How to Become a Financial Aid Director

Written by

George D. Baker


August 14, 2014


Financial aid is an essential part of postsecondary education that refers to funding that assists students in paying for educational expenses such as tuition, books, and room and board. Financial aid directors are trained educational professionals that supervise financial aid programs.

What does a financial aid director do?

Financial aid directors oversee all financial aid programs within a postsecondary institution including loan, fellowship, and scholarship programs. They recognize the financial needs of prospective and enrolled students and strive to help them meet those needs. They sent out reward acceptance and denial letters, obtain essential information, and research new forms of financial aid. Financial aid directors also collect data to examine the impact of financial aid on enrollment behavior, recognize trends, predict expenditures, and observe activities of the financial aid office.

What kind of training does a financial aid director need?

Financial aid directors usually need a master or doctorate degree in student affairs, higher education administration, or other related field. Many financial aid directors begin their careers in lower level positions and advance to directors as they gain the essential skills and experience. Others are certified financial planners or certified public accountants. Financial aid directors must have a solid understanding of the financial aid process and the rules and regulations set by the U.S. Department of Education. Many aspiring financial aid directors complete internships with financial aid offices to gain practical experience. Financial aid directors must stay up to date on the current advancements and financial aid legislation and they often complete continuing education and participate in seminars and workshops throughout their careers.

What are the prospects for a career as a financial aid director?

Employment of financial aid directors is expected to grow faster than average for all professions, increasing 14% through 2016. The growing population and increased need for financial assistance to complete postsecondary education will drive job growth.

Job prospects are expected to be excellent especially for financial aid directors with extensive experience. Many job openings will arise from the need to replace financial aid directors that retire, transfer, or leave the field for other reasons.

How much do financial aid directors make?

As of this year, the middle 50% of financial aid directors earn annual salaries between $61,304 and $88,714. The top 10% earn annual salaries of more than $101,795.

For anyone considering whether and how to become a financial aid director, this is a great career option for people with a strong interest in education. Financial aid directors are responsible for directing the financial aid activities for a variety of postsecondary institutions. Financial aid directors must have a thorough knowledge of financial aid processes and be able to lead financial aid activities. Confidence, determination, motivation, good judgment, and good problem solving skills are essential characteristics. They must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills to interact with a variety of students, parents, and other educational professionals. They must also be able to work effectively as part of a team.

Becoming a Financial Aid Director Requires Skills & Training, Start Today

Are you serious about becoming a Financial Aid Director? Then you need to get the required skills and training to do it! To start your new career, first you must decide what school you want to enroll in, so you need to gather info about potential schools. Use the  College Mouse Degree Search tool  to find the right course and college for you, and get started towards your new dream job today! If you want more personalized assistance, call (888) 389-7996 TOLL FREE to speak with a college advisor, who will help you find the best college for you. After you sign up for your course, make sure you fill out and submit the FAFSA so you can take advantage of any financial aid currently available to you!

Written by:  George D. Baker

George D. Baker is a long-time contributor to College Mouse. Now retired, Mr. Baker volunteers at adult education programs in his local community.

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