Senior Financial Aid Counselor

Washington, United States
Salary Not specified
Mar 29, 2021
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time

Senior Financial Aid Counselor
University of Puget Sound
Job ID: 5709
Location: Student Financial Services
Full/Part Time: Full-Time
Regular/Temporary: Regular

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

Position Summary: Provides financial aid and student finance counseling to prospective undergraduate and graduate students, enrolled undergraduate and graduate students and parents. This includes determining need-based financial aid awards, employing 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, providing one-on-one counseling to students and families regarding financial aid awards, eligibility, educational loan opportunities and assisting in financial planning efforts that enable the student and family to meet their financial obligations for enrollment. Updates student aid eligibility as additional information is reported. Reviews documentation submitted as part of the federal verification process. Communicates with financial aid applicants and parents/spouses to resolve incomplete or inaccurate financial aid information. Responds to in-person, telephone and e-mail inquiries from parents and students about university financial policies and student account status. Partners with the SFS Specialists in managing student inquiries, scheduled appointments and walk-in visitors, especially during peak periods of activity. Partners and cross trains with Admission Counselor staff to communicate complex financial aid information and policies to recruited students and families and confidently engage in sensitive financial planning conversations throughout the student recruitment cycle. Participates in admission and student orientation activities. Teams with the broader Enrollment Division staff to ensure exceptional student service for prospective and current students and their families.

Performs federal, state and university refund and repayment calculations in accordance with federal, state regulations and university policy. May have responsibility for federal or state program fund management. May serve on committees or acts as a liaison with areas such as Admission, Study Abroad, Residential Programs, Registrar, and Veterans benefits.

Essential Job Functions and Responsibilities:
  • Analyze financial aid data and determine student eligibility for financial aid. Review and make decisions on professional judgement appeal requests. Prepare student award packages. Meet with students and families to discuss financial aid and student account related matters pertinent to their enrollment. Participate in both on and off campus financial literacy outreach activities.
  • Responsible for interpreting and implementing Federal Methodology, verification requirements, tax law regulations and requirements, state aid regulations and university policies as they relate to providing financial aid counseling and determining financial aid eligibility. Actively participate in maintaining current knowledge and compliance requirements for Title IV federal aid and state aid programs.
  • May be called upon to act as primary contact and resource for awarding special student populations such as Veteran Benefits, Yellow Ribbon Benefits, OT/PT Clinical Internships, and Study Abroad. Assist with Summer Term awarding.
  • Responsible for maintaining current knowledge of Washington State financial aid program rules, regulations, and requirements. This includes periodic reporting and reconciliation for state programs and submission of requests for funds.
  • Serves as part of the Student Financial Services team that evaluates, enhances and determines awarding and office processes and procedures. In conjunction with others, provides support to Director of Financial Aid and participates in new award year set-up responsibilities, to include establishing and testing document tracking parameters, verifying the accuracy of data entered in new award year tables; proofing student awards, and participating in testing to ensure the awarding program is functioning correctly.
  • Maintains a current knowledge of computer software used by Student Financial Services including PeopleSoft, EDExpress, Edconnect, ELM, and other software used by the U.S. Department of Education. Creates supporting policy and procedure documents as needed.
  • Produces reports utilizing PeopleSoft Query Tool, Excel or other ad hoc reporting programs. Creates queries to identify possible problems that require resolution.
  • Calculates return of funds for federal, state, and institutional aid in accordance with Federal, State, and Institutional regulations and policy for students dropping from full to part-time or completely withdrawing. Teams with Student Accounts staff to communicate effect of changes in enrollment on financial aid award and tuition, room, and board charges.
  • Manage private and PLUS loan programs, to include providing training to staff members to assist with loan certification and student loan lender selection processes, and partnering with team to resolve problems related to the loan process.
  • As part of a dynamic professional team, helps inform the coordination and training support to ensure success in achieving goals. Actively participates in discussions about unique individual student and family circumstances, special evaluation and awarding cases, and program management functions. 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 services.
  • Regular and predictable onsite attendance is an essential function of this position.
  • Other duties as needed

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Must demonstrate exceptional organizational, written and verbal communication skills. Must have strong knowledge of federal financial aid regulations and federal needs analysis. Must possess demonstrated problem-solving skills. Must have proven ability to work well with diverse populations of people. Must have demonstrated ability to work independently yet harmoniously in a team environment. Must be solutions oriented, possess excellent customer service skills and work well under pressure to meet deadlines. Must be cooperative, patient and demonstrate diplomacy.

Minimum Qualifications:
  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent related experience.
  • Minimum of three years related experience in university student services.
  • Minimum of 2 years' experience in the use of Federal Methodology (FM) needs analysis and a strong knowledge of Federal financial aid regulations is required.
  • Financial counseling experience required. Student caseload management experience highly desirable.
  • Familiarity and proficiency with technologies to include integrated student information systems, MS Office, Google Docs required. Experience with PeopleSoft Campus highly desirable.
  • At least two years of increasingly responsible data management experience.
  • Experience with Department of Education software programs and work with automated financial aid systems required.
  • Experience with Federal Direct Loan programs preferred.
  • Accounting background would prove helpful in this position, but not required.
  • A commitment to liberal arts education and cultural diversity required.
  • Ability to respectfully 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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