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 duration 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 enjoy medical while a strong majority get dental coverage. Vision coverage is also available to a majority. Work is reasonably fulfilling for most Financial Aid Counselors — the majority report average levels of job satisfaction. The information for this rundown comes from respondents who completed PayScale's salary questionnaire.

$28,813 - $48,683
(Median)
$29K
$36K
$49K
MEDIAN: $35,912
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
$28,813 - $48,683  
   
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).
)
$27,939 - $47,357  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 278
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
$19.34 - $31.49  
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).
)
$27,939 - $47,357  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 20 Jun 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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As Financial Aid Counselors transition into upper-level roles such as Assistant Director of Financial Aid, they may see a strong upturn in salary. Assistant Directors of Financial Aid earn $44K on average per year.

Financial Aid Counselor Job Listings

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Overall, survey participants reported applying a fair number of skills to their work. Most notably, skills in Counseling, Federal Grants, Customer Service, and Financial Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average. At the other end of the pay range are skills like Financial Advisor. It is not unusual for someone who knows Counseling to be familiar with Customer Service as well.

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 more experience do not necessarily bring home bigger paychecks. In fact, experience in this field tends to impact compensation minimally. Those who have worked for fewer than five years take home a median salary of $34K, and workers with five to 10 years of experience earn a higher $37K on average. Financial Aid Counselors see a median salary of $38K after reaching one to two decades on the job. Financial Aid Counselors who have acquired more than two decades of experience generally do see greater compensation; their average income is 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 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 2%

Financial Analysis
up arrow 2%

Financial Applications
up arrow 1%

National Average
$35,000

Financial Advisor
up arrow 13%

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
6%
1-4 years
53%
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: 65% employee benefits None: 8%
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