Position Title:
Financial Aid Processor

Institution:
Southern Oregon University

Job Post Website Address:
https://apptrkr.com/5291812

Salary Range:
$37,838 -$43,492/annually

Deadline or Close Date:
open until filled

Job Location - City, State:
Ashland, OR

POSITION SUMMARY:

Date application must be received for priority consideration by: April 21, 2024

Anticipated Appointment Begin Date: May 15, 2024

Closing Date or if blank, Open Until Filled:

Job Family Group: Administrative and Professional

Division/Department: Student Affairs/Financial Aid and Scholarships

Compensation Range (if applicable): $3,153.17 - $3,624.33/month; $37,838 -$43,492/annually; commensurate with experience

FLSA Status: Exempt

Appointment Basis: 12-month

Time Type: Full-time

Benefits Eligible: Yes

Renewable/Non-renewable/Grants/Limited Duration: Renewable

This position must possess and maintain a current, valid Driver License: Yes

This position is designated as a critical, security-sensitive or safety-sensitive position; therefore, the incumbent must successfully complete a Criminal Background Check: Yes

Lead Work/Supervisory Responsibilities: No

Remote Work Type: Hybrid

Work Hours: M-F (8:00a - 5:00p) Hours are subject to change with notice.

Visa Sponsorship: This employer will not sponsor applicants for visas

SPECIAL INSTRUCTIONS TO APPLICANT:

Special Instructions to Applicants

POSITION DESCRIPTION:
The Office of Financial Aid provides integrated academic support services to students at Southern Oregon University. The department strives to meet students' need for convenience and for efficient and effective enrollment services. The financial aid program has specific regulatory management requirements that necessitate the development of procedures to ensure compliance, consistency in the treatment of students, and the efficient delivery of aid.
Under the supervision of the Senior Financial Aid Manager, This position is responsible for counseling current students and educating prospective students and their families about federal, state, local and institutional- aid programs. This position is also responsible for all fee remission processing, verifying, and updating student documents that affect student aid as well as monitoring academic progress for continued aid disbursement. This position exercises independent professional judgment beyond prescribed polices and procedures to carry out the university's mission and policy to recruit and retain students. The decisions made by this person commit this office to a specific course of action, carry fiduciary responsibility and accountability for managing financial aid program expenditures and determine whether or not a student receives financial assistance. This position is solely responsible for all decisions related to processing financial aid applications.
Professional judgment may be invoked regarding student files. The decisions made by this individual commit this office to a specific course of action including financial aid program expenditures.
Minimum Requirements
  • Bachelor's degree in a related field
  • One year of successful professional work experience is required that may be relevant to this position.
Preferred Requirements
  • Minimum of 2 years progressively more responsible experience in financial aid
  • Experience with the Banner Financial Aid system
  • Experience in giving presentations (high school financial aid, college fairs, etc.)
  • Previous experience as a Financial Aid Processor/Counselor/Advisor
Essential Functions
Duties - The following examples of typical work activities are meant to illustrate the general range of work functions and are not meant to be all-inclusive or restrictive:
(30%) Verification and Processing:
Reviews and processes student verification documentation daily. Analyzes federal tax documents (and/or tax information) and family information against information on the FAFSA in order to determine eligibility for federal, state and institutional aid and makes changes to the FAFSA when necessary. If errors are present, notify individuals of filing status corrections, Review for appropriate household information, review capitol gains and compare with reported assets, compare tax returns with self reported information on FAFSA and determine eligibility for federal, state and institutional aid. When complete and correct, determine eligibility for federal, state and institutional aid. Processing is typically split by last name but also could be by student population (examples include athletics, TRIO, Bridge, etc). Must be able to use judgment to identify conflicting information in student files and identify necessary steps needed for the student to resolve it. This is case by case and each student's situation must be reviewed carefully and considerately. Evaluates the eligibility for and appropriateness of all financial aid processed. Analyzes regulations and participates in the development of the SOU Financial Aid Office policy and procedure for administering financial aid from all sources. This position will be required to maintain knowledge of all scholarship program criteria and federal regulations and University policies related to financial aid programs and establish administrative procedures to ensure the proper processing and documentation of scholarships. May be asked to assist with both internal and external audits as needed. Adjust student aid when necessary due to the receipt of outside resources (scholarships and 3rd party payments). If the third party payment changes the student's eligibility for any financial aid program, they will have to be repackaged in accordance with federal financial aid regulations. Requires a heavy amount of time processing reports to continuously monitor and adjust for student eligibility while also balancing a high level of customer service.
(25%) Financial Aid Counseling/Outreach:
Provide direct customer service to current students, prospective students, parents and supporters, both in person and by Zoom, as well as respond to phone and email requests from the same. Provide expert assistance and advice for those seeking student aid from federal, state, institutional and private sources. May require uncomfortable conversations and sometimes escalated situations. Must be able to communicate these complex rules around financial aid in a professional and empathic manner. Work with these populations to find and solve their financial aid problems and facilitate the delivery of their financial aid. Counsel students regarding debt and their rights and responsibilities as a student loan borrower. Advise students about their annual and aggregate loan limits. Requires detailed knowledge of federal and state regulations combined with general knowledge of institutional policies and procedures, especially those involving Admissions, Registration and Student Accounts. Requires access to several secure sites including OSAC/Oregon Opportunity Grant, National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS), Common Origination and Distribution (COD) and Financial Aid Administrator Access (FAA-Access). Participates in office outreach events to include planning and presenting financial aid workshops, seminars, etc. which may be outside of traditional office hours, off campus, and/or out of town. Collaborate with campus partners and serve on committees as needed. Conduct outreach to students that need additional assistance by email, phone, and in person with follow-up. This might include students with outstanding requirements, in a denied status, outstanding financial aid offers, encourage FAFSA submission, etc. Communicate with students throughout their time at SOU on any financial aid needs for their file.
(35%) Federal Work-Study Program (FWS):
Monitor FWS Waitlist and reallocate of FWS funds according to FWS regulations throughout the year. Provide and authorize the cancellation of unused FWS mid-year. And, re-award FWS to eligible students based on projected available funding levels. With the target goal of spending, while not overspending the allotted Campus-Based FWS funding allocated for the academic year. Assist in further developing the FWS program at SOU. Program Management: Performs program assignments at the discretion of the Director and Senior Financial Aid Manager. Manages multiple Federal or State aid programs including but not limited to: Pell Grant, Dual Enrollment, Oregon Opportunity Grant, Federal Loan Programs, Return to Title IV, Veterans, private loan processing, scholarships, and Direct Loan functions and graduate programs as needed. This can include, but not limited to, independently reconciling, processing, administering, and application. Monitors programs for compliance with Federal, State and Institutional regulations, Manage the SAP administration and communication to both students and those that request the information on behalf of the student. Serve on committees as needed by the Office of Financial Aid policies and procedures. Keep current and aware of the financial aid processing calendar independently to make sure program processes are happening when they should be.
(10%) Financial Aid Appeal Request Review:
Exercises professional judgment when processing unusual circumstances and special circumstance appeals that come through the office. This will require strict adherence to the policy and procedures at SOU in addition to Federal regulation requirements. Review and approve or deny student's requests for budget increases, as needed and reduction of AGI as originally filed on FAFSA to make students eligible for additional aid by using professional judgment under institutional guidelines. Requires knowledge of the acceptable reasons permitted, documents required, and knowledge of how to effect those changes in Banner. Other Duties as Assigned: Due to the consistent and constant changes in Financial Aid on a Federal, State, and Institutional level, this position will have other duties as assigned to meet the needs of the office in addition to remaining in compliance with regulatory updates.
Skills, Knowledge, and Abilities
  • Excellent communication skills; ability to effectively communicate information in a clear and understandable manner, both verbally and in writing. Demonstrated customer service experience requiring a very high level of diplomacy and
  • Professionalism to effectively handle a broad range of sensitive interpersonal situations.
  • Demonstrated ability to interpret and consistently apply a wide variety of complex policies and procedures where specific guidelines may not always exist. Ability to work with frequent changes in policies and procedures, under pressure of deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Strong analytical and research skills; ability to gather, evaluate, and to develop well-reasoned conclusions and recommendations. Ability to proactively assess work operations and anticipate potential problems; ability to develop and implement strategies for preventing/resolving problems.
  • Ability to effectively perform work of a highly sensitive and confidential nature that requires access to information. Ability to exercise sound judgment and discretion, tact, and diplomacy.
  • Initiative in independently planning, organizing, and performing work assignments within broadly defined parameters.
  • Ability to coordinate several functions and determine the relative importance of each; ability to work with a high level of productivity and accuracy/attention to detail. Excellent organizational and time management skills with the ability to set own priorities to coordinate multiple assignments with fluctuating and time-sensitive deadlines.
  • Excellent computer skills and proficiency with a variety of computer applications including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, online systems, social media platforms, Internet as well as online calendaring and email.
  • Ability to initiate, establish, and foster communication and teamwork by maintaining a positive, cooperative, productive work atmosphere in and outside the University with the ability to establish and maintain effective working relationships within a diverse population and with those from various cultural backgrounds.
  • Ability to adapt to and work effectively in a heavily bureaucratic environment which requires regular interaction with a number of levels within the organization and multiple outside agencies.
  • Working knowledge, or ability to quickly learn, university infrastructure, policies, and procedures.
  • Ability to provide training and direction to others, as well as student assistants.
  • Demonstrated ability to meet deadlines, anticipate needs, prioritize multiple tasks, follow through, and work independently without supervision while handling frequent interruptions and rapidly shifting priorities. Skilled at keeping detailed records and following up on various issues. Skilled at streamlining processes to create efficiencies when necessary. Demonstrated Service Excellence:• Teamwork. Demonstrated ability to work effectively as a team player; and coordinate several functions and determine the relative importance of each; ability to work with a high level of productivity and accuracy/attention to detail.
  • Knowledge. Advanced computer skills and proficiency with a variety of computer applications including word processing, spreadsheets, databases, online systems, social media platforms, internet as well as online calendaring and email.
  • Demonstrated office operations or project management experience.
  • Accountability. Demonstrated ability to interpret and consistently apply a wide variety of complex policies and procedures where specific guidelines may not always exist. Ability to work with frequent changes in policies and procedures, under pressure of deadlines in a fast-paced environment. Ability to manage stressful situations with tact and diplomacy and to use sound judgment and discretion, particularly as it relates to handling sensitive and/or confidential information.
  • Quality Service. Excellent organizational and time management skills with the ability to set own priorities to coordinate multiple assignments with fluctuating and time-sensitive deadlines.
  • Demonstrated customer service experience requiring a very high level of diplomacy and professionalism to effectively handle a broad range of sensitive interpersonal situations.
Physical Demands
  • Regular office activities such as standing or sitting for long periods of time, working with computers, interacting with the general public via phone, email and in-person.
Special Conditions
  • Must be willing to travel and attend training programs off-site for occasional professional development.
  • Must be able to work additional hours and adjust working hours to meet special jobs. May be called back periodically to perform work as needed on an emergency basis.
  • Must be able to successfully pass a pre-employment background check.
  • Under the provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), this position classification is defined as exempt and is not subject overtime regulations.
  • The person holding this position is considered a “mandated reporter” under the Oregon Revised Statutes and is required to comply with the requirements set forth by the Oregon Department of Human Services.
SOU is an equal access AA/EOE committed to achieving a diverse and inclusive workforce
In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Southern Oregon University will provide, if requested, reasonable accommodation to applicants in need of accommodation in order to provide access to the application, interviewing, and selection process. You are not required to note the presence of a disability on this application. If, however, you require a reasonable accommodation in the application and/or interview process due to disability, requests must be made in a timely manner to Human Resources.
Diversity Statement:
Southern Oregon University is a welcoming community committed to inclusive excellence and the celebration of diversity. Without diversity, our educational process is diminished. Working together in support of our commitment to diversity, we strengthen and enrich our role as learners, educators and members of a tightly connected global community. We encourage those who share in our commitment to diversity, to join our community and we expect all our employees to demonstrate an ability and desire to create an inclusive campus community.
SOU Land Acknowledgement
We want to take this moment to acknowledge that Southern Oregon University is located within the ancestral homelands of the Shasta, Takelma, and Latgawa peoples who lived here since time immemorial. These Tribes were displaced during rapid Euro-American colonization, the Gold Rush, and armed conflict between 1851 and 1856. In the 1850s, discovery of gold and settlement brought thousands of Euro-Americans to their lands, leading to warfare, epidemics, starvation, and villages being burned. In 1853 the first of several treaties were signed, confederating these Tribes and others together - who would then be referred to as the Rogue River Tribe. These treaties ceded most of their homelands to the United States, and in return they were guaranteed a permanent homeland reserved for them. At the end of the Rogue River Wars in 1856, these Tribes and many other Tribes from western Oregon were removed to the Siletz Reservation and the Grand Ronde Reservation. Today, the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde Community of Oregon (http://https//www.grandronde.org/) and the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians (http://https//www.ctsi.nsn.us/) are living descendants of the Takelma, Shasta, and Latgawa peoples of this area. We [you may say I or the name of a program/department] encourage YOU to learn about the land you reside on, and to join us in advocating for the inherent sovereignty of Indigenous people.
Notice to Prospective Employees
Section 485 of the Higher Education Act, and The Federal Crime Awareness and Campus Security Act of 1990 (now referred to as the “Clery Act”), require that prospective employees be notified of the availability of SOU's Annual Security and Fire Safety Report. The report provides the annual statistics and campus policies for the reporting of and responding to campus crimes and fires; access to campus facilities; conduct code and campus policies on the use, possession, and sale of drugs/alcohol; and educational/information programs to inform the campus community about campus security procedures and crime prevention.
An electronic copy of the Annual Security Report (ASR) can be accessed at the following link: https://www.google.com/url?q=https://inside.sou.edu/assets/security/AnnualCrimeReportFinal.pdf&sa=D&source=docs&ust=1689963083708061&usg=AOvVaw0f-fXyFGeMPwDF6jWmofiB. A physical copy of the ASR is available at no charge upon request. To request a copy please visit the Campus Public Safety Office at 382 Wightman Street, Ashland OR 97520. For more information call 541-552-6258, or email [email protected].To apply, please visit: https://apptrkr.com/5291812
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