Financial Aid Counselor Salary

Financial Aid Counselors in the United States can expect only a modest salary, with average pay of just $36K annually. Compensation ranges from $28K on the lower end to $47K per year on the higher end. Experience level is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. The vast majority of Financial Aid Counselors (83 percent) who responded to the survey are women. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Most Financial Aid Counselors are fairly content with their jobs, and work satisfaction falls in line with the national average. The figures in this overview were provided by individuals who took PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$28,791 - $48,489

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$12.11 - $20.17

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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
$28,791 - $48,489  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $959  
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).
)
$27,811 - $47,192  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 Jul 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 286
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
$12.11 - $20.17  
   
Overtime
$19.42 - $31.45  
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 - $959  
   
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).
)
$27,811 - $47,192  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 18 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 may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Assistant Director of Financial Aid. The latter position pays an average of $44K annually.

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. Competency in Counseling frequently indicates knowledge of Customer Service.

Pay by Experience Level for Financial Aid Counselor

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


Financial Aid Counselors with a lot of experience do not necessarily enjoy more money. The average inexperienced worker earns $34K, and someone who has worked for five to 10 years can expect a bigger median salary of $37K. Financial Aid Counselors claiming one to two decades of experience make an estimated median of $38K. Old hands boasting more than twenty years of relevant experience report pay that is more or less commensurate with that extensive experience; average earnings for this group come out to approximately $50K.

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 9%

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 2%

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
83 %
Male
17 %

Years of Experience

Less than 1 year
5%
1-4 years
54%
5-9 years
26%
10-19 years
11%
20 years or more
4%

Common Health Benefits

medical benefits Medical: 90% dental benefits Dental: 78%
vision benefits Vision: 66% employee benefits None: 7%
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