of offices – First Year Experience, Excel Centers, Academic Advising, and the Career Center just to name a few. Overall, UCCS is constantly focused of preparing our students to have success in the future, and we understand that every single employee on our campus has a significant effect on that focus.

The city, which was recently ranked as the number six Best Places to Live by U.S. News & World Report in 2021, known as Olympic City USA, rests at the base of Pikes Peak, the inspiration for the song “America the Beautiful” and a must-see for residents and visitors alike. The 14,115 foot summit is just one of dozens of area attractions, including scenic trains, museums, parks, a zoo and more. With a mild climate and 247 days of sunshine each year, the Springs boasts some of the state’s best recreation opportunities.

 

Job Duties:

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 over-awards and assisting in other IT related tasks.

Examples of duties:

Verification:

  • 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 (CU-SIS).

  • Handle customer service related to verification questions; this includes: email and phone.

  • Collaborate 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.

  • Processing:

  • 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.

  • Counseling:

  • 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.

  • Deal 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 Academic Advising, the 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.

  • Trouble-shoot 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.

  • Job Competencies:

  • 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   

  • What We Offer:

    Salary Range: Generally starting at $36,819 - $47,509

    The salary of the finalist(s) selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to, internal equity, experience, education, specialty and training.

    The University of Colorado Colorado Springs offers excellent benefits, some of which include:

  • Medical insurance, with the lowest cost option being $0 to the employee

  • Dental, Vision, Life and Disability insurance

  • Generous paid vacation and sick time accruals (14.67 hours of vacation and 10 hours of sick accrued per month, prorated if part-time)

  • Mandatory retirement plans. Employees contribute 5% of their annual compensation. CU doubles that and contributes 10%

  • Tuition Assistant Benefit available to you or a dependent

  • Paid Parental Leave after 12 months of employment

  • Off Campus Housing Resources 

  • Tentative Search Timeline:

  • The potential dates for interviews with the search committee will be the week of February 7, 2022.

  • The potential dates for interviews with the supervisor and appointing authority will be the week of February 14, 2022.

  • The potential employee start date is March 1, 2022.

  • The University of Colorado Colorado Springs 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. 

    UCCS is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. In compliance with applicable laws and in furtherance of its commitment to fostering an environment that welcomes and embraces diversity, the University of Colorado does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, religion, national origin, gender, disability, age, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, political affiliation or political philosophy in its programs or activities, including employment, admissions, and educational programs. Alternative formats of this ad can be provided upon request for individuals with disabilities by contacting the Office of Human Resources at (719) 255-3372.

    To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each of the established essential functions and meet the physical and environment demands described satisfactorily. The requirements listed are representative of the knowledge, skill, ability, physical and environmental conditions required of the employee on the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions, physical and environmental demands.

    Applicants with disabilities: If you have a mental or physical impairment, which limits one of your major life activities (e.g. walking, hearing, seeing, speaking, breathing, or learning) and require special accommodations for testing or interviewing, it is your responsibility to notify the office scheduling the interview or test at least 3 working days before the interview or test date.  If you need special accommodations at the work site, you must notify the appointing authority or Human Resources.

    The Immigration Reform and Control Act requires that verification of employment eligibility be documented for all new employees by the end of the third day of work.



    Qualifications
    Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor's degree with at least one year of experience in higher education including knowledge of federal financial aid programs
  • Preferred Qualifications:

  • CU-SIS (PeopleSoft Campus Solutions) experience
  • Master's degree in a related field
  • Physical Requirements:

    While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to sit.  Employee is occasionally required to stand and walk. Tasks may involve looking at computer screen continuously for long periods of time. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 10 pounds.  



    Job Category: Academic Services
    Primary Location: Colorado Springs
    Schedule: Full-time
    Posting Date: Jan 20, 2022
    Unposting Date: Ongoing

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