Director of Financial Aid

Bryn Mawr College
Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania
Mar 23, 2018
Bryn Mawr DFA
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

Bryn Mawr College, located in suburban Philadelphia, PA, is one of the world's most distinguished and distinctive institutions of higher education. Every year approximately 1,350 undergraduate women and 350 coeducational graduate students from around the world gather on the College's historic campus to study with leading scholars, conduct advanced research, expand the boundaries of academic inquiry, and prepare for lives of purposeful action.


The Opportunity

Bryn Mawr seeks nominations and invites applications for the Director of Financial Aid who will serve as a member of the Division of Enrollment Management leadership team, assist in divisional strategic goal setting, and provide leadership and supervision to department staff. As a strong collaborator, the Director will be an effective partner with the Enrollment Management team, comprised of undergraduate admissions, enrollment communications, enrollment data analysis, graduate admissions, and the registrar’s office, and will be an effective spokesperson to students, families and the wider community on behalf of the College’s Financial Aid Office. 

The Range of Responsibilities

Financial Aid Management – The Director will have a command of Title IV financial aid and state programs, ensuring compliance with current regulations and policies.  The Director will manage the awarding and disbursement of student aid funds and will provide fiscal accountability as related to processing applications, verification, eligibility determinations, return of federal aid, and professional judgment decisions.  It is expected that the director will have a comprehensive knowledge of the philosophy, concept and application of financial aid need analysis methodologies to ensure equitable treatment of applicants and will oversee the submission of all required federal, state, and institutional reports.

Team Management – The successful Director will lead a talented team of staff and student assistants through open communications, transparency, feedback, and goal-setting.  An effective leader with a focus on customer service, the Director will hire, train, provide professional development opportunities, and ensure an environment of mutual respect, support, and camaraderie within the Financial Aid Office.

Collaboration and Communications – Possessing excellent interpersonal skills, the Director will assure timely and compliant delivery of aid to students.  The director will convene and facilitate the College Financial Aid Committee, and will work to resolve complex financial aid issues with campus constituencies, federal and state agencies and private organizations to ensure smooth and timely delivery of funds.  Working with Enrollment Communications, the director develops and maintains published standards for institutional and student financial aid eligibility, including but not limited to student consumer information, policy and procedure manuals, institutional publications, and interpretation of federal policies. 

Data Analytics and Technology – The Director should be nimble with data and comfortable with the technology to support best practices in all aspects of financial aid distribution, fiscal management, and enrollment activities.  Working closely with the Chief Enrollment Officer, routine reporting and responsive analyses to internal and, as appropriate, external constituencies are expected. 


  • Working knowledge of Title IV financial aid programs as well as state programs; excellent administrative skills to manage, train and develop staff members.
  • Technologically nimble and clear understanding of data, research, and information systems and how they are best used in a financial aid office environment.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills; adept at working with diverse populations.
  • Outstanding communication skills.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, changing environment.
  • Minimum of five years of progressively responsible experience in financial aid, preferably at a private institution.
  • Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred. 

Personal Qualities and Characteristics

Bryn Mawr seeks a confident, compassionate and collaborative leader of financial aid who is committed to excellent customer service, has a passion for working with students and their families, and supports the College’s commitment to social justice and inclusion.  The successful candidate will provide inspirational leadership to an energetic and engaged team and is skilled at relationship-building across campus and across constituencies. 



Bryn Mawr's History

Bryn Mawr was founded in 1885 with an ambitious vision: to create a college for women offering rigorous academic programs that were then available only to men at a few elite institutions. From the beginning, this new college would include both undergraduate and graduate programs to allow women to pursue doctoral degrees and to become scholars who would in turn expand academic opportunity for other women. The College was founded with a strong commitment to shared governance between the faculty, the Board, students, and senior administration. Decision-making remains highly collaborative and includes representation from all stakeholder constituent groups. Respect for students’ capacity to direct their own lives is an integral part of Bryn Mawr's history, as it was the first college in the country to approve a student self- government association (1891). Students take a large measure of responsibility for managing residential life and upholding standards of academic integrity through the College’s Honor Code.



Bryn Mawr Today

Bryn Mawr challenges and supports exceptional students to perform at the highest academic levels.  Through innovative curricula and programs, students have wide-ranging opportunities to connect academic excellence to purposeful action.  Bryn Mawr is distinguished among American liberal arts colleges by its historic commitment to graduate education, currently manifest in its Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, and graduate programs in key humanities and science disciplines. The College promotes faculty excellence in both research and teaching, and has strong consortial relationships with Haverford College, Swarthmore College, and the University of Pennsylvania. The College has a rich and longstanding collaborative relationship with Haverford College that further extends course enrollment, extracurricular, and administrative synergies.

Bryn Mawr remains committed to expanding opportunity for women.  The Undergraduate College attracts women from diverse backgrounds who share an intense commitment to intellectual inquiry, an independent and purposeful vision of their lives, and a desire to make a meaningful contribution to their professions and to the world.  Critical, creative, and collaborative thinkers, its students and alumnae are members of a tight-knit community that is founded on respect for the individual.

Bryn Mawr College enrolls approximately 1,700 students and is a place where teaching is valued, each student is known, and students and faculty members form close bonds. Superb opportunities for independent and faculty-sponsored research, core seminars, interdisciplinary courses, and access to 36 majors and 43 minors enable each undergraduate student to create her own academic pathway. Undergraduate and graduate students are taught by 213 faculty, of whom 153 are full-time and 60 are part- time; the student–faculty ratio is 8:1. Bryn Mawr undergraduates also take advantage of combined bachelor's and master's degree opportunities in several departments, as well as a variety of dual degree programs with the University of Pennsylvania and other institutions.


Bryn Mawr has taken a leadership role in finding constructive ways to incorporate new technology to achieve the goals of a liberal arts education, particularly in its use of blended learning. Bryn Mawr is also leading the way in curricular innovation with the 360° Program, which offers the opportunity for faculty and students to engage in multidisciplinary, multi-course investigation of a common problem or issue. 360° clusters integrate fieldwork with traditional coursework and require students to share their research with the college community by way of a digital exhibit or public symposium, for example.


The Bryn Mawr experience is marked by enduring traditions and fresh possibilities that balance intellectual curiosity with meaningful social engagement and fun. Bryn Mawr’s reach extends far beyond the classroom. Each year, the community comes together to celebrate distinctive traditions such as Lantern Night and May Day that make the Bryn Mawr student experience unique and memorable.  Twelve Division III intercollegiate teams participate in the highly competitive Centennial Conference, performing and studio art programs are offered collaboratively by Bryn Mawr and Haverford, and a majority of students are active in community service. Bryn Mawr’s location also offers students access to the cultural resources of the Philadelphia metropolitan area and the broad diversity of Bryn Mawr students, faculty, and alumnae/i creates a global community that fosters international experiences, friendships, and networks.


Bryn Mawr prides itself on connecting graduates to promising career and civic engagement opportunities through LILAC, the Leadership, Innovation, and Liberal Arts Center. Some 22,000 alumnae/i, leaders in fields too numerous to mention, form a powerful, lifelong network for Bryn Mawr graduates. The College is known for its outstanding record in placing students in graduate and professional schools. Within five years of graduation, over sixty percent of alumnae/i plan to attend graduate or professional school. The majority of Bryn Mawr alumnae/i in graduate or professional school study arts and sciences, law, medicine, education, and business.


As it always has, Bryn Mawr builds both independence of mind and respect for the power of collective endeavors. The College attracts smart, independent, spirited students who seek the challenge and satisfaction of working with peers who share a passion for learning and for making a difference in the world. They come to Bryn Mawr from a remarkable array of national, socioeconomic, ethnic/racial, and personal backgrounds and have high expectations for achievement, friendship, and meaningful engagement.



Bryn Mawr College recently received an anonymous gift totaling $25 million for its Defy Expectation Campaign. This is the largest gift in Bryn Mawr’s history and it is believed to equal the largest gift ever from an individual woman to a women’s college.

Well-managed and financially sound, Bryn Mawr’s FY17 operating budget was $123.8 million, with tuition comprising 31 percent and endowment earnings 32 percent of net operation revenue.  The College has enjoyed robust student enrollments and steadily increasing net assets, and has consistently achieved balanced operating budgets. In recent years, the College has made significant gains in its financial management. The College’s endowment market value as of May 31, 2017 was $853 million.  


Kimberly Wright Cassidy became the College's ninth President in February 2014.  A faculty member at Bryn Mawr since 1993, Cassidy served as the College’s Provost from 2007-2013.  During her tenure as Provost, Cassidy was instrumental in leading a number of important initiatives, including facilitating curricular renewal in collaboration with faculty leaders, the development of the College’s interdisciplinary 360° courses, the introduction of new academic programs, including an International Studies major, and the advancement of digital initiatives within the classroom. Central to all these initiatives has been Cassidy’s unwavering support of the scholar/teacher model in which faculty research and the instruction of students are inextricably bound. 

As President she has developed a strategic vision for the Undergraduate College, Excellence in Action, that aims to secure and make visible Bryn Mawr’s position as the leading college for women by connecting academic excellence with preparation for lives of purposeful action.  To support this vision, the College launched the public phase of a comprehensive $250 million fundraising campaign in fall 2016.

Cheryl Lynn Horsey, a distinguished leader in enrollment management, is Bryn Mawr’s Chief Enrollment Officer.  She brings a forward-thinking vision for the College and the enrollment management team that calls for a Director of Financial Aid who is equally forward-thinking and optimistic.

How To Apply

Napier Executive Search is assisting Bryn Mawr College with this search.  For more information or to nominate someone for the position, contact Mary Napier ([email protected]) or Nancy Benedict ([email protected]) for a confidential conversation.  Review of applications will begin immediately and will continue until the position is filled.  For full consideration, application materials should be submitted electronically to [email protected] by May 13, 2018.  Applications should consist of three documents in PDF format: (1) an in-depth cover letter that addresses the candidates qualifications and accomplishments in the areas identified in the position announcement, (2) a detailed résumé, and (3) a list of three professional references with titles, contact information and a sentence describing the nature of each professional relationship.  References will not be contacted without the candidate’s knowledge and permission.  For more information about Bryn Mawr College, please visit

Bryn Mawr College is an equal opportunity employer - male/female. Applications are considered without regard to race, religion, national origin, color, sex, age, marital or veteran status or the presence of any non-job related medical conditions or disabilities





Similar jobs

Similar jobs