PAY GRADE: 28N
CONTEXT OF THE JOB:
Under the general direction of the Director of Student Services and Communications, the Student Financial Services (SFS) Advisor – Retention & Receivables is responsible for assisting in supporting access and retention initiatives at the University of Delaware through the lens of data gathering, analysis, and development and implementation of outreach strategies. The SFS Advisor will work to create reports and analyze data crucial to identifying status of student accounts with a focus on areas that may lead to delinquencies in student accounts. He or she is responsible for oversight of delinquent accounts and tracking currently enrolled student receivables throughout the course of the semester. The advisor will review students’ financial circumstances and make recommendations with respect to assessing and waiving late fees, revising loan amounts, adjusting student budgets, releasing holds, and adding or removing students from the course cancellation list. As the primary data review for the SFS Service Team, the SFS Advisor uses expertise and judgment to decide upon student outreach activities, which may include coordinating outbound calling campaigns or email/letter mailings. As part of UD’s billing and financial aid counseling team, the SFS Advisor must become knowledgeable about institutional policies regarding federal Title IV regulations and institutional billing/aid policies and procedures. Working with other SFS Advisors, she or he will monitor cases until resolution of issues is complete. The SFS Advisor will work closely with UD’s Cash Management and Receivables team to minimize overall student receivables and ensure appropriate system safeguards are in place with respect to financial holds, data analysis, and the handoff of delinquent accounts between SFS and Cash Management.
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 utilize data reporting systems, including PeopleSoft and Cognos, among others, related to the delivery of student financial services. The SFS Advisor is responsible for coordinating 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 $250M and student receivables of approximately $600K.
- Develops reports on student account balance status and analyzes trends in areas potentially leading to delinquent student accounts.
- Ensures safeguards are in place to identify delinquent accounts and prevent students from increasing overall balances due through the financial clearance and hold process.
- Creates and implements data-based outreach strategy to guide students and families through billing and financial aid options to address student account balances.
- Makes decisions relating to holds, fee waivers, and cancellations that affect collection of accounts receivables.
- 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.
- Analyzes and communicates to targeted groups of students for outreach and proactive counseling.
- Determines when to assess and waive late fees based on billing cycle and student/family circumstances.
- Assists in managing contacts through entire life cycle from original inquiry or outreach 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.
- Proven history of creating reports and analyzing data in support of departmental/institutional goals.
- 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.
- Experience interpreting, adapting, and applying 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 and data reporting tools like Cognos; experience with word processing, spreadsheet, database, and presentation software.
- Proficient with email and web navigation.