Skip to main content


Financial Aid Counselor

Apply now Job no: 494106
Work type: Full Time
Location: Swarthmore
Categories: Staff

Swarthmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, whose mission combines academic rigor with social responsibility. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to inclusive excellence and nondiscrimination in its educational program and employment practices and encourages candidates who will further advance the goal of fostering a diverse and inclusive community. As one of the nation’s finest institutions of higher learning, Swarthmore College is global in outlook and draws students from around the nation and world. The 425‐acre campus is a designated arboretum, complete with gardens, rolling lawns, a creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails in the Crum Woods.

Reporting to the Director of Financial Aid, the financial aid counselor provides comprehensive counseling and assistance to students and families in all areas of financing their Swarthmore education (student loans, financial aid, student accounts/tuition payments, student employment). Will also require participation in outreach efforts, presentations and other activities that emphasize Swarthmore’s commitment to access and affordability. The financial aid counselor performs a variety of functions to assist in the central functions of the Financial Aid Office including need analysis and the verification and reconciliation of data and information; frontline communication and counseling with students and families, prospective and current; utilizes and follows federal, state, and department regulatory mandates, rules, regulations, policies and procedures.

Under minimal supervision, duties include counseling and assisting both prospective and current students/parents on the financial assistance process and analyzing FAFSA data, federal IRS tax, transcripts, and financial verification documents. The Financial Aid Counselor will serve as a member of the compliance team, serving as the primary team member for federal aid processing, verification, and reconciliation, and as secondary reviewer for SAP and R2T4 reviews. The financial aid counselor in this role is as diligent and quantitative as they are personable and accommodating to the needs of students and parents.

Essential Responsibilities:
• Position requires extensive and timely communications with parents and students, prospective and current, in person, via email, and on the telephone. Service expectations are high; communication skills both verbally and in writing must be excellent
• Knowledge of documents and systems that collect, organize and track documents received by the Financial Aid Office
• Knowledge and continued learning of federal income tax return forms as well as financial aid application forms, main and supplemental
• Knowledge of institutional methodology
• Examine financial aid applications, personal, corporate and partnership returns to determine if we have the complete details of each family's financial situation necessary to make an aid decision. Requests clarification and/or additional information as necessary.
• Manage confidentiality of data and security of data storage processes
• Determine and make recommendations for methods and policies to
complete compliance related work in line with federal, state, and
institutional policy.
• Works in conjunction with other compliance team members to provide
first level technical assistance for financial aid staff on system
procedures, system integration, data integrity, and reporting.
• Audit files, run queries and reports on a regular basis to identify
and/or resolve issues.
• Meet with students and families on a regular basis. Willingness and ability to demonstrate a positive attitude and genuine interest in assisting students, often under stressful conditions.
• Resolve C-Flags related to Selective Service, Citizenship, and Unusual
Enrollment History.
• Lead support staff for federal financial aid reconciliation (Pell,
Direct Loans)
• Process and certify alternative student loans
• Partner with Director of Services/Senior Assistant Director in development of financial literacy program

Additional Responsibilities:
• Maintains and updates the data contained in student files
• Stay current on federal regulations and advise students of changes pertinent to them
• Manage the security of hard copy files and documents
• Develop high level expertise in federal regulatory procedures and federal methodology
• Financial aid presentations with educator partners such as high schools or community based organization, occasionally
• Actively participate in campus visitation programs
• Active contribution and participation in the annual A-133 audit
• Additional responsibilities, as assigned

Core Competencies:
• Must handle confidential information in a discreet manner.
• Commitment to Swarthmore Values
• Collaboration / Team Orientation
• Adaptability / Flexibility
• Accuracy/Clarity/Transparency
• Ability to work with financial aid director and director staff to facilitate and enhance workflow processes
• Ability to interact with other college departments and to design policies and processes that support the College’s mission and workflow (Admissions, Student Accounts, Dean of Students)
• Ability to work independently with administrative workflow procedures
• Understanding of college policies and practices particularly those of the Admissions Office, Business Office, and Student Accounts Office
• Knowledge of federal income tax return forms and financial aid application forms
• Willingness and ability to adapt to changing technologies and systems.
• Works cooperatively with others and accepts direction from supervisors.
• Demonstrated ability to prioritize assignments to meet deadlines.
• Demonstrated leadership ability and positive attitude towards colleagues.
• Proficiency with Google and Microsoft Office applications, presentation software, and web text editing

Required Qualifications:
• Bachelor’s Degree
• 1 year or more financial aid experience
• 2 years or more student services/customer service/office experience
• Familiarity with financial aid software systems, preferably Banner

Preferred Qualifications:
• Working knowledge of federal programs and regulation
• Knowledge and concern for sustainable methods of administration
• Knowledge of institutional methodology


Swarthmore College actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. Swarthmore College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. 

Advertised: Eastern Daylight Time
Applications close:

Back to search results Apply now Refer a friend

Share this:

| More