Position OverviewPrimary 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
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.
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.
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.
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..
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 tasksAny 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.