This job has expired

Financial Aid Counselor/ Senior Financial Aid Counselor

Sewanee: The University of the South
Sewanee, TN, TN

View more

Administrative Jobs
Institutional & Business Affairs, Financial Aid
Employment Type
Full Time
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Job Details

Position Overview

Primary Function:

Reporting to the Associate Dean of Admission for Financial Aid, counselors assess and resolve complex financial aid issues for students, families, university colleagues, and external financial aid partners. They are responsible for the overall administration of multiple federal, state, or institutional Financial Aid programs or processes (i.e., Federal Direct Loans, Federal Work-Study, Federal Pell Grants, Federal SEOG, Tennessee Hope Scholarships, State Grants, and Institutional Work-Scholarships, Tuition Exchange, Veterans Administration Education Benefits. Federal data loads through EdConnect, CSS Profile data loads, Federal Return to Title IV calculations, Private Educational Loan Program, Sewanee Educational Loan Program, website maintenance, Electronic Document Management) requiring access and knowledge of over 20 different software systems, portals or processing tools; advise students and parents regarding the financial aid application procedures, funding sources and availability, eligibility requirements, the aid delivery process, cost of attendance, payment options, billing processes, and the requirements necessary to receive and maintain funding. Each counselor manages an assigned caseload of Financial Aid applicants and recipients. Job duties are subject to state and federal regulations and annual review by outside auditing agencies, and periodic reviews by the State of Tennessee or the Federal Department of Education.

This position works with considerable independence and self-direction. Only the general direction and scope of the work to be accomplished are discussed with the supervisor. The staff member is expected to independently carry out position duties and understand what is expected and how to do it.

Career Band: 2B

Position Description

Typical Duties & Responsibilities:

Interpret and maintain current knowledge of federal, state, and institutional programs, policies, procedures, and regulations.Maintain expertise in multiple systems to support student success. Banner, Slate, Banner Self-Service, CampusLogic, TMS, Argos, Xtender (BDMS), COD, CPS, EdConnect, NSLDS, VAOnce, FAST, ELM, Tuition Exchange and ACS Portals, Handshake, College Board, NCAA, Handshake, DHS-SAVE, and others as needed and developed.Monitor existing policies and procedures to maintain compliance with relevant regulations. Recommend and implement policy changes, procedural improvements, and communication opportunities focused on student success. Counsel students and parents regarding the availability and required forms and complex application processes for obtaining financial aid; the aid delivery process; cost of attendance; the aid disbursement process; student accounts billing process; program/fund specific applications and requirements; enrollment onboarding; investigate available resources for appropriate financial assistance.Manage a caseload of aid applicants including but not limited to analyzing files to determine the appropriate type(s) and amount(s) of federal, state, institutional, and any other applicable sources of need-based financial aid; determine institutional calculation of family contributions; perform needs analysis: correction processing; resolve conflicting information; complete the federal verification process and manage applicant notification process while maintaining federal, state and institutional compliance.Determine and initiate the appeal process for families with unusual/mitigating circumstances. Exercise professional judgment to make exceptions and adjustments to the cost of attendance, need calculations or dependency status.Independently responsible for the overall administration of multiple federal, state, and/or institutional aid programs including but not limited to determining student eligibility, certifying payments, identifying and reporting changes, monitoring enrollment, monitoring satisfactory academic progress, processing disbursement, resolving discrepancies, monthly reconciliation and all required reporting.Coordinate with internal and external agencies as it relates to the management of aid programs.Develop and deliver financial aid communications and presentations in multiple media formats for various campus groups, high school students, parents, workshops, recruitment sessions, and outreach activities.Interface with students, parents, lenders, guarantee agencies, federal processors, software vendors, employers, donors, faculty, staff, and others as necessary to provide financial aid data, and guidance and resolve potential discrepancies and barriers to student success.Represent the University on and off-campus participating in professional development activities by attending appropriate conferences, workshops, training, and meetings related to assigned duties.Collaborate with Enrollment Management to promote, support, and achieve long-range student recruitment and retention goals.Analyze multiple quality control reporting sources to maintain compliance in all federal state and institutional programs.Assist in the preparation of statistical, budget, and survey reports.Provide a superior customer experience.Other duties and special projects as assigned to further the mission of the institution.

Machines & Equipment Used:

PC, fax, copier, printer, scanner.

Judgment Required:

Performance of the essential duties of this position is dependent upon independent ingenuity and developmental efforts.

Attributes of a Successful Candidate


Bachelor's degree in Business, Computers, Education, or a related field.


2 years experience in financial aid counseling; or six years experience in student financial aid, student counseling, or directly related experience is required.

Job-Related Skills:

    Self-starter, motivated to learn new tasks and information;Demonstrated respect and understanding of confidentiality issues with proven attention to detail is required;Ability to accurately interpret/analyze data and other relevant information;Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both orally and in written form, while explaining complex legal and other programmatic aspects of student financial aid; andSincere commitment to providing a superior customer experience.

Supplemental Information

Confidential Information:

Student records and detailed financial aid data, tax returns, court documents, medical records, etc. for student aid applicants and their parents. Staff wages and tax returns for employees utilizing the Educational Loan for dependents..

Work Environment:

Normal office environment, some travel possible, occasional evening and weekend work

Personal Interaction/Communications:

Student Contact: Daily; communicating, via telephone, individual appointments, written and electronic communications.Internal: Daily; communicating, via telephone, individual appointments, written and electronic communications, and formal and informal reports.External:Daily; communicating, via telephone, individual appointments, written and electronic communications, formal and informal reports

Physical Requirements:

  • Must be able to climb (many stairs, ladders)
  • Must be able to use hands for repetitive tasks

  • Any additional requirements specific to this position:

    The University of the South, commonly known as Sewanee, comprises a nationally ranked residential College of Arts and Sciences and a School of Theology. The University is strongly committed to the values of intellectual inquiry, diversity, equity, and inclusion, and living and serving in community. Situated on 13,000 acres atop Tennessee’s Cumberland Plateau, Sewanee is known for its stunning natural beauty while providing easy access to Chattanooga, Nashville, and Huntsville. The University is affiliated with the Episcopal Church and seeks to help employees of all backgrounds and identities flourish.

    DEI Institutional Statement:

    At the University of the South, our commitment to inclusion and belonging is grounded in our core values of community, courage, flourishing, and inquiry. We seek to build a community enriched by our diversity and centered on equity, justice, mutual respect, and shared responsibility.

    Equal Employment Opportunity:

    The University of the South is an equal-opportunity educational institution that is committed to creating and maintaining a diverse and inclusive campus environment.


    Working at Sewanee: The University of the South

    Known familiarly as “Sewanee” by its students, faculty, staff and friends, The University of the South offers an unmatched educational experience. The university remains purposefully small and dedicated to building a sense of community. All classes are taught by professors, not graduate teaching assistants, and close faculty-student interaction ensures that each student enjoys a rich and personal educational experience. It is not unusual for students and faculty members to work shoulder to shoulder on research projects and journal articles, to meet for coffee at a local eatery, or to serve together as members of the university orchestra, volunteer fire department, and other civic groups.

    The result of such individualized education is clear in the academic success of Sewanee students and alumni. The university has had 26 Rhodes Scholars—a number that puts Sewanee in the top four nationally among American liberal arts colleges—as well as 27 NCAA Postgraduate Fellows, 43 Watson Fellows, and dozens of Fulbright Scholars, and has an acceptance rate to graduate and professional schools that far outpaces its peers. The School of Theology has added to its alumni ranks countless bishops, including three of the last four presiding bishops of the Episcopal Church.

    Sewanee offers 36 majors, 32 minors, and 15 special programs, along with pre-medicine, pre-nursing, pre-law, and pre-business. More than 40 percent of students participate in study-abroad programs, and a comprehensive endowed program that provides financial support for summer internships has greatly strengthened career development for undergraduates. See more about Sewanee in the "Sewanee Snapshot" here.

    In an era of specialization, Sewanee upholds the broad-based ideals of liberal education as a surer means to success. At the University of the South, the adherence to outstanding liberal arts education and enduring traditions of honor, community, and respect have transformed many generations of students, and have earned the abiding loyalty and support of alumni who are enjoying lives of integrity, leadership, and service.

    The University is located atop the Cumberland Plateau between Nashville and Chattanooga, Tennessee. Sewanee’s physical environment, which includes the 13,000–acre Domain (as the campus and surrounding area is known), provides a remarkable academic and recreational resource, and an unparalleled place in which to study and reflect. It invites students to engage in both a multitude of outdoor activities and careful study of the natural environment.

    As the University celebrated the 150th anniversary of its founding in 2007–2008, it looked back on a rich history and forward to new opportunities for the next generations. “The essence of Sewanee is consistent from generation to generation,” said Vice Chancellor emeritus Joel Cunningham. “We are a university dedicated to liberal education, to time-honored traditions, and to our commitment to serve our students and this nation. We have been successful in advancing our mission, and I believe we have the resources and the will to ensure that Sewanee’s best years are still to come.”

    Get job alerts

    Create a job alert and receive personalized job recommendations straight to your inbox.

    Create alert