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Career Story: Director Of Financial Aid And Student Employment At A University

Director Of Financial Aid And Student Employment At A University

Job Title: Director Of Financial Aid And Student Employment

Type of Company: I work for a 4-year private University.

Education: BA in Pyschology and Spanish, Brandeis University •• MA in Higher Education Administration, Boston College

Previous Experience: I worked as a Work-Study student in the Office of Financial Aid at Brandeis University. Upon graduation, I began working in the office full-time as an Assistant Director of Financial Aid and then worked up to Associate Director and now Director of Financial Aid and Student Employment.

Job Tasks: I oversee a staff of four individuals. I oversee the processing of federal and institutional financial aid for all undergraduates and the processing of federal aid for graduate students, including the determination of financial need, the packaging of financial aid and certification of private loans. I ensure compliance with all federal and institutional regulations for the processing of financial aid.

I also oversee the processing of the hourly student payroll on campus, including collection of all federal, state and institutional application requirements, monitoring of pay rates, etc. My staff and I counsel students and families on all aspects of financial aid, including financing, the application process, and appeals.

Best and Worst Parts of the Job: The best part of the job is helping students attend their dream college by giving them the financial resources necessary to do so. The worst part of the job is dealing with parents and students who feel that they are entitled to a free education.

Job Tips: You don't have to take math courses to be a financial aid administrator, even though there is a strong financial aspect to the job. Customer service, people skills, and attention to detail are the most important qualities for a job within the financial aid field. Psychology is a good preparation major for this field. It is possible to get a job in financial aid without any prior experience, and, in fact, many people enter the field without any related experience.

Additional Thoughts: I had always thought I would go into counseling, and was surprised when I realized that financial aid was very close to that field, but with the financial aspect thrown in. I am able to help people every day, even though it is not by means of personal counseling. I have spent my entire career at the same institution, which has it good and bad points.

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