A financial aid officer's main responsibility is to make sure that students have the financial resources that they need to attend their institution (typically a college or university). They keep track of all financial aid packages offered by their institution and explain them to students, as well as help determine if students are qualified for those packages. Additionally, financial aid officers are responsible for supporting other departments as needed, such as by assisting with state and federal reporting, presentations, and any other duties as assigned.
Universities and other higher education institutions are the main employers for financial aid officers. This is generally a full-time position that takes place during regular business hours. Physical requirements are generally minimal for financial aid officer positions.
The minimum educational requirement for financial aid officer positions typically includes a high school diploma or equivalent; however, most employers require or prefer some postsecondary education related to finance. Additionally, employers typically require at least two years of experience in a financial setting. Financial aid officers must have excellent interpersonal, time management, and organizational skills. They must have excellent communication skills to clearly explain financial aid options to students, and they should be proficient with basic computer programs such as the Microsoft Office suite.
Financial Aid Officer Tasks
Verify and certify loan applications, then follow through to collections, including all documentation.
Assist students and parents with paperwork, eligibility questions, and handling awards.
Create, negotiate, and communicate financial aid plans for students that fit with existing resources and policies.
Oversee specific programs like the federal work-study program, exchange/visiting students, Title IV, etc.