Financial Aid Counselor Salary

Pay for Financial Aid Counselors in the United States is very modest at just $36K annually. The income range spans the entire spectrum between $28K and $47K per year. Career length is the biggest factor affecting pay for this group, followed by geography. Most Financial Aid Counselors report high levels of job satisfaction. Financial Aid Counselors who responded to the questionnaire are largely women, dominating at 81 percent. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance.

$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 may experience a large salary bump if they progress into a role such as Financial Aid Director. The latter position pays an average of $55K annually. The most common promotion for Financial Aid Counselors is a College Financial Aid Counselor position, which usually brings in $33K a year. Another standard transition for Financial Aid Counselors seeking advancement is to assume an Assistant Director of Financial Aid role, where pay is often $44K.

Financial Aid Counselor Job Listings

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Survey results suggest that Financial Aid Counselors use a fairly large toolkit of professional skills. Most notably, skills in Federal Grants, Counseling, Financial Analysis, and Customer Service are correlated to pay that is above average. Skills that pay less than market rate include Financial Advisor. Experience with Counseling is often linked with 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.


Experience seems to be a major factor in determining the incomes of Financial Aid Counselors. During their first five years in the workforce, individuals in this position earn $35K on average. Survey participants with five to 10 years under their belts see an only a slightly bigger average of $37K. Financial Aid Counselors with one to two decades of relevant experience report an average salary of approximately $39K. Seasoned workers who boast more than two decades of relevant experience enjoy a median salary of $55K, which is substantially larger than the medians reported by folks with fewer years on their resumes.

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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