Sr. Financial Aid Specialist, Categorical

Saddleback College

Mission Viejo, CA

ID: 7176254 (Ref.No. REQ11042)
Posted: September 5, 2023
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled

Job Description


Sr. Financial Aid Specialist, Categorical

Job Category:


Job Opening Date:

September 05, 2023

Job Closing Date:


Saddleback College

Work Location:

Mission Viejo, CA


Financial Aid

Pay Grade, for more information click on this link:

Pay Rate Type:


Work Days:


Work Hours:

8am to 5pm (Schedule and Shift are subject to change in accordance with the department needs.)

Hours Per Week:


Percentage of Employment:


Months of Employment:



C.S.E.A Classified Bargaining Unit Salary Schedule Range 129. Starting Salary at $5,953.00 per month.

Required Documents:

Required-Resume, Optional- Cover Letter (Applications with missing required document will not be considered.)

Job Description:

C.S.E.A. Classified Bargaining Unit Salary Schedule, Range 129

Initial Screening Date- September 25, 2023

Required Document- Resume, Optional-Cover Letter.

Applications missing required document will not be considered.

This position is categorically funded. Employment in this position is contingent upon Student Equity and Achievement Program funding.

Class specifications are intended to present a descriptive list of the range of duties performed by employees in the class. Specifications are not intended to reflect all duties performed within the job.

Under direction from an appropriate level manager or administrator, leads, oversees, and participates in the most complex and difficult work of staff responsible for providing financial aid assistance and recommending available alternatives for students; processes and verifies student financial aid applications; develops and awards student financial aid packages in accordance with prescribed policies, procedures, regulations and guidelines.

This is the advanced journey level class in the Financial Aid series. Positions at this level are distinguished from other classes within the series by the level of responsibility assumed and the complexity of duties assigned. Employees perform the most difficult and responsible types of duties assigned to classes within this series including the provision of functional and technical direction over lower-level financial aid staff. Employees at this level use District, College, State, and Federal regulations, policies, and procedures to provide accurate information and services to students and are fully aware of the operating procedures and policies of the work unit. Employees at the Sr. Financial Aid Specialist level are required to be fully trained in all procedures related to the assigned area of responsibility.

The following duties are typical for this classification. Incumbents may not perform all of the listed duties and/or may be required to perform additional or different duties from those set forth below to address business needs and changing business practices.

Perform the duties of lower-level classifications within the area of assignment, as required.
Participate in leading the daily operation and workflow of the Financial Aid Office; perform complex Financial Aid duties.
Provide lead functional and technical work direction to lower-level staff, temporary employees, and student workers; train new and existing staff as assigned; prioritize work assignments; ensure work is completed in a timely manner; verifies the work of assigned staff for accuracy.
Assist and advise students applying for federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs and the process for applying for financial aid; research available options and sources; discuss various eligibility criteria and explains ineligibility as necessary; interpret and explain the District's financial aid policies and procedures.
Read, interpret, and administer federal and state regulations and school policies as they apply to financial aid; participate in the annual audit.
Plan and schedule internal office deadline dates and check disbursement dates.
Transmit a variety of grants, loans, and other financial aid for disbursement to students; ensure the correct amount is posted to each student’s account.
Review multiple reporting record and potential overpayment reports from the Department of Education for the district and follow-up with other institutions and students to resolve conflicts; make adjustments to the financial aid package for the students, as necessary.
Collaborate with District Accounting Services to reconcile the total amount disbursed for a variety of grants and loans after each disbursement and for year-end closing.
Master federal guidelines as it relates to the Department of Education COD (Common Origination and Disbursement) records to ensure an adequate Pell funding level for students for the college; report to and reconcile with the Department of Education Pell Grant dollars disbursed to students; resolve conflicts with student COD records.
Transmit for post-withdrawal disbursements while maintaining compliance with all federal and institutional regulations.
Coordinate with District Accounting services to void stale-dated checks disbursed through the Financial Aid Office in order to ensure proper reconciliation of funds.
Coordinate with third-party servicers and District Accounting in the disbursement of financial aid funds.
Collaborate with, and maintain extensive communication with, a variety of college support and academic services.
Review updates to federal and state policy and procedures, update and assist with writing Financial Aid policy and procedure; assist with training staff on updates and policy changes; document existing systems processes, including workflow processes and procedures; may serve as a lead for new or updated technology/software rollouts; participate in the validation, verification, and testing of software and database upgrades to systems; perform troubleshooting and testing of new functions; recommends and implements improvements and modifications.
Identify operational needs to improve processes; recommend changes for increased efficiency and effectiveness in office operations.
Assist with annual set-up of specialized software to ensure compliance with federal, state, and institutional regulations.
May lead college SAP (Satisfactory Academic Progress) Appeal Committee; may disseminate committee decisions to lower-level staff for appropriate next steps.
Conduct Financial Aid presentations for current students, prospective students, parents, and other groups.
Use District, College, State, and Federal regulations, policies, and procedures to provide accurate information and services to students and others; research and interpret regulations for Federal, State, and institutional financial aid programs; maintain current knowledge and stay up to date on program requirements and changes to financial aid services and options for students.
Participate in the coordination and planning of, and attend, various community relations and outreach activities targeted at new or returning students and/or potential students; represent the College at on- and off-campus meetings, conferences, community events, and high school career and college fairs; assist in the distribution of promotional and marketing materials related to financial aid.
Perform related duties as required.

The following generally describes the knowledge and ability required to enter the job and/or be learned within a short period of time in order to successfully perform the assigned duties.

Knowledge of:
Operational characteristics, principles, theories, practices, philosophy, services, goals, objectives, and activities of the functions, programs, and operations of the assigned area.
Pertinent federal, state, and local laws, codes, policies, procedures, rules, restrictions, and regulations of the assigned area, including FERPA and the Americans with Disabilities Act; confidentiality requirements when dealing with personal and sensitive student information; legal requirements related to area of assignment.
Terminology, techniques, equipment, and materials related to the assigned area.
College administrative services, student services, and financial aid programs; District and College organization, operations, policies, and objectives.
Methods and techniques used in the performance of duties and responsibilities specific to the area of assignment.
Federal and State programs that provide financial assistance to students and student eligibility requirements.
Methods and techniques of advising students regarding financial aid options and programs.
Specialized financial aid software.
Current office practices, procedures, methods, and computer equipment, software, and applications related to the work, including word processing, desktop publishing, spreadsheets, and databases.
Principles and practices used to establish and maintain files and information retrieval systems; principles and practice of recordkeeping, and principles and procedures of business letter writing and report preparation.
Generating and analyzing reports from systems and databases.
Work organization principles and practices.
Effective written and oral communication skills including correct English usage, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary.
Diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, and ethnic backgrounds of community college students.
Techniques for providing a high level of customer service including methods and techniques of proper telephone etiquette.
Interpersonal skills using tact, patience, and courtesy.
Techniques to facilitate effective interaction with people on an individual or group basis; public speaking skills.
Principles and techniques used in public relations.
Information and research resources available related to areas of assignment.
Occupational hazards and standard safety policies and procedures.
Principles and practices of providing training and guidance to lower-level staff and student workers.

Ability to:
Learn and understand the organization and operation of the assigned department as necessary to assume assigned responsibilities; understand, explain, and apply administrative and office policies and procedures as well as pertinent laws, codes, regulations, and ordinances; work within the policies, functions, and requirements of area of assignment; assure compliance with State and federal laws and District policies. Interpret and apply federal, state, and local policies, procedures, laws, and regulations.
Learn, understand, and effectively operate electronic financial aid processing software systems accurately and expeditiously.
Lead, organize, and provide technical and functional work direction to staff.
Independently perform the most difficult functions within Financial Aid.
Analyze and verify a variety of financial data and evaluate student ability to pay for education.
Analyze, implement, and troubleshoot software programs.
Apply critical thinking and data analysis skills.
Prepare and award well balanced financial aid packages based upon determined needs.
Present information orally to groups of people.
Respond to difficult inquiries and requests from students regarding financial aid options and programs.
Identify student needs and assist students in locating financial alternatives.
Assist students in locating appropriate resources; provide assistance to students on matters related to Financial Aid programs.
Perform a variety of specialized duties and activities in support of the assigned area; prepare, generate, and proofread a variety of documents, forms, reports, and other written materials; disseminate information as appropriate; type or enter data at a speed necessary for successful job performance; maintain accurate filing, record keeping, and tracking systems; apply excellent organization skills and attention to detail; utilize electronic technology to correspond with others and to maintain assigned calendars, schedules, and appointments.
Operate office equipment including hardware, software, and devices supporting word processing, database management, and spreadsheets; type or enter data at a speed necessary for successful job performance; apply excellent organization skills and attention to detail; effectively utilize computer applications and equipment in the performance of duties; adapt to changing technologies and learn functionality of new equipment and systems; participate in updating the departmental website, as required.
Compile and analyze data for various records; maintain accurate and up-to-date files and records for assigned program; develop and monitor various logs, accounts, and files for current and accurate information; verify accuracy of information, researching discrepancies and recording information.
Maintain detailed records of statistics related to assigned area.
Communicate clearly and concisely, both orally and in writing in English; use correct English usage, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary; understand and follow oral and written directions in English; listen actively and effectively.
Develop, maintain, and foster effective working relationships involving interactions and communications personally, by phone, and in writing with a variety of individuals and/or groups from diverse backgrounds on a regular, ongoing basis.
Interact extensively with and respond to requests and inquiries from students, faculty, staff, and public; effectively present information in person or on the telephone to students, staff, or the public; provide excellent customer service.
Work with and exhibit sensitivity to and understanding of the varied racial, ethnic, cultural, sexual orientation, academic, socio-economic, and disabled populations of community college students.
Work effectively under pressure with frequent interruptions and a high degree of public contact on a variety of tasks concurrently while meeting established deadlines and changing priorities; concentrate on detailed tasks for extended periods of time; work confidentially, independently, and collaboratively.
Exercise good judgment, discretion, and personal initiative in resolving confidential, difficult, and sensitive situations, according to established policies and procedures; use sound judgment in recognizing scope of authority; maintain critical and sensitive information, records, and reports confidentially.
Provide training and work direction to assigned lower-level, temporary, and student staff.
Report to work on a regular and consistent basis, as scheduled, to assigned job.
Work occasional evening/weekend shifts, as required.
Maintain the cleanliness, safety, and organization of assigned area; ensure adherence to safe work practices and procedures; monitor activities in assigned area and enforce policies for proper use and behavior.
Attend and participate in trainings, meetings, workshops, and conferences; learn new state and federal laws, rules, and regulations pertaining to area of assignment; participate in the development of new/revised procedures to accommodate changes; attend and participate in diversity, equity, and inclusion trainings and events; maintain compliance with online coursework and other mandatory trainings and certifications as directed by supervisor.

Any combination of education and experience that would likely provide the required knowledge and abilities is qualifying. A typical way to obtain the knowledge and abilities would be:

Equivalent to an Associate of Arts degree from an accredited college or university with major course work in finance, accounting, business administration or a related field.

Three years of increasingly responsible experience in a college financial aid office, including at least one year of experience in packaging student awards.

The conditions herein 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 job functions.

Environment: Work is performed primarily in a standard office setting. At least minimal environmental controls to assure health and comfort.

Physical: Primary functions require sufficient physical ability and mobility to work in an office setting; to stand or sit for prolonged periods of time; to occasionally stoop, bend, kneel, crouch, reach, and twist; to lift, carry, push, and/or pull light to moderate amounts of weight; to operate office equipment requiring repetitive hand movement and fine coordination including use of a computer keyboard; and to verbally communicate to exchange information. Vision: See in the normal visual range with or without correction. Hearing: Hear in the normal audio range with or without correction.


Interviews may be held in-person (following all necessary precautions) or in a virtual format. Employees must reside in California while employed with the South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD), even during remote work. Thank you for your continued interest in working at the SOCCCD.

The SOCCCD is committed to protecting the health and wellbeing of students, faculty, staff, administrators, and the communities it serves. More information can be found on our District website by visiting


The Immigration Reform and Control Act of 1986, Public Law 99-603, requires that employers obtain documentation from every new employee which authorizes that individual to accept employment in this country. SOCCCD will not sponsor any visa applications.


A California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) retiree may not accept employment until after the first 180 days of retirement. Anyone retired from CalPERS accepting permanent employment with this District will be required to reinstate as an active CalPERS member. Please contact CalPERS for additional information regarding your retirement status.

Any active vested member of California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS), who accepts employment with the District to perform service that requires membership in CalPERS, is eligible to elect to continue retirement system coverage under CalSTRS


If you require special accommodations in the application and/or selection process, please notify District Human Resources at least two (2) business days prior to the Job Close Date/Initial Screening Date, by either calling (949) 582-4850 or sending an e-mail to


Report to work on a regular and consistent basis, as scheduled, to assigned job.


Information regarding campus crime and safety awareness can be found at or Paper copies are available in the District Human Resources office upon request.


The South Orange County Community College District is committed to creating an academic and work environment that fosters diversity, equity and inclusion and equal opportunity for all, and ensures that students, faculty, management and staff of all backgrounds feel welcome, included, supported, and safe. Our culture of belonging, openness, and inclusion, makes our district a unique and special place for individuals of all backgrounds.

Our District and our colleges are looking for equity and inclusion-minded applicants who represent the full diversity of California and who demonstrate a sensitivity to the understanding of diverse academic, socioeconomic, cultural, disability, gender identity, sexual orientation, and ethnic backgrounds present within our community. When you join our District, you can expect to be part of an exciting, thriving, equity-focused, and inclusive community that approaches higher education with the lens of social justice and collaboration among students, faculty, staff, administration, and community partners. In deciding whether to apply for a position with our District, you are strongly encouraged to consider whether your values align with our District’s mission and goals for EEO, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


Important: You must complete your application for a posting by 11:59 p.m., Pacific Standard Time, by the deadline, along with any required documents, in order to be considered for the position.

Applicants must complete all fields/sections on the application. Do not type "See Resume" or leave any fields blank. Applicants must enter their work experience, education, etc. on the District application. Applications reflecting "See Resume" will be considered incomplete and will not be considered for recruitment.

At the South Orange County Community College District, our goal as an academic community is to sustain a working environment that fosters and celebrates diversity, promotes and rewards excellence, and is welcoming to all. An exemplary academic community promotes an inclusive environment that best prepares our faculty, staff, and students to live, work, and contribute in a global society. The Plan reflects the District's commitment to equal employment opportunity and outlines the active steps that ensure nondiscriminatory practices.