Senior Financial Aid Specialist

Santa Fe College

May 11, 2023

Salary - $39,068.42 Annually

Location  - Northwest Campus, Gainesville

Job Type - Full-Time

Division - Student Affairs

Santa Fe College (SF) has been recognized as one of the top-rated community colleges in the United States. Santa Fe College is a student-centered institution with a commitment to open access, academic excellence, and cultural and ethnic diversity. SF enrolls over 16,000 students each semester, retains and completes over 60% of students every academic year, while over 10% transfer into the University system.Description

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 that 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. This position may need to work a flexible schedule, including extended hours during peak service periods and special events.Responsibilities and Duties

  • Advise, counsel, and inform about available financial aid opportunities, eligibility requirements, application processes, financial literacy, and College resources.
  • 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 with the accurate completion of financial aid application documents and evaluate applicable supporting documentation.
  • Resolve issues and discrepancies or make revisions in awards based on established criteria and guidelines. 
  • Review, resolve, and discuss a variety of sensitive and confidential information.
  • May need to work a flexible schedule, including extended hours during peak service periods and special events.
  • 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:  Coordinator, Financial Aid Awards Qualifications

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, an up-to-date resume/curriculum vitae, as well as academic transcripts to be considered for this position. If you do not have college transcripts, you must upload proof of you high school diploma or equivalent as unofficial transcripts. Unofficial transcripts are only accepted for review purposes, official transcripts are required prior to any offer of employment being made.

If you are a retiree of the Florida Retirement System (FRS), please check with the FRS on how your current benefits will be affected if you are re-employed with the State of Florida. Your current retirement benefits may be canceled, suspended or deemed ineligible depending upon the date of your retirement.

Santa Fe College (SF) is committed to maintaining a work and educational environment that embraces diversity and where no member of the college community is excluded from participation in, denied the benefits of, or subject to discrimination in any college program or activity based on: their race, ethnicity, national origin, color, religion, age, disability, sex, pregnancy status, gender identity, sexual orientation, marital status, genetic information, political opinions or affiliations, or veteran status. This commitment applies to employees, volunteers, students, and, to the extent possible, to third parties, applicants for admission, applicants for employment, and the general public.

Inquiries regarding non-discrimination policies or concerns about discrimination or harassment, including concerns about sexual harassment or sexual violence under Title IX, should be directed to:

Santa Fe College reserves the right to extend deadlines and/or not to offer advertised positions.

Preference will be given to eligible veterans and spouses of veterans.