Financial Aid Counselor Salary

It's impossible to make it big as a Financial Aid Counselors in the United States; the average employee scrapes together only around $36K per year. The income range spans the entire spectrum between $28K and $47K per year. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. Medical benefits are awarded to a large number, and a fair number earn dental coverage. For the most part, people in this position report moderate levels of job satisfaction. Women make up the vast majority of Financial Aid Counselors (82 percent) who answered the questionnaire. The figures in this rundown are based on the results of PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$28,824 - $48,659
(Median)
$29K
$36K
$49K
MEDIAN: $35,992
10%
50%
90%

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$12.11 - $20.17
(Median)
$12
$15
$20
MEDIAN: $15.00
10%
50%
90%

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National Salary Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$17K$34K$51K
Salary
$28,824 - $48,659  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $850  
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).
)
$27,951 - $47,336  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 279
National Hourly Rate Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$11$22$33
Hourly Rate
$12.11 - $20.17  
   
Overtime
$19.42 - $31.45  
National Annualized Data (?
XAll compensation data shown are gross, national 10th to 90th percentile ranges. Pay can vary greatly by location. To view local data, take the PayScale survey.
)
$0$22K$44K$66K
Bonus
$0.00 - $850  
   
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).
)
$27,951 - $47,336  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 83
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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' salaries may rise greatly for those who assume a higher-end position such as an Assistant Director of Financial Aid. The average Assistant Director of Financial Aid brings home $44K per year.

Financial Aid Counselor Job Listings

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Financial Aid Counselors report using a pretty varied skill set on the job. Most notably, skills in Counseling, Federal Grants, Customer Service, and Financial Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that seem to negatively impact pay include Financial Advisor. Aptitude in Counseling tends to also indicate an understanding of Customer Service.

Pay by Experience Level for Financial Aid Counselor

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


More years of relevant experience do not necessarily translate to higher paychecks. Folks with fewer than five years of experience take home $35K on average, and those who have worked for five to 10 years see a bigger median salary of $37K. For Financial Aid Counselors, 10 to 20 years of experience on the job amounts to an average salary of $38K. Survey participants who have spent more than 20 years on the job report a predictably higher median income of $50K, demonstrating that compensation is roughly commensurate with experience in the end.

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 43%

Experienced
up arrow 8%

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$35,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 2%

Skills That Affect Financial Aid Counselor Salaries


Federal Grants
up arrow 3%

Customer Service
up arrow 1%

Financial Applications
up arrow 1%

Financial Analysis
up arrow 1%

National Average
$35,000

Financial Advisor
up arrow 14%

Job Satisfaction

Highly satisfied
Rated 4 out of 5
based on 52 votes.

Gender

Female
82 %
Male
18 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
6%
1-4 years
53%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
10%
20 years or more
4%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 90% dental benefits Dental: 78%
vision benefits Vision: 65% employee benefits None: 8%
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