How do I Become a Financial Aid Director?

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  • Written By: N. Madison
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 25 March 2019
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A financial aid director is charged with managing financial aid programs at an educational institution. In order to become a financial aid director, a person usually needs a master’s or doctoral degree in a related field. A person interested in this job also needs in-depth knowledge of scholarships, grants, student loans, and other types of financial aid. In fact, he should have a firm grasp of procedures and legislation for financial aid programs not only within his country, but also in his particular region. Additionally, an individual who wants to become a financial aid director may be more likely to secure a job after gaining experience in a financial aid office.

Many educational institutions, particularly colleges and universities, have students who need financial assistance in order to pay tuition. They may turn to a variety of financial aid programs in order to afford schooling. A financial aid director has the job of overseeing those programs. His job can include everything from analyzing data concerning the need for financial aid and predicting costs to approving financial aid requests and researching new options. Essentially, he works to help enrolled students secure the aid they need, which may include everything from loans and work-study opportunities to grants and fellowships.


The particular training expected of a person who wants to become a financial aid director may vary from employer to employer. In many cases, however, an aspiring financial aid director needs a master’s degree or Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in order to secure this position. Among the majors a person may pursue in preparation for this career are student affairs and education administration. In some cases, a person may also prepare for this career by pursuing a finance major. For example, an individual may seek an advanced finance degree or become a certified public account in preparation for this job.

Often, experience is viewed as critical for a person who wants to become a financial aid director. An individual interested in this position may start out working in a financial aid office and work his way up. In fact, a person may pursue an internship with a financial aid office in order to gain hands-on experience he can use in later employment. Additionally, a person who wants become a financial aid director is expected to stay abreast of changes in laws related to financial aid as well as new programs. To do this, a person in this field may attend workshops and take continuing education credits long after getting hired for this job.



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