Reporting to the Director of Financial Aid, the Financial Aid BC Central Advocate represents Bluefield College to students, parents, faculty and staff, and other constituents. The successful advocate exhibits superior customer service skills and professionalism throughout daily interactions and communications with students including, phone calls, emails, and information sessions. The FA advocate must demonstrate an ability to work independently as well as collaboratively with team members, faculty, students, alumni, administrators, and staff. A flexible work schedule that will include days, evenings, and some weekends is required.
This position has the primary responsibility for financial aid processing, customer service both general and individual, and providing financial aid support and assistance to the overall student financial aid operations.
DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND FUNCTIONS
The Financial Aid Advocate will be expected to perform the following duties, responsibilities, and functions:
- Process all financial aid documents in the FA system (powerfaids) and coordinate with financial aid advisors on the document processing.
- Connect with students and/or advisors on any incomplete and/or missing financial aid documentation upon receipt.
- Collects, date stamps, reviews for completeness and uniformity and then logs mail accordingly.
- Processes Financial Aid Data Exchange and match records processing on a daily basis and/or as necessary.
- Pulls ISIRs along with other necessary federal reports from EDCONNECT on a daily basis and/or as necessary. Reviews reports and assigns necessary counselors for review.
- Reviews and coordinates with counselors on NSLDS post screenings.
- Participate and assist in financial aid events coordinated with BC Central and other offices such as BC Preview days, RAM Day, move-ins…etc.
- Assists current and prospective students with completing financial aid processes
- Creates and revises all financial aid forms and uploads them to the website and student myBC portal upon approval of the Director of Financial Aid.
- Counsels students as needed. Advises students on enrollment and academic decisions affecting their aid eligibility as necessary.
- Provides telephone, e-mail, in-person, and online customer service.
- Communicates policies, procedures, and deadlines including but not limited to refunds, withdrawals, consortium, VTAG, loans, employer reimbursement, etc.
- Assist advisors in contacting students for, but not limited to, missing documents, paying balance…etc.
- Uploads and maintains the outside scholarship newsletter
- Vets all outside scholarship opportunities and adds to outside scholarship newsletter
- Able to use FA Inquiry and PowerFAIDS to lookup status of documents received, not received, and incomplete.
- Able to inform the Campus Store as to a student’s ability to charge to their student account.
- Able to complete a Bottom-line worksheet to give students an estimate.
- Able to answer general financial aid questions and explain to students and families, such as FAFSA, how to obtain an FSA ID, important government websites, VTAG information, deadlines, standards, and understanding census dates, and consequences…etc.
- Maintain knowledge of federal, state, and institutional regulations related to financial aid.
- Develop working knowledge of software programs associated with student financial aid and the college’s other administrative systems (Jenzabar and PowerFAIDS).
- Coordinates with other offices to effectively and efficiently administer financial aid policy and procedures relating to but not limited to packaging, originating, disbursing, and returning aid.
- Conducts and orchestrates financial aid outreach through social media, TV monitors, emails, BC Central app…etc. focusing on promoting financial aid processing and financial literacy through our ECMC partnership.
- Prepares and mails exit packets along with any other correspondence to current and prospective students as needed.
- Reviews and processes registration tickets and determines if review from counselor or director is required to track students’ withdrawals, calculate refunds, perform return of funds
- Reviews Return of Title IV calculations for errors and accuracy along with reporting enrollment to National Student Data System accordingly.
- Complies with all rules, policies, and procedures as established by Bluefield College.
- Performs other duties as assigned and helps with general financial aid operations.
Additional responsibilities of the Financial Aid Advocate:
- Provide front-line customer service in the office on specified advocate days and backup advocate days on the predetermined calendar.
- Ability to explain FERPA to all constituent groups.
- Utilize phone, email, and mail to communicate with students in a timely manner, providing superior student service.
- Have the ability to explain, distribute and collect all BC Central forms and documents.
- Able to review student accounts to verify the amount owed or anticipated credit.
- Explain and guide students through the registration process.
- Discuss payment plan options.
- Distribute checks to students.
- Print copy of AR statement and AR Account Report for students upon request.
- Take payments for students and provide a written receipt and/or email admissions for deposited students. Retained in file to be receipted to the account by Student Accounts Department.
- Run credit card payments to be logged into receipt book and receipted by Student Accounts.
- Ability to follow the expectation of treating fellow employees, students, and the institution’s guests with civility, and to refrain from activities that disrupt the efficient functioning of the college.
- Ability to follow directions and complete tasks accurately as well as accept supervisory input and constructive criticism.
- Attend training sessions to receive updated information about new programs, services, requirements, etc.
- Interprets College policies to employees and enforces safety regulations.
- Complies with all rules, policies, and procedures as established by Bluefield College.
- Performs other duties as assigned.
SUPERVISORY DUTIES, RESPONSIBILITIES, AND FUNCTIONS
This position does not directly supervise any college employees. However, this position is responsible for assisting with the supervision, monitoring, and assigning tasks for the work-study students in the office, to help maintain organization and smooth workflow of files and paperwork.
KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, ABILITIES, AND EDUCATION/EXPERIENCE
Recruiting, management, sales, and/or knowledge of higher education strongly preferred; Must be able to demonstrate excellent written and oral communication skills; Knowledge of accounts receivable and related collections regulatory requirements; Experience with the finance functions of ERP software, such as Jenzabar, and/or the ability and background to gain this experience; Well-developed presentation skills are required; Goal-oriented and intrinsically motivated with superior customer service and networking skills; Facility with MS Office Suite and the Internet as a tool; Ability to manage student files and rosters via the Jenzabar system; Ability to build relationships with students and determine the correct program fit for students’ career and personal goals and follow them through the enrollment process; Experience working with adult population preferred; Professional attire and personal presentation required daily.
- Physical Demands
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This position is not necessarily a physically demanding job and requires no specific physical demands other than those typical in a modern office environment. Normal responsibilities should not afford risks of accidental injury.
- Specialized Equipment Requirements
The use of specialized equipment listed here is representative of equipment an employee may encounter while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. This position requires no specialized equipment other than equipment typically used in a modern office environment, including personal computers, calculators, copiers, and fax machines.
- Working Conditions and Environment
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the duties, responsibilities, and functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the duties, responsibilities, and functions. This position has no specific working conditions; the work environment is typical to that of a small private residential institution of higher education, with physical remote site locations within 500 miles of the main campus in Bluefield, Virginia.
This position is subject to at least an annual evaluation based upon the job duties, responsibilities, and functions as set forth above.
The job duties, responsibilities, functions, and requirements delineated above should not be interpreted as an all-inclusive list of the same. Additional duties, responsibilities, functions, and requirements may be assigned as deemed appropriate. The College reserves the right to change or reassign job duties, responsibilities, and functions, or combine positions at any time. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, it is possible that requirements may be modified to reasonably accommodate disabled individuals. However, no accommodations will be made which may pose serious health or safety risks to the employee or others or which impose undue hardships on the College. Position descriptions are not intended as and do not create employment contracts. The College maintains its status as an at-will employer.
To apply for this position, please visit https://www.bluefield.edu/employment/ to complete the electronic staff employment application and upload the following:
- Letter of interest
- Resume or Curriculum Vitae
- Names and full contact information for at least three professional references
- Statement of Christian Faith
Additional information about Bluefield College is available at www.bluefield.edu.
To be considered for this position, all application requirements listed above must be completed.
Bluefield College is a Christ-centered, multicultural learning community that values and seeks faculty and staff who represent diverse backgrounds and perspectives, are committed to diversity, work effectively with diverse populations, and engage others in ways that honor our rich cultural mosaic and biblical foundation.
Bluefield College is a private, not-for-profit institution affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia. Bluefield College shall not unlawfully discriminate on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, disability, age, religion, genetic information, veteran or military status, or any other basis on which the College is prohibited from discrimination under local, state, or federal law, in its employment or in the provision of its services, including but not limited to its programs and activities, admissions, educational policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other College-administered programs. This institution encourages women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply.