Website Santa Clara University

Sr. Financial Aid Data Specialist


Position Title:

Sr. Financial Aid Data Specialist


Position Type:



Hiring Range:


$29.38 – $33.78; commensurate with experience


Pay Frequency:




The Senior Financial Aid Data Specialist reports to the Director, Operations, Financial Aid and is a full time, full year position. This position reconciles financial aid reporting discrepancies for federal and state programs in addition to all federal Title IV programs. The Senior Financial Aid Data Specialist is responsible for completely managing the Alternative Loan and Federal Work Study Programs. This position also provides support for financial aid processes that require electronic interface with funding agencies, including the Federal Treasury and State Department of Finance. Also provides support to the Financial Aid Office Staff. This position will be cross-trained to assist in other technical areas within the EM division and will often be called upon to use independent judgment. The Senior Financial Aid Data Specialist plays a crucial role in the financial aid operation by assisting with the management of FAO processes and procedures to ensure compliance with University, governmental, and other guidelines, and helping to link Workday processes with office procedures and policies. The position supports the strategic goals and direction of Enrollment Management by providing systems and operations activities to help achieve stated data management goals and reporting objectives.




1. Manage Alternative Loan Program, Analyze and Reconcile Fed/State Programs


● Analyze Direct Loan, Cal Grant, TEACH, and Pell Grant transaction/reconciliation issues between SCU and the Common Origination and Disbursement Center (COD).


● Identify Direct Loan service issues between the Common Origination and Disbursement Center (COD) and the Direct Loan Servicing Center and refer to the Sr. Financial Aid Technical Operations & Compliance Specialist.


● Perform monthly reconciliation for Cal Grant, TEACH, Pell Grant, Direct Loan, and Work Study Programs using advanced MS-Excel tools (Macros, Pivot tables, Vlookup) and MS-Access. ● Review Pell Grant PGMR reports for possible “Potential Over-Awarded Pell” and work with schools involved to resolve multiple discrepancies.


● Implement reconciliation process; participate in technical resolution of reconciliation issues. ● Work with students, their families, and other department staff to answer and resolve financial aid award issues.


● Manage, process and reconcile all Private Alternative Loans. This consists of processing file transfers via ELM, transmitting loan data, and processing weekly, month-end and year-end reconciliation of the Alternative Loan Program.


2. Work Study


● Completely manage the Federal Work Study Program. Monitor Federal Work Study eligibility for students on an ongoing basis.


● Monthly reconciliation of the Federal Work Study program by uploading the reports from the reporting database and WorkDay in a timely manner. Communicate with the Student Employment and Finance Offices to process journal entries for discrepancies as needed.


● Coordinate with the Student Employment Manager to monitor awards versus earnings for the Federal Work Study program by running reports in the reporting database.


● Responsible for managing Federal Work Study contracts with outside agencies. Provide reports as requested for internal and external requirements.


● Regularly monitor Federal Work Study earnings limits.


3. Cal Grant Reporting


● Responsible for the entire process of reporting Cal Grant disbursements to California Student Aid Commission in a timely manner.


● Responsible for G-6 verification notification.


● Responsible for maintaining the roster reconciliation.


● Complete all CAL Grant reporting files.


4. Communications Outreach and Consulting


● Maintain an excellent level of customer service during all communications and encounters with colleagues, co-workers, parents, students and University employees and visitors. ● Manage and oversee Financial Aid reporting and systems procedures development. ● Assist with collaboration between the FAO and IT staff.


● Assist with Federal Compliance Single Audit A-133.


● Responsible for loan disbursement notifications to students and parents in compliance with federal regulations.


● Process exit counseling for withdrawing/graduating/less half-time students to ensure timely processing and Title IV compliance.


5. Compliance


● Keep abreast of and ensure compliance with all federal, state, and University rules, regulations, policies, and guidelines regarding financial aid.


● Maintain ongoing regulatory awareness and operational effectiveness.


6. Database and System Management; and Financial Aid Reports


● Collaborates with Director,Operations For overall data analysis and integrity for Financial Aid data and reports, including but not limited to the annual Fiscal Operations and Application to Participate ( FISAP), tuition discount reports and budget analysis.


● Responsible for writing and maintaining internal and external Enrollment Management and annual Survey reports (i.e. OLAP and Ad-Hoc EM reports, Maguire Pivot Tables, US News, Common Data Set, Cambridge, etc.).


● Collaborates with Director,Operations, as needed, on running financial aid award letters and loan disclosures.


● Responsible for all major surveys submitted through Institutional Research..


● Responsible for timely submission of all required Financial Aid reports to federal and state agencies


● Develop operating guides, policies, and procedures for efficient data management. ● Co-manage the production schedule of Operations team for Financial Aid and Enrollment management. Manage schedule of projects, reports, and data collection.


● Maintenance of the Net Price Calculator and operating documentation.


7. Testing and Participation in Financial Aid Office’s Workday Student System


● Test financial aid processes post implementation of Workday patches and new releases.


●Collaborates with Sr. Systems Specialist to develop policies and procedures concerning the internal controls for the maintenance and enhancement of systems and software that support the automated functions of the Financial Aid Office.


● Assist with building annual set up tables in Workday to prepare for new aid years. ● Identifies ways to improve technical data and reporting to support Financial Aid Office management and staff including the development and maintenance of Financial Aid Office shared queries.


● Assist with testing and set-up of reconciliation queries and Disbursement processing in Workday/PeopleSoft.


● Participate in the installation, implementation and maintenance of new software and desktop tools. Train department personnel in the application of new software packages and functional system changes as needed.


● Coordinate with the Sr. Management, Financial Aid to schedule and run processes in accordance with the Operations Plan/Productions Schedule.


● Troubleshoot technical issues with PeopleSoft/Workday.


● Provide training on existing or new systems and software.


● Participate in the Financial Aid Office’s implementation of Workday.


● Test, as needed, the financial aid functions prior to implementation of Workday.


● Develop policies and procedures for the new financial aid functions, specifically work-study and reconciliation functions in collaboration with Director,Operations.


● Participate in information sessions with the third-party consultant to learn Workday function and processes.


8. Provide Assistance to the Director, Operations, Financial Aid as Needed to Ensure Smooth Operation of Financial Aid Processing


● Support the Director, Operations, Financial Aid in the effective and productive functioning of the Financial Aid Office and ensuring compliance with federal and state regulations. ● Write queries and reports from Workday or other systems as needed for Financial Aid staff. ● Run processes in Workday or other systems as needed to award, disburse, or report financial aid.


● Serve as back-up for running Authorization and Disbursement processes in Workday, Complete requested overrides, and generate queries in Workday to distribute electronically in excel format to appropriate staff.


9. Other Duties as Assigned


● Including, but not limited to, changing processes and procedures quickly to respond to the changing needs of students, the Financial Aid Office, and financial aid regulations.




Not Applicable




Director, Operations




1. Provide outstanding customer service, in person, on the phone, or by email, while demonstrating patience and understanding, to families and students who are seeking Financial Aid. Also to provide excellent internal customer service to University staff and other agencies on all aspects of financial aid programs (federal, state, university, and private): policies, procedures, practices, office services, and document completion: process applications and/or documents related to aid programs.


2. This position may require some weekend and/or evening work.


3. This position may require travel beyond Santa Clara University to conferences, workshops, etc. 4. This position may be required to present financial aid related information to various audiences, which include forums both internal and/or external.


5. Recommends initiatives and implements changes to improve quality and services. 6. Identifies and determines cause of problems; develops and presents recommendations for improvement of established processes and practices.


7. Maintains contact with customers and solicits feedback for improved services. 8. Maximizes productivity through use of appropriate tools; planned training and performance initiatives. 9. Researches and develops resources that create timely and efficient workflow. 10. Prepares progress reports; informs supervisor of project status; and deviation from goals. Ensures completeness, accuracy and timeliness of all operational functions.


11. Prepares and submits reports as requested and required.


12. Develops and implements guidelines to support the functions of the unit.




To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The items below are representative of the knowledge, skills, abilities, education, and experience required or preferred.


This position requires the ability to effectively establish and maintain cooperative working relationships within a diverse multicultural environment.


Employee cannot be in default of Title IV loans.


1. Knowledge


A. Working knowledge of PCs, Windows, PeopleSoft, Word, advanced Excel, Access,


PowerPoint, query writing, and Cognos.


2. Skills


A. Skilled at performing tasks requiring attention to detail.


B. Excellent interpersonal and teamwork skills, and skilled at establishing and maintaining cooperative and effective working relationships with others.


3. Abilities


A. Must be able to manage multiple tasks in an organized manner.


B. Must possess the ability to accurately analyze and understand complicated data to resolve data reporting and reconciliation discrepancies. Comfortable working with large spreadsheets of data.


C. Must be able to work independently with limited supervision.


D. Must be able to compile and explain reconciliation and statistical reports.


E. Ability to communicate clearly both orally and in writing.


F. Must have the ability to work effectively with faculty, staff, and students and parents from a variety of diverse backgrounds.


G. Understanding and support of Jesuit tradition of education and commitment to the


fundamental values of service to others, community, and diversity.


4. Education and/or Experience


A. Bachelor’s degree required, preferably in accounting, or at least 12 units of accounting college course work equivalent to 2 years of general accounting or business experience.


B. A minimum of 3-5 years of relevant professional experience required


C. Experience with, and sensitivity to, working with highly confidential material.


D. Experience working in a student finance environment is desirable.




The physical demands described below are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. In accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, the California Fair Employment & Housing Act, and all other applicable laws, SCU provides reasonable accommodations for qualified persons with disabilities. A qualified individual is a person who meets skill, experience, education, or other requirements of the position, and who can perform the essential functions of the position with or without reasonable accommodation.


● Considerable time is spent at a desk using a computer terminal.


● May be required to travel to other buildings on the campus.


● May be required to attend conference and training sessions within Bay Area or in- or out-of-state locations.


● May be required to occasionally travel to outside customers, venders or suppliers.




The work environment characteristics described below are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.


● Typical office and computer lab environment.


● Mostly an indoor office environment with windows.


● Offices with equipment noise.


● Offices with frequent interruptions.

COVID-19 Statement


The health and safety of the university community is a top priority. All Santa Clara University students, and employees are required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or request a medical or religious exemption. Please visit our for additional information.




Santa Clara University is registered to do business in the following states: California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Arizona, and Illinois. Employees approved to telecommute are required to perform their work within one of these states.


EEO Statement


​Equal Opportunity/Notice of Nondiscrimination


Santa Clara University is an equal opportunity/equal access/affirmative action employer fully committed to achieving a diverse workforce and complies with all Federal and California State laws, regulations, and executive orders regarding non-discrimination and affirmative action. Applications from members of historically underrepresented groups are especially encouraged. For a complete copy of Santa Clara University’s equal opportunity and nondiscrimination policies, see


Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972


Santa Clara University does not discriminate in its employment practices or in its educational programs or activities on the basis of sex/gender, and prohibits retaliation against any person opposing discrimination or participating in any discrimination investigation or complaint process internally or externally. Information about Title IX can be found at Information about Section 504 and the ADA Coordinator can be found at, (408) 554-4109, Inquiries can also be made to the Assistant Secretary of Education within the Office for Civil Rights (OCR).


Clery Notice of Availability


Santa Clara University annually collects information about campus crimes and other reportable incidents in accordance with the federal Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. To view the Santa Clara University report, please go to the Campus Safety Services . To request a paper copy please call Campus Safety at (408) 554-4441. The report includes the type of crime, venue, and number of occurrences.


Americans with Disabilities Act


Santa Clara University affirms its commitment to employ qualified individuals with disabilities within the workplace and to comply with the Americans with Disability Act. All applicants desiring an accommodation should contact the, and 408-554-5750 and request to speak to Indu Ahluwalia by phone at 408-554-5750 or by email at


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