Financial Aid Counselor, American Indian/Alaska Native Student Specialist

University of Montana
Montana, United States
Salary Not Specified
Posted Date
Dec 20, 2022
Application instructions are located at the bottom of the page. Please apply directly through the University of Montana's career portal UM Jobs at for positions at the University of Montana – Missoula, University of Montana Western (Dillon), and Helena College. Do not apply through or use easy apply through * .

Financial Aid invites applications for a Compliance Specialist specializing in American Indian/Alaska Native students to join their team on campus. The Financial Aid Counselor in this position will provide American Indian/Alaska Native Students assistance based on specified knowledge and financial aid services for American Indian (AI), Alaska Native (AN) and Canadian First Nations (CFN) students attending the University of Montana and Missoula College. This position requires excellent customer service skills and an advance evaluation of student financial aid files and other requisite supports that enhance AI/AN/CFN access to higher education. The essential functions of this role:
  • Advise and assist AI/AN/CFN students (and their families/parents/guardians) with the process of applying for financial aid by helping them navigate various financial aid platforms, requirements, websites and online resources.
  • Work collaboratively with various on-campus departments, as well as off-campus partners programs (including Tribal Higher education departments) to support AI/AN/CFN student access.
  • Review and revise student aid packages by using professional judgment aimed at effectively resolving discrepant information, making adjustments in response to special circumstances and appeals, verifying applicant data, determining grade level, analyzing need, etc.
  • Use various software and database systems to identify gaps in funding/services, and conduct the appropriate interventions to support students’ needs.
  • Serve as a Financial Aid Office representative on various councils, ad-hoc committees, boards, etc., as well as the support and engage in American Indian Student Services (AISS) Native American Studies managed scholarships, and other UM AI/AN/CFN serving programs’ activities and events.
  • Establish and maintain frequent and effective communication contacts with tribal higher education offices and other AI/NA/CFN focused scholarship programs, to ensure that information is provided to those entities to determine funding amounts for UM students.
  • Participate in and travel to various outreach and orientation events on-campus, in tribal community and urban high schools with significant AI/AN/CFN student demographics.
  • This position provides guidance and training to the financial aid office staff members on aid processes and policies for funds particular to AI/AN/CFN students, which ensures consistency and quality in the administration of financial aid programs related to various AI/AN/CFN funds.
Required Skills
  • Strong cultural competency and acquired education about cross-cultural communication skills that can accommodate and consistently ensure respectful/positive interpersonal interactions.
  • Effective knowledge of available resources to assist students who face complex financial needs including childcare resources, emergent food and housing resources, community health resources, mental health referral resources, and the ability to effectively refer and consult with campus and community resources.
  • Must be able to understand and effectively communicate complex policies to clientele and staff
  • Strong mathematic, accounting, analytical and organizational skills, and great attention to detail.
  • Must be able to collaborate and coordinate with other team members.
  • Ability to maintain strict confidentiality when working with proprietary information, including students’ personal information.
  • Ability to adjust quickly to changes in program/student support functions and job demands.
  • Comfortable using multiple software/database applications simultaneously.
  • Ability to be granted access to federal aid databases.
  • Must be able to work some weekend and evening events and travel occasionally for off-campus events or programs.
Minimum Required Experience
  • High school diploma or HiSET/GED equivalent
  • Two or more years of working within student and/or diversity outreach and support sectors.
  • Fundamental knowledge of and a commitment to DEI (diversity, equity, inclusion) initiatives.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s degree
  • Experience with financial aid administration.
  • Five years of experience in working directly with diverse communities.
About Financial Aid and UM

We, the staff of the financial aid office, in order to support the educational goals of students, equitably distribute financial resources to an economically diverse population within the bounds of imposed regulations, providing a depth of service corresponding to the needs of our community.

We strive to build the reputation of the university by being courteous, knowledgeable and approachable to all. We endeavor to effectively use technology and continually seek to improve our communication and processes. We embrace each staff member’s strengths, creating a positive environment where all can thrive.

The University of Montana is flagship, research institution with approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students. It is located in Missoula, a culturally vibrant community of about 75,000, surrounded by mountains where three rivers converge. Abundant recreational opportunities in surrounding state and national forests and nearby Glacier National Park and Yellowstone National Park complement a thriving intellectual atmosphere. The University of Montana offers eligible employees a generous benefits package that positively separates UM from other local employers and offers many programs and policies to support work-life balance for its employees.

The University of Montana is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity employer and has a strong institutional commitment to the principle of diversity in all areas. In that spirit, we are particularly interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of qualified people who would assist the University in demonstrating its five priorities for action : Place student success at the center of all we do; drive excellence and innovation in teaching, learning, and research; embody the principle of “mission first, people always"; partner with place; and proudly tell the UM story.

To learn more about the University of Montana, Missoula, and the State of Montana, please visit the links below.

Position Details

Position Title: Compliance Specialist

Position Number: NEW

Department: Financial Aid

Work Schedule: Full-time, 1.0 FTE (40 Hours a week), Monday through Friday

8:00 am to 5:00 pm, 12 months/year.

Salary: $20.794/hr

Current employee’s rate of pay for this position will be determined by the staff compensation plan and will minimally be this posted salary. For questions and details regarding the staff compensation plan, email the Compensation Department .

Union Affiliation: FOCUS-MFPE

Probationary Period: Six months minimum

Benefits Include : Insurance package, mandatory retirement plan, partial tuition

waiver, and wellness program.

Criminal Background Investigation is required prior to the Offer of Employment In accordance with University regulations, finalists for this position will be subject to criminal background investigations. ADA/EOE/AA/Veteran's Preference Reasonable accommodations are provided in the hiring process for persons with disabilities. For example, this material is available in alternative format upon request. As an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer, we encourage applications from minorities, veterans, and women. Qualified candidates may request veterans’ or disabilities preference in accordance with state law. References: References not listed on the application materials may be contacted; notice may be provided to the applicant. Testing: Individual hiring departments at UM may elect to administer pre-employment tests, which are relevant to essential job functions. Employment Eligibility: All New Employees must be eligible and show employment eligibility verification by the first date of employment at UM, as legally required (e.g., Form I-9).

How to Apply

Priority Application Date: Sunday , January 22, 2023 by 11:59 PM (Mountain Time)

Complete applications received by the ‘Priority Application Date’ will be guaranteed consideration. Candidates are required to submit the following materials online through the UM Jobs website directly to ensure your complete application is received.

A complete application Includes:

  1. Letter of Interest – addressing your qualifications and experience related to the stated required skills for the position. A general letter salutation such as “Dear Search Committee” or “Dear Hiring Manager” is acceptable.
  2. Detailed Resume – listing education and describing work experience
  3. Professional References – names and contact information for three (3) professional references

*Please note, only five (5) attachments allowed per application. Please combine documents accordingly.

* Applying through or easy apply through may result in submission of an incomplete application. Applications may be removed from full consideration if they are not complete with materials listed above under the "How to Apply" section. It is the responsibility of the applicant to ensure complete application materials are submitted and received by the date listed above.

Job Location Missoula, Montana, United States
Position Type Full-Time/Regular

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