Financial aid advisors are employed primarily by colleges, universities, and even some private secondary and "prep" schools. It is the job of these specialized counselors to assist students and families in finding the means to pay for educational services and matching appropriate aid programs, as well as completing and filing necessary paperwork. These advisors also inform students of new programs, scholarships, loans, and grant programs for which the student/s may qualify.
Financial aid advisors must be familiar with a variety of federal and local aid and loan programs, as well as the eligibility for such offerings. The application process for such programs can be grueling and quite time-consuming for those seeking financial assistance, so it is their responsibility to help guide students through it. These advisors are also expected to stay up-to-date with all developments in student financial aid, as many schools subscribe to databases which provide this information.
Financial aid advisors also assist with paperwork processes, answer any questions applicants may have, clarify application requirements and questions, and assist the students' families in collecting all necessary documentation to support the application. They may also search for new grants and scholarships which may ease the financial hardship of higher education and bring these to the attention of students who may be eligible.
Generally, financial aid advisors have a degree in a discipline related to numbers, research, or general communication. They may also have prior experience in school financial offices or with other financial aid processes. Those in this position typically work in educational office environments during regular hours of the work week.
Financial Aid Advisor Tasks
Coordinate and administer financial aid appeals.
Package, award, and disburse funds to students.
Assist in the review of students' financial aid applications.
Counsel students and parents about self-help financial aid programs, eligibility requirements, and application processes.
Plan and perform financial aid workshops to staff and students.