PAY GRADE: 28N
CONTEXT OF THE JOB:
Under the general direction of the Student Services Manager (SSM), the Student Financial Services (SFS) Advisor is responsible for providing billing and financial aid advisement to students and their families. The SFS Advisor counsels students and families on financing a University of Delaware education. He or she is responsible for analyzing students’ financial circumstances and making decisions regarding waiving late fees, revising loan amounts, adjusting student budgets, releasing holds, and removing students from the cancellation list. As the initial point of contact, the SFS Advisor assesses the financial circumstance, using expertise and judgment, to decide upon a course of action for the student and family and make changes as appropriate. As part of counseling activities, the SFS Advisor must become knowledgeable about institutional policies regarding federal Title IV regulations and institutional financial aid and billing policies and procedures. The SFS Advisor monitors cases until resolution of issues is complete.
Topics for which SFS Advisors discuss, review, and provide counseling include, but are not limited to, the following: institutional scholarships, financial aid application (FAFSA), federal verification, entrance and exit loan interviews, billing charges, late fees, financial hold identification and analysis, appeals, financial aid programs (FFEL, FWS, Perkins, ScIP, PHEAA, and Pell, among others), outside scholarships, third party billing, general University information, FERPA rules and University confidentiality policy, payment plan, private loans, and financial options identification. The SFS Advisor will be scheduled to handle customer situations by the SSM. The SFS Advisor learns systems – PeopleSoft, COD, Great Lakes and Campus Logic – among others, related to the delivery of student financial services. The SFS Advisor is responsible for performing outreach to students at financial or academic risk of losing financial aid eligibility. SFS Advisors must have the ability to create, run, and analyze reports to identify targeted populations for follow up and outreach. The SFS Advisor must have excellent communication skills as method of interaction with students and families is through a variety of media, including email, letters, phone, in-person appointments, presentations, and through individual or group question and answer sessions. The SFS Advisor participates on the SFS Financial Aid Committee and works with other professionals to determine appropriate decisions to make regarding difficult circumstances. The SFS Advisor is pivotal in recommending changes to policies and procedures as customer demands dictate. Finally, the SFS Advisor is responsible to identify methods to improve practices, processes, and services within the unit.
All told, the SFS Advisor exercises independent judgment and renders decisions impacting the combined financial aid budget (federal, institutional, state, private) of approximately $211M.
- Interprets and executes financial policies and procedures that have potential impact on University enrollment and compliance with federal, state, local, and University policies related to financial aid and billing.
- Makes decisions relating to holds, fee waivers, and cancellations that affect collection of accounts receivables.
- Analyzes and communicates to targeted groups of students for outreach and proactive counseling.
- Ensures financial clearance (to prevent holds or release financial holds preventing students from participating in key functions such as registration and release of certified records) is working effectively.
- Determines educational budget changes to make, increasing or decreasing it, as appropriate.
- Adjusts packages (awards) commensurate with changes in budgets.
- Determines when to waive late fees depending on the student and family circumstances.
- Manages contacts through entire life cycle from original inquiry through to resolution.
- Maintains confidentiality and safeguards the privacy of student, parent, and University information related to financial data, academic data, and University funds in compliance with federal and state laws.
- Recommends changes to methods to improve practices, processes, and services within the unit.
- Joins in financial aid committee discussions and renders opinions on unique professional judgment circumstances.
- Assists in the collection and processing of documentation (e.g., federal verification, Satisfactory Academic Progress, budget increases, professional judgment appeals).
- Refers students and families to appropriate resources.
- Attends professional conferences, meetings, and trainings for financial aid and billing as required.
- Participates in recruitment and advisement events by presenting billing and financial aid information and meeting with to students and families.
- Supervises and provides quality control for hourly and student hourly workers as assigned.
- Performs miscellaneous job-related duties as assigned.
- Bachelor's degree and one year of related work experience, preferably in a services unit in student financial services, financial aid, or student accounts area within a university setting.
- Knowledge of student financial aid, housing, dining, federal work-study, and federal and private educational loan programs and policies in a university setting is preferred.
- Ability to make decisions based on objective data and applying complex regulations and policies.
- Effective oral and written communication skills, including demonstrated customer relations and listening skills.
- Ability to exercise tact and discretion.
- Ability to interpret, adapt, and apply guidelines and procedures.
- Ability to make administrative/procedural decisions and locate multiple pieces of essential information to analyze and solve problems.
- Proficient computing skills with experience preferably with PeopleSoft student systems; experience with word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software.
- Proficient with email and web navigation.