Career Story: Student Aid Counselor At An Ivy League College

Student Aid Counselor At An Ivy League College

Job Title: Higher Education Administrator

Type of Company: I work at a university where education and research are the primary objectives.

Education: BA, Political Science, Bates College •• MA, Higher Education Administration, Boston College

Previous Experience: I've been in the financial aid field for 22 years and in my current position for eight and a half. Prior to that, I worked at Brandeis for 10 years. I started my career at a small business school right after college.

Job Tasks: I help students figure out how to afford their education. My job involves counseling students about how to apply for financial aid, how to make borrowing choices, and how to budget while they're in school. I have to understand federal financial aid regulations, institutional policies and student loan terms. Using and understanding technology is very important for my work. I am skilled in MS Office, a variety of financial aid software and other campus-based student and government systems.

A typical week in the world of a financial aid administrator means meeting with students, responding to student emails, awarding financial aid (grants, loans or work-study), working with colleges on student issues from other student services offices (admissions, student affairs, career services, the office of the registrar). It means attending meetings and trainings; strategizing about the best ways to use limited financial aid resources; producing reports for different constituents (like the Dean's office); and maintaining information on our website.

As the director for my office, I also have overall responsibility for running our offices. First, I supervise a staff of four, posting jobs when necessary, interviewing and hiring new employees, assessing training needs, evaluating people's performance, and giving positive feedback and constructive criticism. Second, I develop goals for the office in the areas of customer service, financial aid policies and staff development, to name a few.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of my job is being able to help a student get financial aid so he can get an education. The worst part of my job is not being able to give a student enough financial aid either because he doesn't qualify or because there isn't enough money to go around.

Job Tips: Financial aid administration requires that you have a passion for helping students receive a post-secondary education. Counseling skills, a keen understanding of technology, and strong mathematical and analytical aptitude are also important.

Additional Thoughts: I love my job. Helping students is gratifying and working in an educational environment is particularly appealing.

Popular Schools offering School Counseling Programs

quickinfoClick the Visit School Site buttons to go directly to a school's website and learn more about the school and programs it has to offer. School website will open in a new tab. .

Click the Request Info buttons to request more information from a representative at the school

Matching School Ads

Regent University prepares students with the knowledge to excel and the faith to live with purpose.

  • Programs: Master of Arts in School Counseling, Certificate in School Counseling, Ph.D. in Counselor Education & Supervision, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Certificate, Doctorate, Bachelor

100% Online & No Standardized Testing

  • Programs: M.Ed. - School Counseling, Bachelor of Science: Psychology: Addiction and Recovery, Applied Psychology: Developmental Psychology, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor, Associate

Does the Human Mind Fascinate You? Study Psychology at Grand Canyon University - Bachelor's and Master's Degrees Available!

  • Programs: B.S. in Behavioral Health Science - Childhood and Adolescence Disorders, M.S. in Psychology with an Emphasis in Forensic Psychology, Graduate Certificate of Completion in GeroPsychology, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Master, Certificate

As a student at South University, Online Programs you will receive the same quality instruction, variety of learning options and level of service found at the campus locations.

  • Programs: Psychology (BA)
  • Degrees: Bachelor

100% online degrees from Ashford University

  • Programs: BA in Psychology
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Since 1977, Keiser University has provided quality student-centered, career-focused education.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Psychology, PhD in Psychology
  • Degrees: Master, Doctorate

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Master of Science in Child and Adolescent Developmental Psychology, Psychology - BA, General Psychology - PhD of Psychology, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor, Doctorate

Pursue a certificate, master, or doctorate degree in Psychology at The Chicago School for Professional Psychology.

  • Programs: Child and Adolescent Psychology Certificate, Ed.D. Educational Psychology and Technology, M.S. Applied Behavior Analysis, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Certificate, Doctorate, Master

Sacred Heart University Online 

  • Programs: Master of Science in Applied Psychology
  • Degrees: Master

Recognized by the U.S. News and World Report for: Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s 2017, Best Online Programs, Grad Education 2017 and Best Online Programs, Bachelor’s for Veterans 2017

  • Programs: Sports Counseling (Certificate) - Online
  • Degrees: Certificate
Matching School Ads
You are visiting:

Find a school near you

What are Career Stories?

Career Stories are concise, real-world career overviews written by people relating their personal career experiences and wisdom. They provide invaluable insights and mentoring advice to students and career changers.

Most stories include:

  • a typical day or project
  • tips and advice
  • best and worst parts
  • educational background
  • previous experience

Browse hundreds of Career Stories

More Details On This Career

Please also see our detailed information about Educational Counselors, including:

Back to Top