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Director of Financial Aid

Apply now Job no: 508420
Position type: Staff
Location: New York
Categories: Academic Advising/Support, Business/Accounting/Finance, Executive/Director/Management

Posting Summary:

Reporting to the Chief Enrollment Officer and Associate Vice President, the Director of Financial Aid for Teachers College, Columbia University will oversee all aspects of the College's financial aid strategy, programs and operations. The Director leads and supports optimization and distribution strategies for a wide variety of institutional funding (i.e., scholarships, fellowships, assistantships, grants, endowed funds, etc.) and directs all planning and processing of Title IV aid programs (i.e., federal loans, grants, work-study) within required guidelines. S/he manages financial aid operations and related budgets, and supervises the financial aid team.

The Director will play an integral role on the leadership team of the Division of Enrollment Management, informing critical strategic decisions to leverage aid in order to maximize student success outcomes. Under a unified Enrollment Management umbrella, s/he will also be an active partner across the Division with the Offices of Enrollment Marketing & Communications, Admission, and the Registrar, and seek opportunities to foster other beneficial collaborations across the College.

Job Summary/Basic Function:

  • With the Chief Enrollment Officer and AVP, the Director develops, supports, and implements financial aid initiatives informed by data, knowledge of best practices and deep understanding of relevant policy. They will advises and actively contributes a financial aid lens to broader strategic enrollment management goals.
  • Oversees processing and allocation of all institutional aid (e.g., scholarships/assistantships) and federal student aid programs, putting into place streamlined and efficient processes, workflows and budgets, complementary to the institutional leadership vision.
  • Oversees the development of all financial aid collateral, e.g., financial aid application, forms, website, academic catalog, presentations, brochures, other media.
  • Develops and maintains appropriate control measures, policies and procedures to ensure accuracy and proper distribution of all financial aid monies to eligible students.
  • Researches, interprets and applies federal, state and accreditation regulations to ensure that the College complies with all, including Title IV program guidelines.
  • Works closely with other College Offices (e.g., Bursar/Student Accounting) to ensure compliance with program reconciliation and cash management requirements.
  • Oversees the preparation and submission of all federal, state and agency reporting, such as Federal Application to Participate and Fiscal Operations Reports (FISAP), and ensures the College's federal program participation agreement remains current and in effect.
  • Oversees data exchange between the institution and the Department of Education databases.
  • Serves as senior liaison for federal and state financial aid program audits (A-133) and/or federal and state program reviews, as necessary.
  • Maintains a current policy and procedures manual in accordance with federal regulation.
  • Conducts internal review processes with staff members in various areas to ensure that outlined policies and procedures are consistent with all requirements.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Experience developing and implementing successful financial aid strategies leading to demonstrable enrollment, student success and/or other institutional outcomes.
  • Master's degree required, plus eight to ten years progressively responsible experience in student financial aid/services.
  • A minimum of five years’ experience supervising and training financial aid personnel.
  • Knowledge of applicable federal and state laws and policies regarding financial aid programs and the ability to interpret and ensure compliance with them, including mandatory reporting.

Core Competencies:

  • Possess strong analytical skills and ability to compile data, analyze and interpret patterns that emerge within the institutional financial aid landscape for planning and forecasting.
  • Core business development and customer service skills with a track record of creative problem-solving, process implementation, change management, and innovation.
  • Superior leadership, management and staff-development skills. Ability to motivate and encourage others and develop a high performing team.
  • Ability to work in a team-oriented and collaborative environment.
  • Extensive computer skills, including familiarity with financial aid/student information systems (Banner, a plus), as well as spreadsheet and word-processing applications.
  • Expertise on federal and state compliance and program review guidelines, requirements and issues as it relates to financial aid.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

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