The job of Financial Aid Specialist is done for the purpose / s of performing technical and specialized duties in the operations of the Financial Aid Department;
ensuring compliance with Federal, State and College policies, guidelines, rules and regulations; and performing specialized, technical and confidential duties to assist students / parents who seek financial assistance.
This job reports to Senior Dean, Financial Aid / EOPS / Pre-College TRIO Programs
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
Essential Functions :
Acts as liaison (e.g. Business Office, Admissions and Records, Counseling Department, etc.) for the purpose of communicating financial aid information and resolving discrepancies.
Attends a variety of trainings, conferences, and webinars (e.g. federal regulation conferences, national and state conferences, etc.
for the purpose of communicating and / or receiving important information and updates regarding or involving financial aid.
Communicates with internal and external parties (e.g. staff, students, parents, etc.) for the purpose of providing information or guidance and assisting with the financial aid process.
Conducts confidential interviews with students, parents, potential students regarding the financial aid process (e.g. eligibility, disbursement options, Satisfactory Academic Progress standards, federal financial aid funds, etc.
for the purpose of advising, counseling and assisting students / parents with completing federal and state financial aid applications.
Determines student eligibility for financial aid (e.g. state, grants, work study program, etc.) for the purpose of providing greater attendance opportunities for students while ensuring compliance with federal, state and college regulations and guidelines.
Facilitates a variety of outreach activities (e.g. financial aid nights, high school workshops, etc.) for the purpose of communicating information;
and educating parents, students and the community regarding financial aid.
Maintains financial aid records (e.g. student disbursements, student information, etc.) for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy of student financial records in accordance with mandatory regulations and guidelines.
Monitors student records for a variety of issues (e.g. overpayment, exceeding eligibility limits, status changes, SAP, etc.
for the purpose of ensuring the accuracy of reported information, availability of funds, and compliance with established financial guidelines and program policies, practices and regulatory requirements.
Operates financial aid software applications (e.g. updates, data input troubleshooting, state and federal online systems, etc.
for the purpose of ensuring efficient operations in compliance with related regulations.
Participates in developing and monitoring software standards for the purpose of minimizing costs and ensuring data compatibility in compliance with financial aid regulations.
Prepares a variety of reports and correspondence (e.g. letters to students and / or families, reports regarding compliance issues, etc.
for the purpose of providing reference, conveying information, and complying with established financial, legal and / or administrative requirements.
Processes and oversees federal / state financial aid program processes (e.g. grant, loan, work study, etc.) for the purpose of ensuring that disbursements are made in accordance with regulatory guidelines.
Researches a variety of topics (e.g. new federal or state regulations, trends in student demographics, etc.) for the purpose of ensuring compliance with relevant regulations and securing general information for planning.
Resolves financial aid process discrepancies and conflicting information for the purpose of ensuring students receive accurate information and financial aid benefits.
Supervises student workers within the department for the purpose of ensuring their department and individual performance objectives are met.
Trains and delegates tasks to department employees and work study students for the purpose of ensuring the department remains in compliance with all mandatory policies and regulations.
Other Functions :
Performs other related duties as assigned for the purpose of ensuring the efficient and effective functioning of the work unit.
Skills, Knowledge and Abilities :
SKILLS are required to perform single, technical tasks with a need to periodically upgrade skills in order to meet changing job conditions.
Specific skill based competencies required to satisfactorily perform the functions of the job include : higher level problem solving, analytical thinking, and mathematical calculations;
analyzing budgets; applying job-related codes, regulations and laws; auditing financial reports; classifying data and / or information;
dispensing funds; conducting financial transactions; conducting meetings; estimating required resources; operating standard office equipment and office technology;
performing accounting and bookkeeping procedures; planning and managing projects; preparing and maintaining accurate records;
effective verbal and written communication; and analytical and critical thinking.
KNOWLEDGE is required to perform basic math, including calculations using fractions, percents, and / or ratios; read technical information, compose a variety of documents, and / or facilitate group discussions;
and solve practical problems. Specific knowledge based competencies required to satisfactorily perform the functions of the job include : accounting / bookkeeping principles;
business telephone etiquette; cost / fund accounting; job-related codes / laws / rules / regulations / policies; knowledge of community resources;
office equipment and technology; and recordkeeping and record retention practices.
ABILITY is required to schedule activities, meetings, and / or events; gather, collate, and / or classify data; and use basic, job-related equipment.
Flexibility is required to work with others in a wide variety of circumstances; work with data utilizing defined but different processes;
and operate equipment using defined methods. Ability is also required to work with a diversity of individuals and / or groups;
work with a variety of data; and utilize specific, job-related equipment. Problem solving is required to analyze issues and create action plans.
Problem solving with data requires independent interpretation of guidelines; and problem solving with equipment is limited to moderate.
Specific ability based competencies required to satisfactorily perform the functions of the job include : accuracy and attention to detail;
adapting to changing work priorities; analyzing issues and determining appropriate course of action; communicating with persons of diverse backgrounds;
maintaining confidentiality; meeting deadlines and schedules; working extended hours and some overnight travel required;
working with detailed information / data; working with frequent interruptions; and demonstrated sensitivity to an understanding of the diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic background of community college students.
Responsibilities include : working under limited supervision following standardized practices and / or methods; leading, guiding, and / or coordinating others;
operating within a defined budget. Utilization of resources from other work units is often required to perform the job's functions.
There is some opportunity to impact the organization's services.
Work Environment :
The usual and customary methods of performing the job's functions require the following physical demands : some lifting, carrying, pushing, and / or pulling, and significant fine finger dexterity.
Generally the job requires 85% sitting, 10% walking, and 5% standing. This job is performed in a generally clean and healthy environment.
Three (3) years of job related experience with increasing levels of responsibility.
Community college and / or vocational school degree with study in job-related area.
High school diploma, or equivalent, with five (5) years of job related experience.
Criminal Background Clearance
Title 8, USC, Section 1324-A requires verification of eligibility for employment in the United States.
FLSA Status : Non Exempt
The college offers a fringe benefit package including medical, dental, vision, disability and life insurance, employee assistance program, and public employee retirement system membership.
Information pertaining to specific benefit allotments can be found on the Regular Classified Salary Schedule.
Visit our Benefits page for more information regarding district-sponsored health benefits and to obtain information about our health benefit providers.