Director of Student Financial Assistance

Washington D.C.
Mar 31, 2017
The Catholic University of America
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Since its beginning, The Catholic University of America has served both Church and nation as a world-class research university, offering students the best of Catholic and American higher education.  Its unparalleled combination of academic excellence, Catholic identity, and D.C. location offers students and faculty the ability to directly impact the culture and build up the Church.

The Catholic University of America, located in Washington D.C., seeks an exceptional financial aid professional who will lead the Office of Student Financial Assistance and be part of the leadership team committed to supporting the university’s enrollment and retention goals.  The successful candidate will be responsible for the direction and strategic implementation of the university’s financial aid operation.  In concert with the Associate Vice President for Enrollment Systems, the selected director will have the opportunity to combine the art (customer service, teamwork and institutional collaboration) with the science (compliance and institutional policy) to provide a diverse student body with access to a premier education centered on faith and academic excellence. 

The Director of Student Financial Assistance will lead a team of 10 professional and operational staff members and will oversee the administration of federal, state and institutional funds for both new and continuing students as well as graduate students.  As steward of funds from all sources, the director will have a significant role advancing Catholic University’s enrollment and net tuition goals. 

Clear communication skills and transparency are key attributes of the successful candidate.  Equally important are the abilities to be empathetic to students and families, be prompt in responses to all constituents, and to serve as a mentor and leader to staff. 


  • Serves as a collaborative administrator committed to managing all federal and state compliance, including compliance accuracy, timeliness, as well as federal and state reporting and certifications;
  • Ensures the efficacy of all electronic functions, such as Student Assistance Internet Gateway (SAIG) and electronic loan processing for all student populations;
  • Hires, supervises, trains, and provides feedback and evaluations to professional and operational staff in the Office of Student Financial Assistance;
  • Defines policies and procedures relating to the operation of the Office of Student Financial Assistance and the aid processing cycle;
  • Employs effective stewardship of funds to support access and choice in higher education, institutional enrollment and net tuition goals ;
  • Partners with colleagues in Enrollment Management division to ensure that policies and procedures are mutually supportive ;
  • Identifies trends, forecasts expenditures, and monitors office activities in order to strategically deploy aid funds and staff resources;
  • Identifies opportunities to streamline operations and create an environment that empowers staff;
  • Serves as an effective translator of federal and state policies and regulations to all constituents of the Office of Student Financial Assistance;
  • Coordinates Tuition Exchange program eligibility;
  • Serves as liaison with deans, departments, student accounts, and housing on financial aid issues;
  • Responsible for planning and execution of electronic innovation and new initiatives relating to federal program management.


  • A bachelor’s degree with a minimum of 7 years’ experience in financial aid with three years at a director or associate director level;
  • Knowledgeable and practiced in all Title IV federal aid regulations, policies and procedures with proven oversight regarding the processing and disbursement of federal, state, institutional, and other external funds for all undergraduate and graduate aid programs;
  • Experience in accounts reconciliations, leadership and customer service;
  • Experience relating to interaction with administrators at all levels and willingness/experience in working collaboratively across campus departments and divisions;
  • Technologically savvy with an understanding of large student information/administration systems;
  • Experience with query tools and spreadsheets required;
  • Excellent interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Mission-centric with an appreciation for private Catholic education.

The Catholic University of America: 

The Catholic mind lives with faith, acts with purpose, and challenges with reason.

The Catholic University of America serves as the one and only national university of the Catholic Church in the United States.  Founded in 1887 as a papally-chartered graduate and research center, the University began offering undergraduate education in 1904.  Catholic University consists of ten schools that award both undergraduate and advanced degrees:  Architecture and planning, arts and sciences, business and economics, engineering, music, nursing, philosophy, professional studies, social work, and theology and religious studies.  In addition, advanced degrees are also awarded in the School of Canon Law and the Columbus School of Law.  Approximately 3,300 undergraduates combine a base curriculum in the liberal arts with more in-depth courses from their major fields of study. Undergraduate students in all majors can find semester, year- long or summer-only opportunities for study on five continents and at The Rome Center of The Catholic University of America and Australian Catholic University. 

The University also serves approximately 2,800 students seeking advanced degrees, including canonical degrees in canon law, philosophy, and theology.  Theological College, the University seminary, prepares men for the priesthood who come from many dioceses of the United States.

More than 90 percent of full-time, degree-seeking undergraduate students receive some form of financial aid.  The Office of Student Financial Assistance awards more than $57 million in institutional grants and scholarships, as well as an additional $2 million in federal and state grant funds to undergraduate students.  More than $29 million is processed in undergraduate educational loans.

Many first-time visitors to campus are captivated by the University’s expansive 176 tree-lined, rolling acres, which contains 48 major buildings and residence halls, with more than 2,100 students living on campus. The campus is the largest and greenest of any college or university in Washington, D.C., and the skyline is dominated by the adjacent majestic Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception, the largest Roman Catholic church in North America. 

Students have numerous opportunities for participation.  There are over 90 clubs and organizations that thrive on campus.  The Office of Campus Ministry offers numerous opportunities for faith development as well as community service and social justice education in the Washington, D.C. area, in the greater United States, and abroad. As one of the nation’s premier Division III athletic institutions, the Catholic University Cardinals attract student-athletes who make academics a top priority and value the opportunity to enrich that experience by competing in 19 intercollegiate and numerous club-level sports.


The location in Washington, D.C. offers Catholic University students and employees access to the nation’s capital as a learning laboratory, a world-class cultural center, and the heart of the nation’s political life.  Located in the Northeast section of D.C., Catholic University is an integral part of the Brookland neighborhood. According to the Washington Post, “artists enliven this Northeast nook.”  Recent development has added to the culture of the Brookland neighborhood, bringing a pedestrian avenue of artist studios, shops, restaurants, and new apartments.  Between the Brookland and Edgewood neighborhoods that surround Catholic University, families can find a wealth of activities, from live music to nearby historic Bunker Hill Park, to educational and social opportunities, without stepping further into the heart of Washington D.C.  More can be learned about the Brookland neighborhood through the Brookland Bridge, a blog started in 2012 to chronicle the happenings in this area.  Catholic University’s own Metro stop makes it easy to get around the city and connect to everything that Washington D.C. has to offer.  It is only a few stops away from Union Station, offering commuting services to surrounding states as well as full Amtrak transit services.

To Apply: 

Applications, nominations, and inquiries for the position of Director of Student Financial Assistance should be directed to Napier Executive Search.  To arrange for a confidential conversation, please contact Nancy Benedict ( ) and Robin Reynders ( )   An application must include a detailed letter of interest, an up-to-date resume, and contact information for three professional references.  Please submit all application materials by email to:  no later than April 26, 2017, for assurance of full consideration.  Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.  All applications and nominations will be considered confidential and notice will be given prior to contacting references.

The Catholic University of America does not discriminate on the basis of sex in any educational or employment programs or activities in which it participates.


All applicants must be supportive of the mission of The Catholic University of America



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