Bluefield University Employment Opportunities

Graduate Assistant Financial Aid Advocate


Reporting to the Director of Financial Aid, the Graduate Assistant Financial Aid Advocate represents Bluefield University 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 GA 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.


 The Graduate Assistant 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 match records on a weekly basis and/or as necessary.
  • Pulls ISIRs along with other necessary federal reports from EDCONNECT on a daily basis, as necessary.
  • Reviews federal reports and/or assigns tasks, as needed.
  • Reviews and coordinates with counselors on NSLDS post screenings.
  • Participate and assist in financial aid events coordinated with Bluefield Central and other offices such as Open House, RAM Day, move-in…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 myBU 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 add 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 along with other administrative systems such as but not limited to, Jenzabar, Bluefield Thrive, PowerFAIDS…etc.
  • Assists with interdepartmental coordination 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, Bluefield U 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
  • Assists the Director of Financial Aid in the review of Return of Title IV worksheets and calculations for errors and accuracy along with reporting enrollment to the National Student Data System accordingly.
  • Complies with all rules, policies, and procedures as established by Bluefield University.
  • 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.
  • Ability to explain FERPA to all constituent groups.
  • Utilize the 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 Bluefield 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 to admissions for deposited students.
  • Run credit card payments and log into the receipt book for Student Account processing.
  • 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 University.
  • 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 University policies to employees and enforces safety regulations.
  • Complies with all rules, policies, and procedures as established by Bluefield University.
  • Performs all other duties as assigned.


This position does not directly supervise any university 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.


Recruiting, management, sales, and/or knowledge of higher education is 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 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 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 University is available at

To be considered for this position, all application requirements listed above must be completed.

Bluefield University is a private, not-for-profit institution affiliated with the Baptist General Association of Virginia. Bluefield University 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 University 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 University-administered programs. This institution encourages women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities to apply.

Do I only apply once?

  • No. Students must apply each academic year for the fall semester and submit the necessary documents.

Do I have to take the classes specified in the Associate's Degree tracks as they are listed on the information sheet?

  • No. Students may take any of the courses that are offered in a given term.

Where do I find the textbook listing, and where do I purchase the books?

  • Log in to myBU, and under the "Student" tab, you will find a list of the textbooks required (if any) for each course. Students are responsible for purchasing their own textbooks.

How long is a semester?

  • Our semesters are divided into two 8-week terms.

Is there an orientation?

  • Yes. Students can attend an orientation session that explains how to access courses, how to register for classes, and answers other questions.

Where can I find a course description?

Does the student need to take the SAT or ACT in order to take Dual Enrollment classes?

  • No. If a student decides to study at BU full time, BU is currently test-optional for the 2021-2022 admissions cycle.

Are the classes live? Do students need to log in and participate at certain times?

  • Classes are offered online, so a student can log-on and study at their convenience and their own pace. Students have assignments due each week; you can complete your assignments at any point in time before the deadline.

Does an Early College student need to come to campus for anything?

  • No. However, we would love to have you visit our campus if you are interested in continuing with traditional on-campus study. Students who complete their associate's degree have the option to walk at our commencement ceremony.

Are Early College students able to receive Financial Aid?

  • No. However, Early College courses are very affordable compared to other options. The cost for an online Dual Enrollment course is $100 per credit hour.

How do transferring credits work?

  • Each College or University completes a transcript review in order to decide which courses transfer. Sticking to general education classes generally makes transferring credits simple. All Early College courses at Bluefield University are general education classes that should transfer to another accredited institution.

Is an Early College student considered, and treated, as a transfer student when they become a full-time college student if they have earned enough credits to be a Junior?

  • No. Since they have not graduated from high school, they are considered a first-time college student regardless of how many credits transfer. However, by transferring credits when they enroll as a full-time student, they will have to take fewer classes to receive their bachelor's degree, which shortens the length of time to earn the degree.

Can I speak to someone if I have more questions?

  • Yes. Please contact the Office of Admissions by email or you can call them at 276.326.4231


Meet our core Counseling faculty

Dr. Challen Mabry

Assistant Professor of Counseling

Dr. Kristen Moran

Associate Professor of Counseling

Brandy Smith

Assistant Professor of Education & Counseling,
Director of the Master of Arts in Counseling Program,
Title IX Confidential Counselor