Student Loan Specialist - Division of Finance

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Student Loan Specialist - Division of Finance

University Overview

The University of Pennsylvania, the largest private employer in Philadelphia, is a world-renowned leader in education, research, and innovation. This historic, Ivy League school consistently ranks among the top 10 universities in the annual U.S. News & World Report survey. Penn has 12 highly-regarded schools that provide opportunities for undergraduate, graduate and continuing education, all influenced by Penn's distinctive interdisciplinary approach to scholarship and learning. As an employer Penn has been ranked nationally on many occasions with the most recent award from Forbes who named Penn one of America's Best Employers By State in 2021.

Penn offers a unique working environment within the city of Philadelphia. The University is situated on a beautiful urban campus, with easy access to a range of educational, cultural, and recreational activities. With its historical significance and landmarks, lively cultural offerings, and wide variety of atmospheres, Philadelphia is the perfect place to call home for work and play.

The University offers a competitive benefits package that includes excellent healthcare and tuition benefits for employees and their families, generous retirement benefits, a wide variety of professional development opportunities, supportive work and family benefits, a wealth of health and wellness programs and resources, and much more.

Posted Job Title
Student Loan Specialist - Division of Finance

Job Profile Title
Coordinator B

Job Description Summary
Reporting to the Assistant Director for Student Loans, the Student Loan Specialist performs various duties related to the daily administration and servicing of Federal (both Title IV and Title VII) and Private student loans which have been awarded under a total financial aid package. Through workshops, trainings, in-person meetings; as well as telephone and email correspondence, the Student Loan Specialist will provide guidance to graduate and undergraduate students in all 12 of Penn's Schools, developing and ensuring their understanding of eligibility, borrowing options, disbursements, refunds, repayment responsibilities and strategies; as well as the Federal, State, and University regulations, policies, and procedures that affect their aid packages.

In compliance with Federal regulatory guidelines for loan administration, the Student Loan Specialist will evaluate and determine student eligibility for loans, adjust loan applications, authorize loan cancellations and reductions as warranted, and ensure that accurate and complete supporting documentation is included as needed. He/she will also evaluate and resolve disbursement errors, reconcile Direct Loans, and liaise with federal loan providers to ensure the transfer of all records accurately and in a timely manner.

The Student Loan Specialist will be expected to provide customer service in the SRFS Counseling Center during peak periods.

The Student Loan Specialist will accurately record and input into Penn's systems all verbal, written, and/or financial transactions between clients/customers and units/departments. In all activities, he/she will maintain confidential information on clients/customer, and will protect that information from abuse, fraud, and negligence.

In the Division of Finance, we recognize diversity and inclusion is paramount to a positive and thriving work environment; it is a business imperative. We are committed to actively fostering diversity, inclusion and cultural competency throughout our operational efforts in the Division of Finance. This role will be critical in supporting those efforts and demonstrating behaviors and competencies that reflect Penn's values.

We take pride in the myriad ways that diversity enriches our curriculum, and the cultural and social life of our campus. Penn's commitment to achieving eminence through diversity is ultimately a commitment to creating a more vibrant university so that our graduates will be both stimulated and empowered to shape a better world.

Job Description

  • Demonstrating an understanding of Federal, State, and University regulations, policies, and practices, provide individualized counseling to students and their parents/authorized representatives in regard to borrowing options, loan indebtedness, and loan repayment strategies. Analyze student and parent financial resources, and student academic progress, to determine eligibility for loan programs. Communicate the impact that federal loan programs have on other funding sources, including the Penn Grant and any endowed funding a student may receive. Counsel students on their potential refunds resulting from loan processing, and the impact of origination and processing fees on the net result of the disbursement. Work with students to resolve complex loan certification issues. Document interactions.

  • In compliance with Federal, State, and University policy, monitor changes to student status affecting loan eligibility; authorize loan cancelations or reductions as required; authorize adjustments to loan eligibility and loan applications in response to student/parent special needs and conditions. Certify/update/maintain loan eligibility in compliance with federal regulations, using both University and external systems.

  • Authorize disbursements and evaluate and resolve disbursement errors on a daily basis. In conjunction with the business office, use COD and DL tools to assist in the monthly reconciliation of Direct Loans. Generate, and analyze data from, reports to ensure the accurate volume of disbursements to student accounts per School and Program.

  • Demonstrating an understanding of Federal and State systems and administration, serve as a liaison between the University, students, Penn's Schools, and Federal and private lenders. Coordinate and transmit origination and disbursement records to/from federal loan servicers; and troubleshoot and resolve errors/issues before, during, and after transmission.

  • Develop, create, and deliver trainings and workshops for staff and students in all Schools on loan borrowing and repayment strategies, tailoring presentations to the specific needs of each population.

  • Train financial aid counselors as needed on loan processing procedures and changes to transaction protocols to ensure that all staff understand the information provided by both the PLS and NGSS systems. Provide technical assistance to SRFS staff and the University community to resolve loan-related issues. Provide customer service in the SRFS Counseling Center during peak periods.


  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent combination of education and experience; minimum of 3 years of financial aid experience.
  • Demonstrated experience in financial aid counseling, and a strong customer service orientation/skill set required. Knowledge of Department of Education software systems and data exchange required. Experience with Banner preferred.
  • Thorough and up-to-date knowledge of: Federal Direct Loan programs and their eligibility criteria and associated rules; private loan programs, their eligibility criteria, application processes, and transmission methods; Federal regulatory guidelines for the administration of Title IV and Title VII loans.
  • Ability to research, evaluate, interpret and effectively communicate, in both oral and written form, rules and regulations to a diverse audience, in one-on-one sessions and in group presentations.
  • Must be detail-oriented with a demonstrated ability to document procedures.
  • Demonstrated ability to be detail-oriented and accurate. Able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously. Demonstrated organizational and prioritization skills, along with the ability to work within tight and often conflicting deadlines. Must be flexible, show effective judgement, discretion and have the ability to handle confidential financial matters.
  • Work effectively in a highly matrixed and decentralized environment with the ability to navigate through ambiguity and demonstrate appreciation and support for diversity, inclusion and belonging in a constantly evolving academic/higher education environment.

Job Location - City, State
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Department / School
Division of Finance

Pay Range
$42,953.00 - $77,315.00

Affirmative Action Statement
Penn adheres to a policy that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, religion, creed, national or ethnic origin, citizenship status, age, disability, veteran status, or any other legally protected class.

Special Requirements
Background check required after a conditional job offer is made. Consideration of the background check will be tailored to the requirements of the job.

University Benefits

  • Health, Life, and Flexible Spending Accounts: Penn offers comprehensive medical, prescription, behavioral health, dental, vision, and life insurance benefits to protect you and your family's health and welfare. You can also use flexible spending accounts to pay for eligible health care and dependent care expenses with pre-tax dollars.
  • Tuition: Take advantage of Penn's exceptional tuition benefits. You, your spouse, and your dependent children can get tuition assistance here at Penn. Your dependent children are also eligible for tuition assistance at other institutions.
  • Retirement: Penn offers generous retirement plans to help you save for your future. Penn's Basic, Matching, and Supplemental retirement plans allow you to save for retirement on a pre-tax or Roth basis. Choose from a wide variety of investment options through TIAA and Vanguard.
  • Time Away from Work: Penn provides you with a substantial amount of time away from work during the course of the year. This allows you to relax, take vacations, attend to personal affairs, recover from illness or injury, spend time with family-whatever your personal needs may be.
  • Long-Term Care Insurance: In partnership with Genworth Financial, Penn offers faculty and staff (and your eligible family members) long-term care insurance to help you cover some of the costs of long-term care services received at home, in the community or in a nursing facility. If you apply when you're newly hired, you won't have to provide proof of good health or be subject to underwriting requirements. Eligible family members must always provide proof of good health and are subject to underwriting.
  • Wellness and Work-life Resources: Penn is committed to supporting our faculty and staff as they balance the competing demands of work and personal life. That's why we offer a wide variety of programs and resources to help you care for your health, your family, and your work-life balance.
  • Professional and Personal Development: Penn provides an array of resources to help you advance yourself personally and professionally.
  • University Resources: As a member of the Penn community, you have access to a wide range of University resources as well as cultural and recreational activities. Take advantage of the University's libraries and athletic facilities, or visit our arboretum and art galleries. There's always something going on at Penn, whether it's a new exhibit at the Penn Museum, the latest music or theater presentation at the Annenberg Center, or the Penn Relays at Franklin Field to name just a few examples. As a member of the Penn community, you're right in the middle of the excitement-and you and your family can enjoy many of these activities for free.
  • Discounts and Special Services: From arts and entertainment to transportation and mortgages, you'll find great deals for University faculty and staff. Not only do Penn arts and cultural centers and museums offer free and discounted admission and memberships to faculty and staff. You can also enjoy substantial savings on other goods and services such as new cars from Ford and General Motors, cellular phone service plans, movie tickets, and admission to theme parks.
  • Flexible Work Hours: Flexible work options offer creative approaches for completing work while promoting balance between work and personal commitments. These approaches involve use of non-traditional work hours, locations, and/or job structures.
  • Penn Home Ownership Services: Penn offers a forgivable loan for eligible employees interested in buying a home or currently residing in West Philadelphia, which can be used for closing costs or home improvements.
  • Adoption Assistance: Penn will reimburse eligible employees on qualified expenses in connection with the legal adoption of an eligible child, such as travel or court fees, for up to two adoptions in your household.

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