Financial Aid System Administrator (Hybrid)
City : Hamilton
Category : Other
Industry : Education
Employer : McMaster University
The Office of the Registrar provides a number of services to both prospective and current students and is the primary information source on enrolment, convocation ceremonies and important student dates and events throughout the year. We are a smart, collaborative group of approximately 100, spread across 8 departments: Student Services, Aid & Awards, Student Recruitment, Undergraduate Admissions, Student Records & Systems, Scheduling & Examinations, Student Communications and Central RO Administration. This supportive and dynamic team works together to provide assistance to students from their initial recruitment contact with McMaster until they graduate.
Responsible for playing a key role in system administration and supporting both the centralized and decentralized financial aid activities of students, aid administrators, committee members and others, in the use of the Mosaic student online aid application and administrative components. Responsible for the creation of technical and user documentation for components, reports and batch processes. Also required to develop operational plans and schedules to ensure that all processing for all aid administrators is carried out in a way that ensures required standards and data integrity are maintained.
The Aid & Awards department connects students with government financial aid, bursaries, work programs and scholarships. These resources help make post-secondary education more accessible and recognize students' academic, extracurricular and community achievements. We are currently recruiting a Financial Aid System Administrator
Representative Duties & Responsibilities
- Complete system rollover processes to set up new aid years.
- Accountable for the configuration and maintenance of delivered and customized configuration tables such as OSAP cost code tables, cost code pattern tables, USER table configuration, message text, translate values, early award categories and award values, checklists, comments, communications.
- Keep abreast of academic structure changes such as programs, plans, degrees, academic groups, subjects; new program/plan approvals; phasing out of programs/plans) and make necessary changes in system to ensure proper administration of aid programs/applications for students.
- Configure complex item types with strict adherence to coding structures and smart numbering as new sources of financial aid (e.g. trust funds, research, operating dollars) become available.
- Deactivate item types no longer in use.
- Generate, distribute and gather templates to collect fiscal balances for all sources of financial aid. Validate format/correctness/completeness of data and load to system on an annual basis to set fiscal spending limits.
- Set up and maintain the configuration required for scoring and ranking of award applications by Committee members.
- Develop and maintain online aid application controls and student fillable supporting documentation templates to ensure students have access to University-wide aid applications. Develop paper-based versions of all applications for students requiring additional accommodations.
- Create, validate and complete complex University and Government file loads and extracts using batch processes, templates, staging tables, validation reports, etc.
- Use queries, processes, and/or manipulation of spreadsheets to assist others with award and bursary aid assignment/allocations from operating and trust funds.
- Assist with work program administration by completing work program requisitions, student application approvals, work program hires, student status monitoring, end of work program processing and transfer of employer payroll subsidies.
- Develop and maintain an Excel template that collects aid administrator input and uses multiple formulas to calculate a standard need score for a student. The standard need score identifies a student’s level of financial need and is used University-wide to ensure need-based aid is equitably distributed.
- Create technical/user documentation and develop operational plans and schedules to ensure that all processing for all aid administrators is carried out in a way that ensures standards and data integrity is maintained.
- Schedule and/or run batch jobs such as aid authorizations and disbursements; transcript notations; student communications, etc. Monitor the status of batch processes and follow up with aid administrators to advise of results. Take corrective action and/or direct appropriate corrective actions to remedy errors.
- Plan and co-ordinate a variety of events, such as workshops for financial aid administrators, user group meetings, training for committee members, system requirements gathering sessions and student focus groups.
- Provide technical advice and guidance to others. Train and support others on system functionality and business processes, both formally through presentations, demos, user group meetings and informally by telephone, email, one- on-one office visits.
- Liaise with UTS on systems-related issues. Create and maintain procedural and technical documentation for reporting, tracking, and troubleshooting financial aid system problems.
- Evaluate data query requests from aid administrators, assess feasibility and requirements to fulfill the requests. Plans and writes complex queries from multiple tables (with results generated in various formats), executes and validates query results. Promotes to public use as appropriate.
- Manage the security permission list and role authorization processes. Follow up with users to ensure security is granted/removed as expected.
- Track suggestions for system improvements from all users to ensure requests are evaluated, fleshed out, prioritized and logged.
- Understand complex business processes of aid administrators University-wide and identify barriers to successful use of financial aid components. Develop and implement best practices to support aid administrators and seek ways to improve system functionality, performance and efficiency to ensure it meets the business needs of the University community.
- Develop and conduct peer reviews of business requirements to ensure that user requirement specifications are correctly interpreted.
- Develop test cases and implementation plans for new/revised business processes and/or system enhancements/changes.
- Remain current with frequent updates and changes to relevant technology.
- Interpret and apply University and government policies.
- Evaluate student transcripts, student records data (e.g. program/plan/level/load), admission data (e.g. education source, grades), need score information and supporting documentation, appeal letters and award criteria to make decisions regarding a student’s eligibility for merit awards and/or need-based aid.
- Ensure awards are processed and disbursed to student accounts prior to tuition deadlines.
- Manually enter award notations on student transcripts.
- Correspond and interact with students, parents, faculties and department offices. Respond to inquiries and provide information regarding award terms, eligibility criteria, application requirements, as well as financial aid policies, processes, and procedures.
- Independently troubleshoot issues raised by aid administrators and students. Determine the scope and severity of the issue and provide advice on how to resolve the problem. Escalate systems issues.
- Assist with government student aid processing during peak periods including keying of OSAP signature pages, reviewing student academic progress results, applying academic progress warnings/restrictions, completing OSAP drop units and withdrawals, updating OSAP applications as a result of changes identified on government aid status reports, etc.
- Bachelor's degree in a relevant field.
- 3 years of relevant experience.
Knowledge and Skills
- Communication (writing, presentation skills, emotional intelligence).
- Teamwork & collaboration (multiple teams/ audiences, project management, leadership).
- Analytical skills (problem solving, attention to detail).
- Technical skills (user tables, cost codes, excel, queries).
- Recommend system solutions.