College Financial Aid Counselors in the United States can expect only a modest salary, with average pay of just $36K annually. Compensation ranges from $26K on the lower end to $46K per year on the higher end. Female College Financial Aid Counselors make up most of the survey respondents at 79 percent. Most report receiving medical coverage from their employers and a strong majority collect dental insurance. Job satisfaction is reported as high by the vast majority of workers. The data for this snapshot was collected from individuals who took PayScale's salary survey
Job Description for Financial Aid Counselor (School/College/University)
Financial aid counselors are responsible for helping students at post-secondary institutions to obtain private and/or government financial aid, grants, and scholarships, as well as provide information regarding available student loans from both private and government institutions.
A bachelor's degree in a relevant field is generally required for this position, and courses in accounting, business, communications, and psychology are beneficial. Financial aid counselors must provide pertinent information regarding financial/educational matters to students and/or their parents. They often meet students/parents in-person or via phone, e-mail, or the "contact" section of their organization's website. Upon request, these counselors may help develop students' budgets and explain loan repayment procedures, as well. Excellent written and oral communications skills are essential, and strong computer skills including proficiency with Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, Outlook, etc.) and the particular organizations' computer systems are also required.
Those in this position must be able to maintain computer databases for students' records. They must be friendly and able to work efficiently and objectively with diverse students and coworkers; the ability to speak a second language is useful, but not necessary. They are encouraged to take training and/or workshops conducted by Department of Education and various financial aid associations to further the development of their own careers; the National Association of Student Final Aid Administration (NAFSA) also offers such workshops, training and conferences. Financial aid counselors generally receive on-the-job training, and senior counselors may be required to coach and train new workers.
Financial Aid Counselor (School/College/University) 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.
Financial Aid Counselor Job Listings