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Financial Aid Specialist

Apply now Posting #: 4828
Position Status: Full-time regular
Location: San Diego
Position Type: Staff, Office of Financial Aid

Position Title & Department:

 Financial Aid Specialist; Office of Financial Aid
Posting #


Department Description:

The Office of Financial Aid (OFA) is responsible for the awarding of Federal, State, and Institutional financial aid to Undergraduate and Graduate students at the University of San Diego. The OFA is also responsible for maintaining Federal, State, and Institutional compliance to ensure proper delivery of financial aid. This includes scholarships, grants, work-study, and loans. The OFA determines student eligibility using the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA), the CA Dream Act Application, and the USD Dream Act Application. 76% of USD students receive some type of financial aid.

University Description:

The University of San Diego, a contemporary and engaged Contemporary Catholic institution, was founded by the Diocese of San Diego and the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1949. Governed by an independent board of trustees since 1972, USD remains committed to a liberal arts education grounded in the Catholic intellectual tradition and the pursuit of truth, goodness and beauty. Inspired by this centuries old tradition of Catholic higher education, the University welcomes people of all faith traditions and any, or no, religious background. The future success of USD relies on the contributions of those who seek to foster the development of engaged global citizens and an earnest confrontation of humanity’s urgent challenges.

Detailed Description:
Assists with management and administration of financial aid funds by performing difficult and complex technical and analytical work. Serves as the cognos report lead, dataload lead, Campus Communicator lead, back-up for the OFA website and MySanDiego portal coordinator, and performs form review/analysis. This position requires knowledge of financial aid and the ability to research and analyze data, and to reason logically and creatively. Must effectively organize, prioritize, and work independently following instructions in an environment of frequent interruptions and challenging situations. Assists in FAFSA application review to facilitate need analysis by downloading EDE records via EDConnect from the U.S. Department of Education. Is secondary Destination Point Administrator for federal systems. Is back-up for all Associate Director responsibilities. Assists the Assistant Directors, the Associate Director, and the Director of Financial Aid with special projects as needed.

Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Responsible for the downloading and uploading of student records to and from the Department of Education.
  • Secondary Destination Point Administrator for federal systems.
  • Responsible for transferring student records to USD’s Banner Financial Aid system.
  • Matches records in the Dataload temporary file to records in Banner. Identifies mismatches between Student and Financial Aid Banner systems. Identifies and corrects or refers unresolved mismatches to the Associate Director.
  • Provides leadership, guidance, and training to the other members of the Dataload Team.
  • Annually researches federal changes and sets up methods of receiving and transmitting data according to current federal procedural standards. Writes and updates the instructions and procedures for all Dataload processes.
  • Manages the installation and integration of software updates and enhancements for specialty software programs provided by the Department of Education.
  • Investigates, analyzes, and resolves software and connectivity problems for the specialty software programs with the technical support staff of the Department of Education.
  • Performs data backups, and organizes and archives files downloaded from the Department of Education for retrieval during Federal Government audits.
  • Maintains the security within each of the specialty software programs provided by the Department of Education. Assigns and updates passwords for connectivity to the Department of Education, and for individual users needing to access these programs.
  • Performs interactive functions through the Department of Education Web site to restore lost files and check the status of batches previously sent.
  • Serves as contact person for Administrative Information Systems staff in regards to specialty Financial Aid Programs.
  • Inform the Director and Associate Director of issues which may adversely impact the Dataload process.
  • Serves as the primary contact for ITS for Dataload issues.

Report Lead:

  • Develops and maintains reports required for operations and special projects as requested by other OFA staff members and other USD offices.
  • Analyzes data requests.
  • Determines and locates the data fields needed to be used to select the desired population and/or characteristics.
  • Edits and submits Cognos Reports; reviews reports for errors.
  • Utilizes data within SalesForce for financial aid functions and email campaigns.
  • Works with OFA team members to develop reports to automate and enhance financial aid processes.

Campus Communicator:

  • Serves as primary contact for Campus Logic vendor
  • Manages Campus Communicator product
  • Manages annual updates
  • Trouble-shoots all technical issues with Campus Communicator


  • Serves as back-up for the OFA website.
  • Serves as back-up for the MySanDiego portal.
  • Serves as secondary contact for ITS when managing website and portal.
  • Serves as back-up to Document Control for interface between banner, SalesForce, and portal for all eForms.


  • Perform form review, ANA, and INAS.
  • Determine student financial aid eligibility based on Federal Methodology and USD guidelines, using professional judgment and knowledge in “gray areas.”
  • Process corrections through ANA/INAS system and determine new need/eligibility.
  • Determine students’ financial aid package using USD, federal, and state guidelines, demonstrating flexibility, yet adhering to guidelines; identify/request exceptions based on professional judgment.
  • Perform re-evaluation of packages.

Other Financial Aid Processes:    

  • Serves as primary back-up for all Associate Director job responsibilities.
  • Assists in completing special projects for the Assistant Directors, Associate Director, and Director of Financial Aid.
  • Attend state/federal training workshops and state/regional conferences relating to financial aid and/or scholarships.
  • Serve as integral part of financial aid team in formulating and implementing policies and procedures for office management and modifications to packaging and processing guidelines.

Special Conditions of Employment:

Effective June 1, 2023, based on CDC guidance, the University strongly encourages all campus members to stay up to date with Influenza and COVID-19 vaccination recommendations.  For more regarding information USD's COVID-19 protocols, please visit sandiego.edu/onward.

Background check:  Successful completion of a pre-employment background check.

Degree Verification Requirement: Persons offered employment in this position will be required to provide official education transcripts for degree verification purposes. 

Job Requirements:

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree required.
  • Three years of work experience in financial aid, student services, or a related field (i.e. finance, accounting, banking, etc.) is required.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Three or more years of work experience in financial aid is preferred.
  • Experience with Banner and Cognos Systems is strongly preferred.
  • Experience with Federal Systems is strongly preferred.

Performance Expectations - Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

  • Strong attention to detail
  • Ability to work well both independently and in a team environment. 
  • Accurate and perceptive skills
  • Analytical skills are vital.
  • Knowledge of Financial Aid terminology.
  • Proven ability using computers for business/accounting applications, including word processing and spreadsheets.
  • Strong math skills.
  • Knowledge of need analysis and student aid
  • High degree of mathematical accuracy
  • Effective oral and written communication skills
  • Effective organizational skills
  • Ability to make independent decisions
  • Ability to make difficult and critical decisions
  • Ability to adjust to changing environment
  • Capacity to listen and respond with knowledge and understanding to student and parent situations
  • Word processing skills
  • Extensive knowledge and understanding of Title IV Regulations
  • Maintain diplomacy in difficult situations
  • Demonstrated supervisory skills
  • Ability and availability to work additional hours during peak processing times and/or during times of staff transition
  • 'Public Speaking skills
Posting Salary:

$21.88 - 29.53 per hour; Excellent Benefits

The University of San Diego offers a very competitive benefits package including; medical, dental, vision, a retirement contribution given to you by the University, and access to on-campus Fitness Centers.  Please visit the benefits section of our website to view all of the perks and benefits that USD has to offer.  USD: Human Resources: Benefits

The salary range provided in this posting reflects what we reasonably expect to pay for this position.  Actual compensation offered or earned is dependent on experience, education and other factors including departmental budget.

Special Application Instructions:

Resume and Cover Letter Required

Click the 'Apply Now' button to complete our online application. In addition, please upload a cover letter and resume to your application profile for the hiring managers’ review.  If you have any questions or difficulties please contact the Employment Services Team at jobs@sandiego.edu.

Additional Details:

Hours: 37.5 hours per week

Closing date: Open until filled 

Note: External job postings will be up for at least five days. After that time, applications will be reviewed by the hiring manager/committee throughout the posting period. A candidate may be selected at any time which could then close this posting on a date earlier than listed.

The University of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer committed to diversity and inclusion and is especially interested in candidates who can contribute to the diversity and excellence of the campus community.

The University of San Diego is a smoking and tobacco-free campus. For more information, visit www.sandiego.edu/smokefree.

Advertised: Pacific Standard Time
Applications close:

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Notice of Availability: In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act (the Clery Act), the Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available at www.sandiego.edu/safety/documents/annualreport.pdf. This report is published by October 1st of each year and includes current institutional policies and procedures concerning campus safety and security; fire safety and evacuation policies; sexual misconduct and relationship violence reporting and response stands and protocols; and crime and fire statistics for the three previous calendar years. To request a paper copy, please contact the Clery Act Compliance Manager via email at clery@sandiego.edu, by calling (619) 260-4768, or in-person in the Hughes Administration Center, room 150.