Financial Aid Counselor Salary
Financial Aid Counselors in the United States are not likely to strike it rich; they only make around $37K annually on average. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Most Financial Aid Counselors survey respondents are women (78 percent). Medical benefits are awarded to most, and a strong majority earn dental coverage. The majority of Financial Aid Counselors claim high levels of job satisfaction. Respondents to the PayScale salary survey provided the data for this report.
Job Description for Financial Aid Counselor
Financial aid counselors work with students to discuss financial aid options. These professionals are employed almost exclusively by institutes of higher learning, which includes for-profit schools and non-profit institutions; counselors may also consult at college fairs. Financial aid counselors typically work with other counselors and the employees in the bursar's office to provide correct information to students, who may have little to no knowledge about financial aid. A typical day for financial aid counselors includes working during regular business hours, making appointments with students or helping walk-ins, discussing a financial plan with those students, and researching new developments in financial aid.Read More...
Financial aid counselors must be knowledgeable about the different types of aid available to students, and they must be able to advise students of the aid available from their school, the government (at the federal, state, and/or city level), and private institutions. This means the counselor must have a wide knowledge base and keep abreast with new developments in student aid.
Financial aid counselors must have a bachelor's degree in a field related either to finances or to counseling such as education, counseling, or a related field such as business administration or accounting. Valuable traits for financial aid counselors include patience, a willingness to continue learning, and a desire to help students. Basic math skills and proficiency with basic computer programs are useful as well.
Financial Aid Counselor 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.
Financial Aid Counselor Job Listings
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Pay by Experience Level for Financial Aid Counselor
Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.
Experience is an important factor influencing the compensation of Financial Aid Counselors. Average salaries for inexperienced employees average out to around $36K, but folks who have five to 10 years of experience earn a higher median of $39K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Financial Aid Counselors make a median salary of $42K. Seasoned veterans with 20 years under their belts enjoy a median income of $55K.