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Financial Aid & Scholarships Specialist (2021)
Santa Monica College in Santa Monica, California
Date Posted 03/26/2021
Admin-Financial Aid
Salary $27.87 - $33.88 Hourly $4,831.00 - $5,873.00 Monthly -  
Employment Type Full-time, Permanent
Application Deadline Open until filled

This is a Promotional and Open Competitive Recruitment, which will result in two eligibility lists. 

THANK YOU FOR CHOOSING TO GROW YOUR CAREER AT SANTA MONICA COLLEGE! The Financial Aid & Scholarship Specialists performs complex and specialized duties relating to the preparation and implementation of student services in the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office. Incumbents will be responsible for evaluating and processing financial aid applications, determining eligibility for financial aid and scholarship programs, interpreting and ensuring compliance with applicable financial aid regulations and conducting outreach workshops to educate students about financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Incumbents  are expected to have prior work experience in financial aid and serve as a subject matter expert resource in the Financial Aid and Scholarships Office.
 There are currently two Financial Aid & Scholarship Specialists vacancies. These positions are scheduled to work Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., 40 hours per week, 12 months per year.  These positions will report to Stacy Neal, Director of Financial Aid and Scholarships.
 Skills desired for an ideal candidate 
include, subject matter proficiency, decision making, and an exceptional attention to detail.  The candidate will possess prior experience applying financial aid regulations, processes and practices, evaluating FAFSA applications, performing verification reviews, analyzing and ensuring accuracy of financial aid data, possess a customer service mindset, communicating effectively with stakeholders, and be well versed in the financial aid system applications.

About the Selection Process 
The selection process will consist of a Training & Experience Evaluation - Scored Questionnaire (Pass/Fall) and Qualifications Appraisal Interview (weighted 100%). All candidates who meet the minimum qualifications and pass the training and experience evaluation will advance to the Qualifications Appraisal Interview (weighted 100%).  Candidates must be successful on the Qualifications Appraisal Interview with a score of 70.00 or better for their name to appear on the eligibility list.

Two separate eligibility lists will be created from this recruitment: one for promotional candidates and one for external candidates. The promotional list will be used first, and must be exhausted before we can hire external candidates to fill vacant positions. The eligibility lists created from this recruitment will be used to fill any vacancies that occur during the one year life of the eligibility lists, including full-time and/or part-time, permanent and/or temporary positions. 

Prior to completing your Training and Experience Evaluation - Scored Questionnaire, please review our Tips for Completing a Training & Experience Evaluation (Download PDF reader) to learn more about this process.

For additional information regarding the recruitment process please the see "Job Applicants" menu in the FAQ section. 

Santa Monica College reserves the right to modify the stated examination components and weights prior to the administration of any examination.

Communication for this exam will be via email.  
You must check your email on a regular basis to be informed of your status for this exam. 

Salary Placement
New Employees: 
Generally, new employees start at the first step on the salary schedule. A new permanent classified employee may request a higher salary placement (not to exceed the third step) based on recruitment issues and/or additional training and experience which greatly exceeds the minimum requirements. 

Current Employees: Upon promotion, the new salary for a current, permanent employee is based on Merit Rule 12.2.8. In accordance with this rule, employees are entitled to at least a one-step (5%) salary increase.

**Important Note:** In response to an unanticipated budget shortfall resulting from COVID-19, temporary furloughs have been implemented at Santa Monica College. The working hours of this position will be reduced by one (1) working day per month through June 2021 (unless terminated earlier or extended). Please note that the monthly and annual salaries listed on this job bulletin do not reflect these furlough days. 

The Santa Monica Community College District is committed to the principles of equal employment opportunity. All qualified applicants for employment, as well as District employees, shall have full and equal access to employment opportunity. No person shall be subjected to unlawful discrimination in any program or activity of the District. The District's Board Policy 3120 (Equal Employment Opportunity and Nondiscrimination in Employment) may be accessed at: http://bit.ly/smc-hr-bp3120.

"Santa Monica College encourages candidates that are equity-minded to apply. SMC is a minority-serving, Hispanic-serving institution. We actively seek to attract candidates from minority groups that value equity, diversity, and inclusion. Equity, diversity, and inclusion are built into the culture at SMC, and are an essential component of the work that we do. SMC is committed to racial and socioeconomic diversity as it is a reflection of our student population and we strive to hire candidates that share this commitment."

Examples of Duties

Depending upon assignment, duties may include any of the following:
Interprets, applies and ensures compliance with Title IV Federal regulations and state regulations related to financial aid programs; maintains and ensures confidentiality of student documents and records.
Provides information and assistance to students, staff and the public regarding available financial aid programs, such as grants, loans, scholarships, Federal Work Study, and student employment processing.
Evaluates and processes financial aid applications and forms to determine eligibility for financial aid programs; performs need analysis and packages financial aid awards in accordance with federal, state and local guidelines.
Reviews and verifies submitted documents for accuracy;  requests, routes and maintains all documentation and records as mandated by state, federal or District guidelines and regulations; conducts follow-up review of aid award for adjustments or verification of continued eligibility.
Coordinates assigned major financial aid program(s), including Federal Work Study, student loans, student employment, Cal Grants, Chafee grants, other grant programs, and scholarships.
Processes all non-work study employment requests and terminates assignments as applicable; collects student employment paperwork, completes applicable sections and forwards to Human Resources for processing.

Exercises professional judgment within federal guidelines and office policies to determine appropriate financial aid eligibility for students in special circumstances.
Evaluates and reviews student academic progress and advises student of the appeal process; participates in committees to evaluate student financial aid appeals and/or loan reviews.
Meets with students for financial aid advising appointments; provides assistance to students in the financial aid application process; corresponds with students and parents regarding application status and submitted documentation; explains financial aid policies, procedures, and regulations.
Participates in student in-reach/outreach activities both on campus and off campus; conducts student orientation as needed for financial assistance/educational benefits.
Serves as a technical resource in assigned program area to identify, clarify and resolve highly complex issues, and provides information and responds to program inquiries from District departments, students and the public, such as eligibility requirements and loan counseling.
Processes outside scholarship through the SMC Foundation or auxiliary services as applicable; maintains records of outside scholarships and facilitates the distribution of funds through established processes; participates in and assists in the coordination of the annual scholarship award ceremony.
Reconciles assigned financial aid program expenditures with fiscal staff and systems specialist as required.
Collects, prepares and finalizes statistical data for required procedural and regulatory Federal, State, and/or District reporting.
Investigates and resolves student hold records; determines reasons for hold and assists students to resolve the situation for hold to be removed.
Maintains and updates the Financial Aid and Scholarship websites to ensure accuracy and usefulness.
Assists at the front counter and answers department calls as requested.
Performs other related duties as requested or assigned.
Examples of essential duties are descriptive and not restrictive in nature and are generally listed in descending order of importance.

Minimum Qualifications

Education Requirement:
Associate's degree or equivalent from an accredited college or university. A bachelor's degree is desirable. 
Experience Requirement:
Two (2) years experience performing work related to financial aid that requires knowledge of federal and state regulations.
Education/Experience Equivalency:
Experience and/or education of the same kind, level or amount as required in the minimum qualifications may be substituted on a year-for-year basis.
Licensure and/or Certification:
Special Requirement:
Some positions may be required to work flexible or alternative work schedule that may include nights.

Supplemental Information

For additional information about our employment process, please visit our FAQ page and click on "current employees". 

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