Advises and assists customers regarding all aspects of financial aid programs, forms, regulations, and procedures. Assists in the calculation of federal need analysis and awarding of financial aid. Responsible for reporting financial aid awards and budgets to appropriate agencies. May also be responsible for maintaining financial aid archives. Works independently under minimal supervision.
Distinguishing Career Features
The Financial Aid Specialist is the third level in a career ladder for financial aid transaction processing and reporting. To qualify for this level, prospective incumbents must demonstrate in-depth knowledge of financial aid programs to determine student eligibility and the ability to package and determine loan amounts. At this level, incumbents must also demonstrate advanced knowledge of the operating characteristics and features of federal, state, and internal computer programs used for financial aid and student information.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Specific duties may vary among departments and jobs. Incumbents typically perform a substantial portion or all of the following kinds of duties:
* Guides and advises students and prospective students concerning the financial aid programs. Explains complex policies and procedures.
* Reviews and evaluates financial aid applications to determine accuracy, completeness and financial need level. Uses federal methodology need-analysis criteria for review. Performs any required follow-up procedures to get additional information, correct errors or elicit more in-depth data from applicants.
* Verifies application data for accuracy. Compares FAFSA data with verification documents (104B, Worksheets, W-2s etc.). Corrects information on a financial or student database, performs needs analysis, prepares computer files for reprocessing.
* Packages and determines award levels within established guidelines. Communicates award levels with students, sets up accounts along with disbursement and payment dates, and receives and allocates award funds from grantors.
* Grants financial aid awards. Determines need levels, confirms resources, and awards funds within pre-existing parameters. Uses automated data entry/access programs to secure funds from available resources, or manually inputs awards on an individual student by student basis.
* Provides one-on-one advising for students, parents, or others regarding financial aid issues, procedures to award, reasons for denial or lack of eligibility, deadlines, petition processes and other relevant issues.
* May provide partial leadership over certain aspects of the day-to-day office routine by organizing and prioritizing workload, reviewing applications and awards for accuracy and compliance, and reviewing financial aid budget projections.
* Assists applicants in completing the various forms required for financial aid. Resolves problems with applications and/or financial aid checks.
* Reviews student satisfactory academic progress. Requests and reviews transcripts and other materials to support packaging of financial aid and/or collection of amounts owed.
* Administers or serves as primary resource for one or more programs such as but not limited to, special grant, study abroad, and state or local arrangement.
* Troubleshoots and resolves problems associated with financial aid application status, award levels, student information, communications among separate computer systems, and data integrity. Updates data, rate, and award tables.
* Maintains ongoing paper and computer-aided records and databases. Ensures privacy of confidential financial aid records and archives.
* Extracts and imports information from financial aid databases to support reporting and auditing. Updates tables in databases to reflect current rates and schedules.
* Troubleshoots problems accessing, storing, manipulating, remitting, and extracting data to and from financial aid and student databases.
* Performs other duties as assigned that support the overall objective of the position.