Financial Aid Counselor Salary

Financial Aid Counselors in the United States may have to scrimp and save; the median compensation is $36K annually. Compensation ranges from $28K on the lower end to $47K per year on the higher end. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Job satisfaction is high and work is enjoyable for most Financial Aid Counselors. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Financial Aid Counselors who responded to the questionnaire are largely women, dominating at 81 percent.

$28,588 - $48,037
(Median)
$29K
$36K
$48K
MEDIAN: $36,140
10%
50%
90%

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$12.13 - $20.88
(Median)
$12
$15
$21
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$17K$34K$51K
Salary
$28,588 - $48,037  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $992  
Profit Sharing
$500  
Commission
$0.00  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$27,857 - $47,180  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 345
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$12.13 - $20.88  
   
Overtime
$20.18 - $31.74  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Take the PayScale Survey to find out how location influences pay for this job.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$0.00 - $992  
   
Commission
$0.00  
Profit Sharing
$500  
Total Pay (?
XTotal Pay combines base annual salary or hourly wage, bonuses, profit sharing, tips, commissions, overtime pay and other forms of cash earnings, as applicable for this job. It does not include equity (stock) compensation, cash value of retirement benefits, or the value of other non-cash benefits (e.g. healthcare).
)
$27,857 - $47,180  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 12 Jan 2016 | Individuals Reporting: 85
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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.

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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.

Common Career Paths for Financial Aid Counselor


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Financial Aid Counselors who transition into a Financial Aid Director role may receive large pay increases as the latter position pays an average $55K per year. A College Financial Aid Counselor role is the most common promotion for Financial Aid Counselors moving up the ladder. Pay for this role tends to be $33K per year. Another typical, albeit less common, transition for Financial Aid Counselors is an Assistant Director of Financial Aid position, where earnings are usually $44K.

Financial Aid Counselor Job Listings

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Survey results imply that Financial Aid Counselors put a diverse skill set to use. Most notably, skills in Federal Grants, Counseling, Financial Analysis, and Customer Service are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Financial Advisor. Customer Service is a skill commonly found among those who know Counseling.

Pay by Experience Level for Financial Aid Counselor

Median of all compensation (including tips, bonus, and overtime) by years of experience.


Financial Aid Counselors who reported more years of relevant experience also reported higher earnings. Folks who are navigating the first five years of their careers have a median salary of approximately $35K in this position. Those who have been around for five to 10 years don't get much more, though; the median salary in that group is $37K. On average, Financial Aid Counselors make $39K following one to two decades on the job. Old hands who claim more than two decades on the job enjoy average earnings of $55K.

Financial Aid Counselor Advice

What do you wish you knew about your job when you first started out?

Financial Aid Counselor in New York:
"I Wish I Knew About The Politics Of The Company."
Well, you will need to develop thick skin. People may not like working with you but you still have to do what is right for the school and still help the parent understand what may be wrong. You should be able to be personable, honest, open minded and have excellent communication skills.

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Experience Affects Financial Aid Counselor Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 54%

Experienced
up arrow 11%

Mid-Career
up arrow 4%

National Average
$36,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 2%

Skills That Affect Financial Aid Counselor Salaries

Federal Grants
up arrow 6%

Counseling
up arrow 3%

Customer Service
0%

Financial Applications
0%

Financial Analysis
0%

National Average
$36,000

Financial Advisor
up arrow 16%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 58 votes.

Gender

Female
81 %
Male
19 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
56%
5-9 years
24%
10-19 years
12%
20 years or more
3%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits
Medical: 89%
dental benefits
Dental: 79%
medical benefits
Vision: 65%
dental benefits
None: 8%
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