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Career Connections: Admission and Financial Aid Counselor

6 minutes

(Describer) Beside four different-size different-color circles connected by lines, title: Career Connections. Under a line graph, title: Financial Literacy.

(Describer) Title: Admission and Financial Aid Counselor.

My name is Shyra Thomas. I'm an admission and financial aid counselor at the University of Dayton. Every university is different. We have admissions and financial aid as one unit. Other colleges may have it as two separate things. On the admissions side, you're a people person, talking with families and meeting with them, you're doing presentations. It's more education. The financial aid realm, you're working with numbers. It's behind the scenes. You're putting packages together and loans and scholarships, not necessarily working one-on-one with the families. For us, it's unique because we've combined that. We do all those things. We support, educate, and guide families going through the financial aid and admissions process. We go over their individual financial aid package and help them figure out what's best for their family. Will they search for more outside scholarships or look for different payment options or loan options? Just seeing, economically, does it make sense, or will it be a strain on them? You don't go to college to be a financial aid counselor. There's no degree for that. In high school, making sure you follow the guidelines that you need to graduate. In addition, take four years of science and math. Take some type of financial literacy class. It's something where people see that you're a people person and that you are good at giving presentations and helping people navigate through things. You just need a bachelor's degree and some experience, I would say, showing that you've had some management or leadership skills, and then whatever experience you have, how you can make that applicable to this position. My degree was in psychology, sociology, and women and gender studies. I planned to work with adolescents and young adults. High school, college students, helping them figure out, "What am I doing with my life?" I tell people I use my degree indirectly. It feels great actually helping people navigate through this process. I like that sense of community and being a servant leader. Helping families, I find it exciting and awesome that I helped someone's dream come true. What do I dislike? Sometimes it can be challenging having that tough conversation, "I know you want to come here, "but economically, this is going to be a strain on not just the student, but also the family." Having that discussion saying, "I know this is your dream "and you want them here, but economically, it doesn't make sense." I don't say, "You can't come." "This isn't the path. Try this." We really try to work the numbers so that it's more feasible for the family. I've always been in the service realm. I'm active in performing arts, so with that comes public speaking and professionalism. You need interpersonal skills, that confidence.

(Describer) Speaking to a group...

I'm glad you've joined us today. You will tour our campus and see our presentations. Previously, I worked at a credit union. I was manager of education and community development. We had many branches inside of high schools, where I would give presentations, talk to students about financial education literacy and how important it is to learn those skills and practice it. Not just talk about it, but have students open an account and keep track of their registry. Helping students create that budget has helped me in this position. I'm working with high school students going to college and working with their families, helping them build that financial literacy foundation, understanding budgets and how to look for scholarships and the importance of saving and what are interest rates-- things of that nature. This is an important career because without counselors, how would you go to school or go to the next step? One thing I hold close to my heart is that first-generation student or transfer student because I've been through that. I'm the first generation going to college. Navigating through the admission and financial aid world is difficult. Admission and financial aid. This is Shyra. It's nice to get phone calls or have people come in and they are where I was, and I could say, "Here's what you need to know and do. I'm here to help you."

(Describer) Titles: For more information, visit OhioMeansJobs.com. CET, Think TV, Public Media Connect. Copyright 2014. Funding to purchase and make this educational program accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education. Contact the Department of Education by telephone at 1-800-USA-LEARN, or online at www.ed.gov.

Funding to purchase and make this educational production accessible was provided by the U.S. Department of Education:

PH: 1-800-USA-LEARN (V) or WEB: www.ed.gov.

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A first-generation college graduate describes her rewarding job in the admission and financial aid department at the University of Dayton. She enjoys guiding college-bound high school students into higher education. Part of the "Career Connections" series.

Media Details

Runtime: 6 minutes

Career Connections
Episode 1
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 3
3 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 4
5 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12
Career Connections
Episode 5
5 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 6
4 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 7
7 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 8
7 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 9
6 minutes
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Career Connections
Episode 10
6 minutes
Grade Level: 7 - 12