Financial Aid Counselor Overview

What does a Financial Aid Counselor do?

Financial aid advisors help college and graduate students to fund and pay for their education. They meet with students and their parents or guardians to assess their financial situation by performing different analysis types. They evaluate a student's financial needs through documentation and personal interviews and award financial aid packages while providing counsel and advice to students about their eligibility, application procedures, aid programs, and other information. They develop aid packages that help students pay for school using certified federal aid packages and student loans.

Financial aid advisors evaluate unusual or extenuating circumstances and exercise judgment by making adjustments or revisions to cost, contribution, need, or dependency status as exceptions to protocol. They answer questions, inquiries, and requests about programs and eligibility from students, parents, or guardians in person or writing. They assist with other financial aid activities including outreach, reporting, and monitoring. Financial aid advisors need a bachelor's degree in public administration, business, humanities, or other related fields and two years of financial aid or student counseling experience.

What responsibilities are common for Financial Aid Counselor jobs?
  • Assist in the development of financial aid operating forms.
  • Manage Title IV aid program including award of financial aid packages.
  • Reconcile Pell and Direct loans.
  • Maintain ongoing knowledge of Federal, State, and College financial aid/ loan regulations.
  • Assist with the Loan Default Prevention and Management Tasks.
  • Compile reports and complete applications for the Department of Education.
  • Develop standard operating procedure (SOP) manual for this position.
  • Provide leadership in advancing the office's goals and objectives.
  • Provide campus visits to students, parents, and school groups.
  • Work effectively as a team member with all college departments.
  • Provide incoming freshman with the important and appropriate information.
  • Oversee all satisfactory academic progress related activities to ensure compliance with federal and state rules and regulations.
  • Meet with prospective students from local high schools with admissions staff.
  • Provide entrance and exit counseling services for the direct loan program.
  • Monitor in-house accounts to improve revenue and timely payment of claims.
  • Participate in the development of the annual department budget.
  • Work with lenders, servicers and other third-party vendors as necessary.
  • Coordinate timely documentation of policies and procedures related to using the financial aid software system, to be written largely by departmental staff.
  • Ensure billing of all tuition, fees and other student charges.
What are the typical qualifications for Financial Aid Counselor jobs?
  • Bachelor's Degree in business or business administration or equivalent experience.
  • Demonstrated financial literacy and professionalism.
  • Strict attention to detail and professionalism.
  • Can assist students with their financial literacy needs and assist in decision making.
  • A critical thinker, problem solver, and collaborator.
  • Fluency in FAFSA rules and laws.
  • A negotiator and a professional at all times.
  • Experience with billing systems and spreadsheets.
Work/Life Balance
3.5 ★
Salary Range--
Career Opportunity
3.2 ★
Avg. Experience2-4 years

Financial Aid Counselor Salaries near India

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Financial Aid Counselor Career Path

Learn how to become a Financial Aid Counselor, what skills and education you need to succeed, and what level of pay to expect at each step on your career path.

Financial Aid Counselor

Years of Experience Distribution

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Not including years spent in education and/or training

Financial Aid Counselor Insights

Read what Financial Aid Counselor professionals have to say about their job experiences and view top companies for this career.
Verdi OncologyVerdi Oncology
Financial Counselor
20 Aug 2021

“I earned two master degrees while working here and they would not give me a raise.”

Radiology Regional CenterRadiology Regional Center
Financial Counselor
8 Aug 2023

“Free health insurance but its really not a pro because it sucks either way and I'm sure its because its free.”

Learning Source (TX)Learning Source (TX)
Financial Aid Director
3 May 2022

“I am truly thankful to work with such an amazing group of who share the same goal of changing another’s life for the better!”

Aveda InstituteAveda Institute
Financial Aid Manager
29 Jun 2021

“Manageable and consistent schedule.”

Full Sail UniversityFull Sail University
Financial Aid File Administrator
15 Sept 2021

“I'm so thankful to have found a job I enjoy working for an organization and people who truly care.”

Estrella Mountain Community CollegeEstrella Mountain Community College
Financial Aid Advisor
7 Jun 2021

“Good good good good good”

Midland GroupMidland Group
Financial Counselor
29 Jun 2021

“Salaried pay + PTO was formidable”

Financial Assistant
21 Feb 2022

“Good benefits and vacation but not much else”

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Financial Aid Counselor Interviews

Frequently asked questions about the role and responsibilities of a Financial Aid Counselor

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