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Financial Aid Counselor Salary

Those pursuing careers as Financial Aid Counselors in the United States may have to make do with less; average incomes for people in this area hover around only $36K per year. Compensation ranges from $27K on the lower end to $47K per year on the higher end. Career length and the particular city each impact pay for this group, with the former having the largest influence. There are far more female Financial Aid Counselors who answered the questionnaire than men, making up 84 percent. Work is reasonably fulfilling for most Financial Aid Counselors — the majority report average levels of job satisfaction. A large number report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a fair number collect dental insurance.

$28,408 - $48,438
(Median)
$28K
$36K
$48K
MEDIAN: $35,800
10%
50%
90%

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$11.90 - $20.05
(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
$28,408 - $48,438  
   
Bonus
$0.00 - $998  
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).
)
$27,122 - $47,000  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 259
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
$11.90 - $20.05  
   
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 - $998  
   
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).
)
$27,122 - $47,000  
Country: United States | Currency: USD | Updated: 2 May 2015 | Individuals Reporting: 88

Find Out Exactly What You Should Be Paid

United States (change)


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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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At the upper end, Financial Aid Counselors who move into an Assistant Director of Financial Aid role can end up with a hefty increase in pay. The average income for Assistant Directors of Financial Aid is a much higher $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 Federal Grants, Counseling, Customer Service, and Financial Analysis are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that are correlated to lower pay, on the other hand, include Financial Advisor. Employees educated in Counseling are typically practiced in Customer Service, too.

Pay by Experience Level for Financial Aid Counselor

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


In general, experience and pay appear to be strongly linked; those with more experience usually bring in higher incomes. Relatively untried employees who have fewer than five years of experience earn around $34K on average. People who have worked for five to 10 years can expect a higher median salary of $37K. After working for 10 to 20 years, Financial Aid Counselors make a median salary of $38K. Survey participants who have worked for more than two decades report bringing in $52K on average.

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.

Related Job Salaries

United States (change)

Experience Affects Financial Aid Counselor Salaries

Late-Career
up arrow 48%

Experienced
up arrow 10%

Mid-Career
up arrow 5%

National Average
$35,000

Entry-Level
up arrow 3%

Skills That Affect Financial Aid Counselor Salaries

Federal Grants
up arrow 11%


Customer Service
up arrow 3%

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
84 %
Male
16 %

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: 79%
vision benefits Vision: 66% employee benefits None: 8%
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