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Financial Aid Counselor

$50,000 – $53,000 yearly

Salem State University

Last Updated: 11/05/22

Job Description

The entry level financial aid counselor position assists on the front line of the aid office to counsel students, parents and the general public about financial aid policies and procedures. They are empowered to make decisions and solve problems balancing the needs of the student with federal, state and institutional policies and regulations and provide input and advisement on processes, policies and regulations.

The counselor will help students achieve their educational goals by advising them on financial aid options and resources. They will support the mission of Salem State by creating a superior student experience; reducing barriers to success and support strategic priorities around equity, inclusion, and diversity.

Located just 15 miles north of Boston, Salem State University’s mission is to provide a high quality, student-centered education that prepares a diverse community of learners to contribute responsibly and creatively to a global society, and serve as a resource to advance the region's cultural, social and economic development. It is one of the largest state universities in Massachusetts Attracting, hiring and retaining a highly engaged workforce that reflects and supports the diversity of our student body are central to the importance of our work.

Salem State works to foster a university-wide culture of inclusion, accountability, collaboration, and stewardship and was selected as a recipient of the 2017 INSIGHT into Diversity Higher Education Excellence in Diversity (HEED) Award for our commitment to diversity and inclusion across our campus.

Salem State strives to provide an experience where community members feel supported as they explore, learn, and celebrate their identities, similarities, and differences. Salem State’s employee resource groups provide a forum for staff to share common interests, concerns and support one another with the goal of advancing a respectful and caring community (Asian, Black, Family & Caregivers, Latinx, LGBTQ and Women’s ERG).

Duties and Responsibilities:

(E) - Essential Function

  1. (E) Assists with yearly processing and reconciliation of the Massachusetts state financial award programs including but not limited to: Mass State Scholarship (MASS grant and Mass Grant PLUS), ECE scholarship, Paraprofessional Prep Grant, Mass Part-Time Grant, Commonwealth Commitment, Mass High Demand Scholarship, Gear UP, DCF Fee & Tuition Waivers, Adopted Fee & Tuition Waivers, Foster Grants and Mass Transfer Tuition Waiver
  2. (E) Counsel students, parents, employees, and the general public, via phone, e-mail or in person, regarding the status of financial aid applications according to the policies and procedures governing the financial aid process
  3. (E) Provide service assistance with FAFSA and other applicable financial assistance
  4. (E) Retrieve and verify financial aid information via the university’s enterprise systems as well as the US Department of Education’s various systems
  5. (E) Perform calculations of eligibility for, and awarding of, federal, state, and university aid, in accordance with all applicable laws, regulations, and policies
  6. (E) Apprise the director of any issues encountered that do not comply with laws, regulations, and policies
  7. (E) Provide timely, knowledgeable, and courteous responses to all internal and external service requests
  8. Assist in program management as required
  9. Represent the financial aid office at activities including admissions events, high school nights, FAFSA filing events, classroom visits, and local receptions; this work requires occasional evening and weekend work
  10. Assist with the administration and reconciliation of financial aid programs and program management
  11. Serve on committees as assigned by the President and Associate Vice President for Enrollment Management
  12. Demonstrate sensitivity to students, faculty, and staff of varying racial, ethnic, religious, gender, cultural, disability, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic backgrounds
  13. Adhere to the Family Education Rights of Privacy Act (FERPA) and the requirements of the Federal Privacy Act of 1974
  14. Regularly utilizes reporting systems in support of student success
  15. Assist with R2T4 calculations
  16. Other duties as assigned
Required Qualifications:
  1. One to two years’ experience in a financial aid office, higher education or closely related field.
  2. Associates Degree or equivalent.
  3. Background and/or experience working and communicating with diverse individuals
  4. Experience in exercising discretion and handling confidential information

Preferred Qualifications:

  1. Two or more years of experience in a comprehensive financial aid office
  2. Experience processing financial aid
  3. Skill in interpreting and effectively communicating rules and regulations to a diverse audience
  4. Ability to acquire and exhibit comprehensive knowledge of complex Federal, State, and Institutional financial aid regulations, procedures, and directives in a hybrid work setting
  5. Knowledge of federal, state, and university financial aid laws, regulations, policies, and procedures
  6. Fluent in other languages (preferably Spanish)
  7. Bachelor’s degree

Working Conditions:

Salem State University complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified applicants and employees with disabilities.

Office activities are performed in an environmentally controlled office setting subject to extended periods of sitting and standing, keyboarding and interaction with computer equipment; Occasional bending, reaching, lifting, pushing and pulling up to 10 pounds.

Ability and willingness to work both in person and remotely as the university is currently engaged in a hybrid work environment model.

Special Instructions to Applicants:

Please apply online at and attach resume and cover letter.

Employment is contingent upon a completed background and CORI check satisfactory to the university. Internal candidates are not subject to background check.

This position is not eligible for H1B visa sponsorship.

Please note all newly hired staff and faculty, will need to be in compliance with Salem State University’s COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster Requirement.

EEO Statement:

Salem State University is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer. Persons of color, women and persons with disabilities are strongly urged to apply.

Please Note:
If there is no application deadline associated with a position, it may come down at any time. Once a posting is removed, additional applications will not be accepted

Company Details

Salem, Massachusetts, United States
Our Mission Salem State's mission is to provide a high quality, student-centered education that prepares a diverse community of learners to contribute responsibly and creatively to a global society, and serve as a resource to advance the region's cultural, social and economic development. Our Vision Salem State University will be a premier teaching university that engages students in an inspi...