Senior Financial Aid Specialist
Application Deadline: Tuesday, February 18, 2020
Salary & Benefits: Starting Salary is $38,568.42 per the Santa Fe College Salary Schedule. Compensation package is comprised of many college paid benefits including health and life insurance, retirement, leave time, and tuition waivers for Santa Fe College and the University of Florida.
Classification: Full-time, Career Service-Non-Exempt, Pay Grade C6.
Location: Northwest Campus, 3000 NW 83rd Street, Gainesville, FL 32606
OVERVIEW: Santa Fe College (SF) has been recognized as one of the top-rated community colleges in the United States. Santa Fe College is a comprehensive public college that offers a range of Bachelor’s degrees, Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science degree options, as well as Certificate and Non-Degree programs. Santa Fe College is a student-centered institution with a commitment to open access, academic excellence, and cultural and ethnic diversity. A high quality of life, temperate climate, proximity to the University of Florida, diverse cultural events, and plentiful recreational opportunities make SF and Gainesville an ideal community to work and live.
The Senior Financial Aid Specialist reviews, analyzes, reconciles, and determines the award of financial aid funds to students based on established eligibility criteria subject to internal and external audit. The Senior Financial Aid Specialist also clarifies federal, state, and College rules, regulations, statutes, procedures, and policies to advise students and others including College faculty and staff. This position involves specialized capabilities and knowledge in the administration of financial aid in one or more of several federal and/or state program areas, including but not limited to: grants, loans, work study, clock hour programs, student eligibility, and return to Title IV. The Senior Financial Aid Specialist possesses knowledge of College programs and resources and has a thorough understanding of applicable Financial Aid institutional, state, and federal guidelines and regulations.
Responsibilities and duties include:
• Advise, counsel, and inform students, parents, and staff about available financial aid opportunities, eligibility requirements, application processes, financial literacy, and College resources in person, over the telephone, and through email.
• Carefully adhere to all department policies and procedures as translated from institutional, state, and federal guidelines and regulations, including FERPA, and participate in professional development on a continual basis to stay compliant.
• Assist students with the accurate completion of financial aid application documents and evaluate applicable supporting documentation.
• Meet with students to resolve issues and discrepancies or make revisions in awards based on established criteria and guidelines.
• Discuss a variety of sensitive and confidential information with students and others as appropriate including parents, faculty, and staff.
• Review, understand, and apply department policies and procedures translated from complex regulations and policies governing all Title IV financial assistance and programs administered by the state and federal government.
• Complete analysis and reconciliations involving hours taken, income, and other variables to determine eligibility.
• Use independent, professional judgement to review and analyze varied documentation, often of a highly sensitive and confidential nature, to make decisions regarding appeals, overrides, and eligibility based on an understanding of related federal, state, and local guidelines.
• Research and resolve problems including recommendation of appropriate solutions, corrective actions, and adjustments as needed for resolution.
• Resolve problems related to overpayments and incorrect disbursements based on established guidelines.
• Communicate tactfully while exercising extreme diplomacy, empathy, and compassion when dealing with sensitive information, challenging situations, difficult, and sometimes disgruntled individuals.
• Use appropriate strategies to diffuse tense situations and recognize when to make referrals to avoid escalation.
• Work in consultation with the Coordinator, as needed, for research, resolution, and de-escalation.
• Conduct outreach events that promote Santa Fe College and general access to education by publicizing financial aid and financial literacy services to the community.
• Comply with all published College Rules, procedures, guidelines, and laws/regulations governing public employees, including but not limited to those related to document retention and destruction, FERPA, and confidentiality.
• Provide service excellence through courteous, informed, accessible, and professional engagement.
• May supervise the work of others.
• Perform other duties as assigned.
Reports to: Associate Director, Office of Financial Aid
Required Qualifications: Associate degree and four years of related work experience or a combination of completed education and/or related work experience equal to six years.
Additional Requirements: A criminal background check will be conducted.
Preferred Qualifications: Bachelor’s degree. Prior experience/understanding of one or more of the following areas: financial aid, accounting, higher education, or IRS tax rules. Experience/prior working knowledge of Information for Financial Aid Professionals (IFAP).
Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:
• Communication – able to effectively communicate in a professional, diplomatic, empathetic, and tactful manner using preferred method and level as applicable to the job.
• Team Orientation & Interpersonal – highly motivated team-player with ability to develop and maintain collaborative relationships with all levels within and external to the organization.
• Organization & Time Management – able to plan, schedule, and organize tasks related to the job to achieve goals within or ahead of established time frames.
• Relationship Management – able to personally provide high level of interactive service to others, building relationships and addressing identified needs.
• Systems & Software - proficient level of knowledge of Microsoft Office and/or relevant position software programs.
• Adaptability to Change – able to be flexible and supportive, able to positively and proactively assimilate change in rapid growth environment.
• Ethics – able to demonstrate integrity, professionalism, civility, and a high degree of ethics in all job-related actions.
• Ability to work successfully in a multi-cultural environment.
APPLICATION PROCESS: All applicants must submit a completed online SF Employment Application, a letter of intent, as well as an up-to-date resume. College transcripts should be submitted to confirm academic qualifications. Official transcripts must be submitted prior to any employment offer when academic credentials are the basis for meeting minimum qualifications or receiving steps. Unofficial transcripts are only accepted for review purposes.