The Financial Aid Assistant provides a broad range of clerical and administrative, technical and office support duties for the Office of Financial Aid. This position serves as the initial contact for visitors to the office and juggles telephone, email and phone inquiries with a friendly demeanor, tact and diplomacy. Duties may require specialized knowledge and are confidential in nature. The individual must possess excellent interpersonal, organizational and customer service skills.
Last Updated: 08/07/19 Department: Financial Aid Supervisor: Director of Financial Aid
Status: Regular FLSA Classification: Non-Exempt Grade: E
Benefits: Full employment benefits subject to the terms and conditions in the plan or policy documents.
(See definitions under Position Reporting Information section below).
Regular employment at the College is for no specified period of time; conditions and status of employment (hours, pay, title, duties, etc.) are subject to change at any time. Employees, and likewise the College, are free to end the employment relationship at any time, for any reason, with or without notice or cause, unless otherwise prohibited by law.
This position description defines the essential or fundamental job duties of the employment position. It is assumed that employees hired for this position can perform the essential functions of this job without imposing risk of substantial harm to the health or safety of themselves or others. It may also include marginal functions, generally defined within Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
This job description has been designed to indicate the general nature and level of work performed by employees within this classification. It is not designed to contain or be interpreted as a comprehensive inventory of all duties, responsibilities and qualifications required of employees assigned to this position. When duties and responsibilities change and develop, Pitzer College will review this job description and make changes of business necessity.
Serve as the first point-of-contact for all walk-ins, telephone calls and emails to the office. Responsible for opening the office at 8:00 a.m. and closing at 5:00 p.m.
Provide high-level customer service to assess the needs of visitors, answer questions, and effectively explain the financial aid application requirements and process.
Manage the Financial Aid and Slate email accounts. Monitor and respond effectively to all inquiries, requests, and status updates. Screen for duplicate inquiries in both accounts. Manage/create standard responses for frequently asked questions. Distribute emails to staff as necessary using sound judgment.
Responsible for all incoming documents to the office. Receive, screen, and distribute mail. Date-stamp, track and route application materials to the appropriate locations. Review related paperwork for completeness and accuracy and request additional documentation as necessary. Prioritize items requiring immediate attention.
Organize incoming faxes and email attachments. Scan, upload, and index them into OnBase.
Maintain and control confidential student records.
Coordinate the “retiring” of student files including moving to outside storage and arranging for shredding. Maintain and organize the office storage unit.
Generate monthly email notifications to students regarding missing required documents and generate direct loan and federal work-study communications using PowerFAIDS.
Produce all award letters through PowerFAIDS and generate accompanying documents.
Update PowerFAIDS system with changes in student/parent information.
Load Direct Loan interviews and send exit interview materials to students who are no longer active.
Works closely with the Assistant Director to coordinate Pitzer College loan paperwork with students and The Claremont Colleges Services (TCCS). Assist the Assistant Director in processing Emergency Loans.
Serve as back up to the FA Operations Coordinator for the daily data loads into PowerFAIDS: Slate, CSS Profile/IDOC, ISIR files and Dept. of Education messages and related files.
Assist the Human Resources Office in the hiring process for the Federal Work-Study Program
Explain federal work-study policies, procedures, and regulations to employers and students.
Assist HR with the on-boarding process for returning students.
Maintain the inventory of all office supplies, including forms and informational materials. Order supplies as needed and confer with staff for any additional supplies/equipment.
Generate invoices in Workday to ensure timely payments to vendors.
Serve as the office lead in planning, coordinating and executing special events on campus. Coordinate logistics with other departments to ensure the smooth operation of successful events.
Schedule appointments and manage the electronic calendars for the Financial Aid Office staff.
Coordinate travel and conference registration for FA staff.
Maintain and expand the office’s social media presence and assist with website design.
Provide support to the Financial Aid staff with projects and other duties as assigned.
Supervisory Responsibility: No.
Work Hours: This is a full-time position working 40 hours per week for 12 months annually. The regular hours for this position are 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday. These hours may vary due to needs of the College or department.
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS AND ABILITIES
The individual must possess knowledge, skills and ability to be able to successfully perform the essential functions of the position or be able to explain or demonstrate how the essential functions will be performed, with or without reasonable accommodation, using some other combination of skills and abilities.
Demonstrated experience working in a Windows computer environment, including but not limited to, using recent versions of Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook and Publisher.
Experience using or the ability to quickly learn to use relational database systems, such as PowerFAIDS and CX Jenzabar.
Proven commitment to provide superior customer service, including exercising tact, maturity and initiative in addressing inquiries and requests.
Strong attention to detail and adherence to accuracy.
Stamina to maintain productivity and high-quality work in a high-volume, fast-paced environment with multiple interruptions.
Excellent written, oral and interpersonal communication skills in English. Ability to explain complex information in simple and concise terms to a diverse range of individuals.
Fluent Spanish language skills are a plus.
Ability to be proactive and work independently, as well as collaboratively as part of a team.
Ability to work effectively and congenially with diverse populations.
Ability to coordinate and prioritize multiple concurrent projects and bring to completion by established deadlines and expectations while managing frequent interruptions.
Understand, or have the ability to quickly learn, basic federal income tax law and income tax return documents.
Ability to work with confidential information.
Punctuality and dependability are critical requirements for this position.
Education: Must have a high school diploma plus two years of college; or any combination of education and experience that provides the required skills and abilities. A bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution is preferred.
Experience: Must have one year of full-time experience in general office assignments. Preference will be given to individuals with experience in financial aid or student services positions with significant computer experience. Experience with PowerFAIDS is preferred.
Licenses/Certifications: None required.
Working Environment: Work is performed in an office setting with moderate noise levels, controlled temperature conditions, and no direct exposure to hazardous physical substances. May occasionally work outdoors for events and activities.
Physical Requirements: This is generally a sedentary position. Must be able to:
Sit for prolonged periods of time;
Operate a computer for prolonged periods of time;
Communicate with others by email, in person and over the telephone;
Read printed materials and a computer screen;
Have the mobility to work in a standard office setting and use standard office equipment;
Assist with the set-up and teardown of event tables, signage and other materials.
Requires reaching overhead, grasping, pulling, pushing, stooping, bending, and twisting;
Lift 15 pounds from the ground to waist level unassisted; and
Have the stamina to manage a high-volume workload in a fast-paced work environment.
Preferences: Fluency in Spanish is preferred. Experience using PowerFAIDS is a plus.
The Claremont Colleges, a consortium of five undergraduate liberal arts colleges, two graduate institutions, and Claremont University Consortium, which provides shared institutional support services, is reminiscent of the Oxford-Cambridge model. The undergraduate colleges include Pomona College, Scripps College, Claremont McKenna College, Harvey Mudd College, and Pitzer College. The two graduate institutions include Claremont Graduate University and Keck Graduate Institute.