Washington & Jefferson College invites applications for the position of Director of Financial Aid. Reporting to the Vice President for Enrollment, Nicole Focareto, W&J is seeking a dynamic financial aid expert who will serve as a key leader within the enrollment division, and is ready to champion and proactively bring innovation and change that will promote and fulfill institutional goals in enrollment, and net tuition revenue. The director will serve as a strategic partner and collaborative leader in the ongoing advancement of the college's financial aid programs, policies and strategies, as well as in overall strategic enrollment planning. Applicants for the director's position should possess a passion for the profession of financial aid; a creative, collaborative, and entrepreneurial spirit; and an activism for recruiting, serving, and retaining students.
The director will mentor and professionally develop staff who are eager to take the department to the next level of sophistication, automation, and customer service. The director will guide, mentor, and effectively train staff to cover all facets of financial aid processing. The director will create, update and bring to life procedures and written policies that exceed the scope of regulatory compliance, assure staff knowledge and professional training, foster the continuity and consistency of office duties, and ensure effective financial aid packaging, including the timely notification and delivery of financial aid funds.
On a broader spectrum, the director will proactively manage a $37 million institutional gift budget and share the narrative regarding financial aid policies, procedures, and regulatory compliance as they pertain to all campus constituents, including prospective and continuing students and their families; the enrollment division; key administrative offices involved in the eligibility determination, dissemination and disbursement of financial aid; faculty, and coaches. The director will foster appropriate collaborative partnerships with campus constituents and participate in educating internal partners about financial aid policies, procedures, timelines, and regulatory compliance. Serving on committees for recruitment and retention will be ongoing, with the expectation of bringing forth ideas and insights that will promote or produce positive results. Working directly with the office of advancement, the director will bring a practice of good stewardship to the packaging of endowed
scholarships which will ensure the timely use of endowed scholarships within the limits established by donors and the college.
The Director of Financial Aid serves as the chief financial aid compliance officer in a program that has a student-centered philosophy emphasizing distribution of aid to the largest number of students possible. The director will display ethical leadership and uncommon integrity for the common good of the institution and the students it serves.
Duties and Responsibilities
- Oversees College financial aid programs which includes interpretation, implementation, and compliance with regulations, procedures, and eligibility.
- Serves as the primary college authority on federal and state financial aid requirements.
- Responsible for supervising staff and all daily operations of the financial aid department.
- Controls and manages fund allocations.
- Develops and implements a plan for awarding and distributing funds to eligible students.
- Provides scholarship oversight including developing unrestricted funding, agency and organization awards.
- Reviews student appeals and make decisions in concert with other key campus partners.
- Ensures complete compliance with all federal and state regulations, and institutional policies, as well as the completion of all federal and state reporting requirements.
- Responsible for data collection and analysis that supports all facets of Financial Aid activities.
- Ensures the efficacy of all processes and electronic functions within the financial aid procedures to provide best practices, customer care, and timely notifications of student eligibility.
- Attends conferences, seminars and workshops to keep abreast of legal and other trends in higher education.
W&J is seeking an exceptional professional who brings the following qualifications.
- Minimum of a Bachelor's degree; an advanced degree is preferred.
- Minimum of five years of experience in Financial Aid, 8-10 years preferred.
- Extensive knowledge of financial aid policies and procedures.
- Knowledge of federal and state laws and regulations related to financial aid.
- An ability to think strategically about financial aid awarding processes and to balance institutional need with the needs of individual students.
- Experience with management and information systems related to financial aid.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills are required.
- Exceptional computer skills; experience with Colleague and Slate preferred. Proficiency with Microsoft Suite is desired.
- Desire to work in a student-centered and team-oriented environment.