1235 Financial Aid Counselor-West Plains


TITLE Financial Aid Counselor-WP




IMMEDIATE SUPERVISOR Coordinator of Financial Aid, West Plains

MAJOR ADMINISTRATOR Dean of Student Services


The Financial Aid Counselor's duties include counseling and advising students and parents on the various financial aid programs, assisting with the administration of one or more federal, state, or institutional financial aid programs, evaluating Financial Aid applications in order to determine student eligibility for various financial aid programs, and collecting data and keeping accurate records.


Education: A Associate's degree is required. A Bachelor's degree is preferred in an appropriate field, such as Business, Communications, Public Administration, or Guidance and Counseling.

Experience: A minimum of one year of experience in college or university student financial aid administration is required. Preference will be given to individuals with more than minimum experience in a highly automated, financial aid office at an institution which resembles Missouri State University – West Plains in size and complexity of program administration.

Skills: Must be able to communicate effectively, both in writing and verbally, with students, parents, high school counselors, fellow employees, college administrators, and other constituents of the University. Must be comfortable speaking before groups of students and parents. Must be able to relate effectively to all publics and must have strong organizational and time management skills. The ability to develop knowledge of, respect for, and skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds is required.


1. Ensures optimal use of financial aid funds by awarding funds from the various university-controlled programs to students in accordance with established federal, state, and University guidelines.

2. Promotes a positive image of the Financial Aid Office by making group presentations which explain both the various financial aid programs and associated application processes.

3. Ensures student and parent awareness of the various financial aid sources during counseling sessions by providing information to them and answering their questions regarding financial aid sources.

4. Assists students in the application process for financial aid by helping them to complete appropriate and required forms; by advising them of their rights and responsibilities concerning financial aid; and by providing them with information about the status of their financial aid applications.

5. Determines students’ eligibility for various financial aid programs by evaluating financial aid applications, verifying and correcting (if necessary) tax information electronically through the Department of Education, and accesses various websites for loan/grant history and calculates return of federal funds upon a student’s withdrawal if required.

6. Develops students' money management skills by assisting students with financial planning.

7. Contributes to broad based management of the Financial Aid Office by providing input to office policy and procedure decisions.

8. Assures compliance with applicable regulations, laws, and policies by monitoring eligibility constraints, reviewing processing for errors, resolving discrepancies, and making adjustments, corrections, and modifications.

9. Facilitates the delivery of financial aid to eligible students by evaluating eligibility variables, corresponding with and advising students in regard to their financial aid eligibility as it pertains to the specific program, and making awards and disbursements.

10. Limits the liability of Missouri State University to loss from errors or omissions by creating and maintaining appropriate records and performing appropriate bookkeeping functions.

11. Facilitates communication with various agencies by using software and database systems to electronically create, modify, extract, transmit, receive, and maintain financial records.

12. Contributes to broad based management of the Financial Aid Office by providing input to office policy and procedure decisions.

13. Assists in the preparation of required statistical reports by collecting data and keeping accurate records on programs administered by the Financial Aid Office and by designing and revising forms as appropriate.

14. Contributes to a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds.

15. Maintains competency and professional currency through self-directed professional reading, developing professional contacts with colleagues, attending professional development courses, and attending training and/or courses required by the Coordinator of Financial Aid.

16. Ensures that miscellaneous assignments are completed in the best interests of the campus and by accepting and accomplishing tasks which are delegated by the Coordinator of Financial Aid.


The Financial Aid Counselor is supervised by the Coordinator of Financial Aid.




Factor 1: Professional Knowledge, Skill, and Technical Mastery

Level 1 - 500 Points: Knowledge of principles, processes, methods, and procedures associated with a limited range of healthcare, technical, scientific, administrative support, communications, or social science program objectives or common problems. Knowledge permits the employee to complete routine medical and healthcare procedures, common administrative support tasks, operate basic equipment and instruments, carry out a variety of interrelated tasks and recurring assignments, assist individuals, answer common questions, and/or elicit information from a variety of sources. Professional knowledge, skill, and technical mastery at this level are typically acquired through a combination of formal education and/or training and experience beyond a high school diploma.

Factor 2: Supervisory Responsibility

Level 2 - 130 Points: Regular, but limited, supervision, training, or directing the work assignments of (a) small numbers of student, part-time or temporary workers, or (b) one or more permanent, full-time employees. The nature of supervision is largely confined to scheduling work and assigning tasks. Supervision at this level typically does not include a full range of supervisory responsibilities, and supervisory duties typically do not consume a large portion of the work day.

Factor 3: Interactions with Others

Level 3 - 250 Points: The purpose of interactions is to advise or counsel others to solve recurring and structured problems, and/or to plan or coordinate work efforts with other employees who are working toward common goals in situations where relationships are generally cooperative. Interactions are moderately structured and routine and may involve employees in different functions, students, and/or the general public. These types of interactions require normal interpersonal skills.

Factor 4: Job Controls and Guidelines

Level 2 - 250 Points: The employee carries out a group of procedures using the general methods and desired results indicated by the supervisor. Typically, standard operating procedures, handbooks, and/or reference manuals exist for most procedures, but the employee must select from the most appropriate of several guidelines and make minor adjustments to methods. Unforeseen situations are normally referred to others for resolution. Assignments are related in function and objective, but processes, procedures, or software varies from one assignment to another. Based on the assignment, the employee uses diverse, but conventional, methods, techniques, or approaches. Employees in jobs at this level may perform work that is moderately complex, but normally performed within a fairly narrow and specific functional area.

Factor 5: Managerial Responsibility

Level 2 - 400 Points: Work involves services including collecting, processing, and disseminating information and providing advice to others. Work activities may be complex and likely affect the accuracy, reliability, or acceptability of further processes or services to the extent that others rely on the advice given in order to make decisions. Work activities typically affect the efficiency of the department but have relatively minor effects on operations within the cost center. Individuals in jobs at this level are often responsible for actively documenting, monitoring, and controlling expenditures. Incumbents may recommend minor expenditures, but have no substantive authority over budgets.