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Financial Aid Specialist

Santa Fe College
Gainesville, Florida
36,835.00 Paid health and life insurance, retirement, leave time, and tuition waivers for SF and UF
Posted Date
Jul 15, 2022

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Position Type
Administrative, Student Affairs, Financial Aid
Employment Level
Employment Type
Full Time
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Application Deadline:               Friday, July 29, 2022


Salary & Benefits:                     Salary is $36,835.00. Compensation package is comprised of many college paid benefits including health and life insurance, retirement, leave time, and tuition waivers for Santa Fe College and the University of Florida.


Classification:                            Full-time, Career Service, Pay Grade C5, Non-Exempt.


Location:                                    Northwest Campus, 3000 N.W. 83rd Street, Gainesville, Florida 32606


Overview:  Santa Fe College (SF) has been recognized as one of the top-rated community college in the United States.  Santa Fe College is a student-centered institution with a commitment to open access, academic excellence, and cultural and ethnic diversity.  Santa Fe College is a comprehensive public college that offers a range of Bachelor’s degrees, Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science degree options, as well as Certificate and Non-Degree programs.  A high quality of life, temperate climate, proximity to the University of Florida, diverse cultural events, and plentiful recreational opportunities make SF and Gainesville an ideal community to work and live.  SF enrolls over 16,000 students each semester, retains and completes over 60% of students every academic year, while over 10% transfer into the University system


The Financial Aid Specialist is responsible for processing student files and is subject to internal and external audit scrutiny.  This position specializes in either the verification or packaging of student files by reconciling discrepancies, verifying eligibility for awards, sending notices to students, and updating related awards.  The Financial Aid Specialist possesses knowledge of College programs and resources and has a thorough understanding of applicable Financial Aid institutional, state, and federal guidelines and regulations. This position may need to work a flexible schedule, including extended hours during peak service periods and special events.


Responsibilities and duties include:


  • Advise, counsel, and inform students, parents, and staff about available financial aid opportunities, eligibility requirements, application processes, financial literacy, and College resources in person, over the telephone, and through email.
  • Carefully adhere to all department policies and procedures as translated from institutional, state, and federal guidelines and regulations, including FERPA, and participate in professional development on a continual basis to stay compliant. Assist students with the accurate completion of financial aid application documents and evaluate applicable supporting documentation.
  • Research and resolve problems related to discrepancies in application documents.
  • Verify files for high school and college transcripts.
  • Review student files and transcripts ensuring accuracy and eligibility standards are upheld.
  • Send verification requests to US Citizenship and Immigration Services to determine citizenship status.
  • Use discretion, based on established federal guidelines regarding eligibility, to reconcile, complete, and award student files.
  • Prepare awards for disbursement by the Office for Finance.
  • Review and resolve errors in the disbursement process.
  • Utilize complex computer programs, both internal and external, for reporting, tracking, and monitoring and to process, record, retrieve, and verify statistical data.
  • Communicate tactfully while exercising extreme diplomacy, empathy, and compassion when dealing with sensitive information, challenging situations, difficult, and sometimes disgruntled individuals.
  • Use appropriate strategies to diffuse tense situations and recognize when to make referrals to avoid escalation.
  • Conduct outreach events that promote Santa Fe College and general access to education by publicizing financial aid and financial literacy services to the community.
  • May need to work a flexible schedule, including extended hours during peak service periods and special events. Provide service excellence through courteous, informed, accessible, and professional engagement.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


Reports to: Coordinator, Financial Aid Eligibility



Required:  High school diploma or equivalent and four years of related work experience or a combination of completed education and/or related work experience equal to four years.  

Additional Requirements:  A criminal background check will be conducted.

Preferred:  Associate degree. Prior experience/understanding of one or more of the following areas: financial aid, accounting, higher education, or IRS tax rules. Experience/prior working knowledge of Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP). Database management skills.  


Knowledge, Skills and Abilities: 

  • Communication – able to effectively communicate in a professional, diplomatic, empathetic, and tactful manner using preferred method and level as applicable to the job.
  • Team Orientation & Interpersonal – highly motivated team-player with ability to develop and maintain collaborative relationships with all levels within and external to the organization.
  • Ability to work in a multi-cultural environment.
  • Organization & Time Management – able to plan, schedule, and organize tasks related to the job to achieve goals within or ahead of established time frames.
  • Relationship Management – able to personally provide high level of interactive service to others, building relationships and addressing identified needs.
  • Systems & Software - proficient level of knowledge of Microsoft Office and/or relevant position software programs.
  • Adaptability to Change – able to be flexible and supportive, react swiftly to and able to positively and proactively assimilate change in rapid growth environment.
  • Ethics – able to demonstrate integrity, professionalism, civility, and a high degree of ethics in all job-related actions.


Application Process:  All applicants must submit a completed online SF Employment Application, a letter of intent, an up-to-date resume/curriculum vitae, as well as academic transcripts to be considered for this position. Unofficial transcripts are only accepted for review purposes, official transcripts are required prior to any offer of employment being made.


If you are a retiree of the Florida Retirement System (FRS), please check with the FRS on how your current benefits will be affected if you are re-employed with the State of Florida. Your current retirement benefits may be canceled, suspended or deemed ineligible depending upon the date of your retirement.


Santa Fe College is committed to an environment that embraces diversity, respects the rights of all individuals, is open and accessible, and is free of harassment and discrimination based on, but not limited to, ethnicity, race, creed, color, religion, age, disability, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation), marital status, national origin, genetic information, political opinions or affiliations, and veteran status in all its programs, activities and employment.


Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies or concerns about discrimination or harassment, including concerns about sexual harassment or sexual violence under Title IX, should be directed to:


Santa Fe College reserves the right to extend deadlines and/or not to offer advertised positions.

Preference will be given to eligible veterans and spouses of veterans.

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