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Financial Aid Counselor (9181)

Date: Mar 16, 2023

Location: Washington, DC, US, 20016

Company: American University

Get to Know American University

At American University we value open and honest inquiry, servant leadership, and the affirmation of the human dignity of all. We envision a thriving AU community where individuals of all identities and experiences are understood, appreciated, and fully included, and where equitable treatment, opportunities, and outcomes prevail. 


Our diverse community of students, faculty, and staff represent every state and more than 150 countries. Our internationally recognized faculty are today's thought leaders in the areas of public policy, law, the arts, communications, international development, and more. Our staff are innovative, service-oriented, and dedicated to moving the university towards achieving its strategic goals. We are committed to an excellent experience for all of our students, faculty and staff and share a passion for creating change through our knowledge and our work. 


Learn more about American University by clicking here.  


This position is an integral part of the university’s financial aid office. The incumbent is responsible for ensuring the highest levels of service to current and prospective students and parents. The counselor determines the financial aid eligibility of all students and assures compliance with federal and institutional guidelines. Additionally, the counselor advises current students, prospective students, parents, and colleagues regarding federal, state, and institutional financial assistance programs.
The purpose of this position is to provide comprehensive service to prospective and current students. The incumbent not only determines financial aid eligibility but also counsels both graduate and undergraduate students as well as parents regarding the financial aid programs. This position requires self-direction and minimal supervision.

Essential Functions

  1. Analyzing Data: Determine the extent, type and amount of eligibility for various types of financial aid, based upon general guidelines provided by federal government regulations and the institution. Utilize professional judgment to evaluate federal tax forms, calculate assets and conduct need analysis to strategically award students consistent with university objectives. Using statistical sampling conduct detailed verification of all information submitted. This process guarantees the integrity of financial aid packages for both prospective and enrolled students.
  2. Counseling Students: Provide financial advice and counseling to both prospective and enrolled students, parents, and AU administrators regarding the application process, bill payment, budgeting, and financial planning each semester. Explain federal/institutional regulations, methods of compliance and procedures, and policies. Understand and inform students of all principles underlying the system of needs analysis, methods of information collection and verification. The duties are handled in order to facilitate the financial aid process.
  3. Decision Making: Evaluate appeals for amounts and types of financial aid awards. Utilize professional judgment to determine and makes adjustments, if warranted, based upon individual family circumstances incorporating existing federal and institutional guidelines.
  4. Collaboration: Work with other university departments to include: AU Central, Student Accounts, Student Loan Office, Payroll, and the Registrar on behalf of students.

Supervisory Responsibility

  • Financial Aid Counselors report directly to an Assistant Director.

Position Type/Expected Hours of Work

  • Full Time, 35 hours/week.
  • Speciaist A.
  • Non-Exempt.

Salary Range

  • 47,000.00 to 50,000.00/yearly

Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent.
  • 3-5 years of relevant experience.

Preferred Education and Experience

  • Master's degree or equivalent.
  • B.A. /B.S. with at least one year’s experience in financial aid counseling in a large volume, multiprogram environment.
  • Associate Degree and 5 years financial aid working experience can be substituted for the BA/BS degree requirement.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills.

Additional Eligibility Qualifications



AU offers a competitive benefits package including a 200% matching retirement plan, tuition benefits for full-time staff and their families, several leadership development certificates, and has been recognized by the American Heart Association as a fit-friendly worksite. Click here to learn about American University's unique benefit options.


Union Eligibility

This position is part of a collective bargaining unit represented by SEIU Local 500. That means the terms and conditions of your employment are governed by university policy (including the Staff Personnel Policies Manual) and any collective bargaining agreement entered into between American University and SEIU Local 500.


Other Details


Current American University Employees

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Contact Us

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American University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution that operates in compliance with applicable laws and regulations. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex (including pregnancy), age, sexual orientation, disability, marital status, personal appearance, gender identity and expression, family responsibilities, political affiliation, source of income, veteran status, an individual’s genetic information or any other bases under federal or local laws (collectively "Protected Bases") in its programs and activities.


Nearest Major Market: Washington DC