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  • Full Time
  • St. Louis City
  • Salary: n/a
  • Organization Type: Education

College Bound

Reports To: Director of College Success

Status: Exempt

Pay Range: $40,000 – $44,000

Who we are:

At College Bound we believe that one adult with a college degree can change the cycle of poverty in a family forever. We exist to disrupt a reality in which only 7-9 percent of low-income students are obtaining baccalaureate degrees. By 2026, College Bound will be a national leader for baccalaureate completion rates with manageable student debt. Will you join us?

Our History: College Bound was founded in 2006 by Lisa Zarin, the daughter of a single mom and school teacher who taught and lived in Newark, New Jersey’s riskiest neighborhoods—neighborhoods where students seldom graduated from high school, much less went onto college. But Lisa’s mother emphasized the importance of education and the message stuck. Many years later when Lisa’s own son was applying to college, she experienced the college admissions process through the eyes of her child and thought, “if this is hard for us, this has to be hard for others.” Lisa recruited her good friends Debbie Greenberg and Ericka Zoll and College Bound was born.

Our Promise to Our Students:  We commit to our students every step of the way: increasing ACT scores, mastering Algebra II, coping with lifecycle events like grief, college financial literacy, first internships, first suits and first jobs. Within a decade, we have grown from an inaugural class of 36 students to over 650—plus 150 alumni and growing! Through our individualized, holistic, and multi-year approach, we empower our students with the academic and social supports needed to achieve baccalaureate degrees and embark in meaningful careers.

Our Promise to Our Employees: We commit to our employees every step of the way: a welcoming orientation and onboarding, connection and clarity, professional development monies, mentorship opportunities, the ability to give back to the community, inclusion and diversity, work-life balance, flexibility and a culture rooted in a foundation of trust, a focus on achievement, a responsibility to reflect and a spirit of gratitude. You can learn more about our mission by accessing our website at www.collegeboundstl.org.

The role:

The Financial Aid & College Advisor must believe authentically in College Bound’s mission and exemplify College Bound’s core values and commitment to the diversity and inclusion statement. The position’s primary responsibility is ensuring that students have adequate financial support to complete their bachelor’s degree with manageable debt levels. This would involve working closely with the Assistant Director of Data Management to track overall student debt for collegians, managing College Bound scholarship program and student support funds, and providing consultation to the program team on financial aid issues. The position’s secondary responsibility is ensuring a small caseload of high school students with identifiable financial need transition to college with adequate support and planning, avoiding crisis through timely intervention and the use of College Bound’s student support funds. This caseload would work directly with the Financial Aid and College Advisor from the midpoint of their senior year of high school until the midpoint of their college freshman year. In support of this work, the Financial Aid & College Advisor manages one AmeriCorps coach who will provide direct support to collegians and helps monitor their progress through college.

Your responsibilities:

Provide Financial Aid Advising:

  • Analyzes and evaluates financial viability of students and families and provides advice and counsel regarding available financial aid opportunities, eligibility requirements, and the application process.
  • Assists students in the application process for financial aid by helping to complete appropriate and required forms; by advising of rights and responsibilities concerning financial aid; and by providing information about the status of financial aid applications.
  • Support students through financial aid renewals
  • Coordinate College Bound’s scholarships opportunities and student support funds
  • Develops students’ money management skills by assisting students with personal financial planning.
  • Conducts workshops and/or presentations to students, parents, and/or other interested parties on financial aid policy and procedural issues.
  • Tracking and awareness of student loan debt burdens
  • Assist students in searching for and applying to scholarships and grants to reduce loan debt
  • Assist students in selecting a college/university for best fit, both academically and financially
  • Coordinate with 12th grade manager to provide differentiated college prep support to participants according to their individual plans, in small group and one-on-one settings

Coaching Responsibilities:

  • Provide proactive individualized success coaching to students based on identified risk factors including academic, financial, and socio-emotional, assisting them in developing individual plans for success
  • Work with students on transition plans.
  • Monitor progress and intervene when appropriate
  • Travel to college campuses up to 6 hours away for one day or overnight trips
  • Advise students on their school-specific- on campus resources, programs, and policies
  • Seek out and create relationship-building experiences (including on-campus visits to local schools) to help students navigate the transition from high school to college
  • Assist collegians in academic and personal growth: coaching them on self-advocacy, communication, organization, and time management skills
  • Consistently collect, record, analyze and interpret student information on student progress and document in internal data system.
  • Provide extended support and create personalized action plans for students in “red flag” situations including family crises, drop-outs, stop-outs, deferrals, & loan defaults.
  • Collaborate closely with our Wellness Team toward shared mental health outcomes
  • Collaborate with team of managers and Director of College Success on longitudinal planning and alignment of student support services
  • Additional duties and special projects as assigned

Lead AmeriCorps Member:

  • Work alongside Americorps member to share caseload responsibilities
  • Assist coaches with resources, materials, tools, and information to support student intervention
  • Guide fellow Americorps coach in planning and implementing strategies to support student growth
  • Maintain a strong working knowledge and awareness of best practices in the fields of college readiness, academic development, college counseling, and financial aid

Skills and experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree required; Master’s preferred
  • Prefer a minimum of three years’ experience in higher education with a record of successfully impacting achievement with students who have the greatest need
  • Ability to use data to monitor success and identify challenges.
  • Experience working in financial aid at the collegiate level
  • Effective communicator, able to use inclusive and empowering language to translate messages effectively for diverse audiences
  • Ability to solve problems effectively through collaboration with colleagues and coaching
  • Adaptable, possesses a high tolerance for ambiguity, and thrives in a fast-paced, highly collaborative environment
  • Computer proficient; experience using a database to manage student information a plus

Benefits and working conditions:

  • Competitive benefits include a portion of paid employee health insurance, a health reimbursement account, dental, short-term disability, life insurance, 401K matching, paid parental leave for men and women and free vision insurance.
  • Play a vital role in an organization that is privileged to work with hundreds of intelligent and deserving young people every day
  • Flexible working environment

Employees should have a valid driver’s license, reliable transportation and be able to pass a motor vehicle background check.  Additionally, employees should be available to work weekends, overnights and be available via phone for questions from colleagues and students.

How to apply:

Interested candidates please send a cover letter, resume, applicable certifications and licensees, salary requirements, three references and an electronic copy of diplomas/transcripts to:  jobs@collegeboundstl.org with the subject Line: Name of Position. Some candidates may even be required to do a pre-screening assessment and will be alerted by the hiring manager if this is the case.

College Bound provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics, gender identity, gender expression, or sexual orientation (real or perceived). In addition to federal law requirements, College Bound complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

College Bound believes in the power of diversity as a starting point in the pursuit of racial, gender, social, and economic justice. We strive to create a culture where every individual is valued. We demand accountability and action from all individuals to serve with an open mind and from a place of compassion, love and humility. As an organization and as a community, College Bound commits to active listening and collaboration between students, families, alumni and staff to grow in understanding of how diversity and equity shape our work.