Financial Aid Counselor
Central Washington University - Ellensburg, WA

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The Financial Aid Counselor works with and counsels applicants, students, and parents regarding all aspects of financial aid, scholarships, loans, tax rules, tax benefits, personal budget, debt management and work-study. Approximately $100,000,000 per year is distributed to approximately 9,000 students by the Financial Aid Office. The counselor is relied upon to correctly process applications, verify application data, determine eligibility, issue and/or revise awards, monitor student progress for continued eligibility in addition to serving on the Financial Aid Satisfactory Progress Committee. This position delivers public presentations for financial aid, recruitment, retention purposes serving as an expert on financial aid programs for all constituents.

Required Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s Degree in Counseling, Accounting, Computer Science or other related field AND 2 years experience in financial aid
    Bachelor’s Degree and equivalent combination of experience, training and/or education
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Experience working with Word, Excel, and PowerPoint and/or similar applications.
  • Experience working with diverse clientele.
  • Commitment to a team oriented work environment.
  • Ability to work with deadlines and heavy workloads.
  • Ability to learn quickly.

Preferred Qualifications
  • Masters Degree in Counseling, Accounting, Computer Science or related field.
  • Bilingual- Spanish/English.
  • Experience with computerized administrative systems such as PeopleSoft, Banner or comparable system.
  • Experience in speaking with the public and giving presentations.
  • Ability to use Access software and/or similar application.

Working Conditions
Highly automated work environment. High volume workload with strict multiple deadlines. Occasional weekend and evening work, some travel required. Must have strong student service orientation. The Financial Aid Office functions as a team to improve student service, meet fiscal responsibilities, and protect institutional eligibility for Title IV funds. Able to present to groups ranging from two hundred to single students and ability to use appropriate presentation technology.

Job Duties

Job Duties

Job Duties
  • Counsel college students, parents, high school students, and prospective students on federal aid application, eligibility issues, verification process, related tax issues, related immigration issues, timelines, requirements for continued eligibility, awarding policies, and repayment requirements.
  • Counsel college students, parents, high school students, and other prospective students on Federal, State, and Institutional programs as well as outside organizations (such as Department of Vocational Rehabilitation ( DVR ), Washington Success Foundation, CWU Foundation, and other organizations that give scholarships) and explain how they may interact with one another.
  • Counsel students and parents regarding loan options including federal student loans, private student loans, Federal Parent Loans, and other possible sources of funding.
  • Counsel students one on one and in groups on financial aid, scholarships, loans, work study, employment, financial planning, debt management, budget development, and debt repayment.
  • Articulate timelines to students and parents and explain how financial aid programs coordinate. Assist students to secure the best financial package possible for his/her situation.
  • Ensure accurate processing of applications. Verify application data, determine eligibility, issue and/or revise awards, monitor student progress for continued eligibility. Ensure timely communication with students and parents.
  • Make decisions regarding Satisfactory Progress.

Job Duties
  • Independently review financial aid verification documents following federal and institution guidelines, verify applicant data, review and verify accuracy and authenticity of tax forms, W2 forms, immigration papers and other documents as needed.
  • Initiate appropriate action if conflicting information or evidence of fraud is discovered. Make corrections to the application and/or ask for additional information as needed. Work under tight time constraints.
  • Utilize the Administrative system (PeopleSoft), and export and import data with other Financial Aid systems such as Common Origination Disbursement system ( COD ), National Student Loan Data System ( NSLDS ) Free Application for Student Aid ( FAFSA ); FA Access, Central Process Service ( CPS ) HECB secure web site, ELM (private loan processing Center) To 1) ensure accuracy of data, 2) originate awards at Federal and State level, 3) report disbursement to funding source, 4) reconcile university records with Federal and State record.

Job Duties
  • Deliver financial aid presentations to large and small groups for recruitment and retention purposes using presentation technology.
  • Responsible for an assigned program management area such as oversight of default prevention, consumer information, guaranteed sources, aid for study abroad, scholarships, and reconcile program disbursements with program funding source. Serve as the expert on the specific specialty program. Complete fund reconciliation with outside agencies, and train other employees in the detailed workings of the specialization.

Job Duties
  • Attend State and Federal training to learn, reinforce knowledge and keep up with changes.
  • Serve on the Financial Aid Council to make exceptions to policy and regulation if warranted.

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