SUMMARY OF THE JOB:
The Financial Planning Advisor assists in carrying out the department’s mission to provide professional knowledge, personalized services and support to students and their families to bridge the gap between family resources and educational expenses. They develop student financial plans and handle them until they are finalized. The financial planning advisor needs to make sure that every student is properly funded. This is made possible by judiciously and respectfully seeking and utilizing all federal, state and institutional student financial resources available. They must uphold the highest degree of professionalism, confidentiality, honesty and integrity when handling student information. Very good communication skills are extremely important, as the position involves daily interaction with students, staff, university personnel, institutional departments and the community. Strong basic computer skills are necessary, along with the ability to work without supervision and prioritize the daily duties. All the laws and regulations related to financial aid must not be only fully understood and applied by the financial planning officer but also periodically updated. The Financial Planning Advisor is also responsible for the administration and certification of all Veteran’s Benefits.
- Learn to interpret and maintain knowledge of complex rules, federal regulations, institutional policies and procedures pertaining to financial aid. Honor and enforce federal, state and University regulations.
- Assist with interpretation of above to staff, students, parents and others.
- Explain students’ rights and responsibilities for each aid source.
- Provide financial aid and scholarship information, counseling and advice to prospective students, transfer and reenter students, currently enrolled students, and parents via in person counseling, answering calls, e-mail and presentations.
- Assist in providing budgeting, money management, loan indebtedness counseling to students on an individual and group basis and make presentations to groups during orientation and exit counseling sessions in regard to financial aid.
- Develop a tuition plan for all students prior to student starting school. Assist in application process and institutional financial aid applications. Must be capable of making an accurate assessment and evaluation of a person’s financial aid need and award FSA funds based on information gained from applications.
- Process and maintain financial aid applications and update data as needed using the following software and applications: CampusView, EDExpress, COD, NSLDS, VA Once, FAME Connect, HOL Calculator.
- Proficient knowledge of rules and regulations pertaining to Verification, Professional Judgment and Dependency Override. Must be able to apply this knowledge when advising, packaging and awarding Title IV funds.
- Responsible for timely collection and completion of required file documents. Audit documents for accuracy and conflicting data. Ensure documents and financial aid files are in compliance with federal and institutional regulations before approving disbursement of aid to be released.
- Determine a student’s eligibility for federal student aid taking into consideration the students credits/clock hours, GPA, prior Pell and Loan awards, academic counselor evaluation, and financial need information. Calculate loan eligibility based on COA budget, EFC and other aid received. Authorize and certify student loan amounts.
- Serves as back-up counselor in event of other counselor’s absence and assist other departments as needed.
- Initiate and assist the Business Office in ensuring timely disbursements and refunds of student aid. Initiate and assist the Business Office with in-house and out-of school collection accounts. Initiate and assist the Business Office in packaging students for any extra charges. Ex: retake fees, lost or stolen books, and certification fees.
- Compare student data with other departments to ensure compliance with federal regulations and institutional policy and procedures. (Admissions, Registrar, Loan Default Management, Business Office and Education Department.)
- Advise students regarding Satisfactory Academic Progress, Withdrawals and Leave of Absence.
- Mentor students and maintain client relations. Serve as a liaison between students/parents and lenders/loan service providers.
- Meet schedules and budgets as assigned by the Director of Financial Planning.
- Must be proficient in all aspects of Veterans Benefits.
- Review status change forms received from the Registrar Office on a daily basis. Adjust financial aid awards accordingly. Initiate third party notification requirements. EX: VA, WIA, Direct Loan Servicing Center, NSLDS, FAME
- Check Title IV Credit Balances on a weekly basis.
- Every term check potential graduate account balance and conduct a final file audit. Verify Exit Counseling has been completed.
- At the start of every term electronically certify individual students VA Enrollment Certification using VA Once. (Approximately 100 continuing Technology Campus, 80 continuing Aviation Campus and 20 starts for each campus.) Maintain, compare and audit VA certification from previous terms. Set up refunds and make adjustments in CampusVue.
- Set up/adjust payment plans, refunds and stipends for students on a daily basis.
- Daily review of Transfer-in Credit Forms (Green Sheet) received from the Registrar office and adjust all prior and future financial aid awards. Update award information in CampusVue. Notify and counsel student accordingly.
- Receive payments and write receipts in the absence of student accounts or registrar for in-school payments, registration fees, or caps/gowns.
- Assist with Transcript distribution/evaluation if Registrar is not available.
- Provide verification to third parties at student request for cost break down of tuition/fees, credit taken, and length of program. For Tuition Assistance, WIA, Insurance, apartment/housing, SNAP and any other agency.
- Repackage students every term for Academic Year 2 – 5.
- Monthly Enrollment Certification on NSLDS (600+ students) f/k/a SSCR.
- Add new student to Transfer Monitoring List on NSLDS at the start of every term.
- Attend and serve as Hallmark representative at local, state, regional/national conferences and training seminars concerning student financial aid and student services.
- Actively participate in Student Mentor program.
- Participate in activities aimed at professional development beyond University in-service requirements.
- Regularly attend state and regional seminars and training providing current information of the delivery of financial aid services.
- Must participate in the Hallmark Character program.
- Ability to work in a fast-paced environment.
- A variety of students and issues may present themselves, so the financial planning officer must possess the ability to respond effectively and to work on several tasks at the same time. Ability to be proactive, innovative and solutions oriented
- Good working knowledge of student aid programs, related regulations and federal need analysis system required.
- Good analytical and math skills required. Ability to apply concepts such as fractions, percentages, ratios, and proportions to practical situations.
- Position requires sitting for an extended period of time at a desk and computer.
- Commitment to a student-centered learning environment and student success.
- Team builder with excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with faculty, staff and students.
- Outstanding oral, written, interpersonal and presentation communication skills.
- Effective computer skills.