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

quickinfoThese schools offer particularly quick info upon request, and we have written detailed profiles for each (click school names to see the profiles).

Request info from multiple schools, by clicking the Request Info links.

Matching School Ads

Pursue your MBA or MSEd online.

  • Programs: MSEd: School Counseling
  • Degrees: Master

Liberty University provides a world-class education with a solid Christian foundation, equipping men and women with the values, knowledge, and skills essential for success in every aspect of life.

  • Programs: M.Ed. - School Counseling, MA in Professional Counseling - 60 Hour, BS in Psychology, more...
  • Degrees: Master, Bachelor, Associate

For over 35 years, Keiser University has provided student-centered, quality career education. Keiser University Online offers degree programs online to prepare students for in-demand professions.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Degrees: Bachelor
Argosy University
Alameda, Los Angeles, Ontario, Orange, Phoenix, San Diego

Welcome to Argosy University

Argosy University offers doctoral, master's, and bachelor's degree programs to students through its eight colleges:  College of Behavioral Sciences, Graduate School of Business and Management, College of Education,  College of Health Sciences, College of Arts and Sciences, College of Creative Arts and Design, College of Clinical Psychology and Western State College of Law at Argosy University as well as certificate programs in many areas.

  • Programs: Counseling Psychology (EdD), Counseling Psychology (MA), Counseling Psychology(EdD) (Online), more...
  • Degrees: Doctorate, Master, Bachelor

Earn your graduate degree online with Northcentral University.

  • Programs: Psychology - BA, General Psychology - PhD of Psychology, Mental Health Policy and Practice - Doctor of Philosophy in Psychology, more...
  • Degrees: Bachelor, Doctorate, Master

NU has been educating leaders since 1934 at our campus near Seattle. If you have a dream, we can help make it possible.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Degrees: Bachelor

Study online with California University of Pennsylvania.

  • Programs: Sports Counseling (Certificate) - Online
  • Degrees: Certificate

Pursue your education at Ohio Christian University.

  • Programs: Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
  • Degrees: Bachelor
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:

SPEAK TO AN ADVISOR 1.844.285.6104