Director of Admissions and Financial Aid

New York City, New York
Oct 11, 2018
Institution Type
Four-Year Institution

The Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation (GSAPP) seeks a highly qualified enrollment professional to serve as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid. Reporting to the Associate Dean of Admissions & Outreach, the successful candidate will provide leadership, strategic direction, management and oversight for all activities related to recruitment, admission and financial aid for GSAPP.

Responsibilities: The director is responsible for the development and implementation of a sophisticated strategic enrollment management plan that meets targeted enrollment goals and attracts an exemplary, diverse student body that enhances the reputation of the School. Experienced and data-driven in approach, the director will work closely with the Dean and the Associate Dean of Admissions & Outreach, faculty program directors, and School leadership to establish admissions priorities and to develop processes to achieve established goals.

In addition, the director will assess competitive market conditions; develop strategic recruitment plans; and collaborate with the Office of Communications and Events, Office of Student Affairs, and the Development Office to develop strategic, multi-channel communications plans while playing a role in raising endowed scholarships and developing program-specific pipelines. The director will perform key enrollment activity such as offering compelling presentations about GSAPP and its academic programs to prospective students; and ensuring the highest yield of qualified candidates overall and with regard to specific academic programs. Both compliance and strategic skill in financial aid will be required as the director will need to understand and adhere to School and federal regulations for proper disbursement of financial aid funds; liaise with the University’s Central Financial Aid

Office; and determine and oversee the packaging and disbursement of scholarship and fellowship funds.

Required qualifications: Candidates for the position of Director of Admissions and Financial Aid must have at least five years of experience in undergraduate or graduate school admissions. A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.

Additionally the following abilities are desired:

  • Proven track record in achieving enrollment objectives in a higher education setting
  • Demonstrated commitment to developing an inclusive and diverse student population
  • Cultural competency with respect to issues such as racial, sexual, cultural, and gender identity
  • Evidence of an astute and strategic thinker who can display a nuanced understanding of admission and financial aid practices that have led to enrollment success
  • Demonstrated data analytic experience to inform strategy and tactics in enrollment management including providing assessment of applications to the relevant admissions committees and providing quantitative and qualitative reporting on admissions and enrollment data
  • Superior presentation skills coupled with the ability to engage effectively with internal and external constituencies
  • Ability to nurture appropriate deep, long-term connections with faculty, administrators, alumni, donors, volunteers, and prospective students
  • Possession of a communication style that is open, cordial and compelling coupled with excellent listening skills
  • Unimpeachable integrity and trustworthiness
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively handle sensitive and confidential information
  • Familiarity with Slate, Student Information Systems and PowerFaids.

Columbia University

Columbia University is a private, Ivy League, research university in Upper Manhattan, New York City. The University comprises 20 schools, including Columbia College, the School of Engineering and Applied Science, and the School of General Studies, and has global research outposts in Amman, Beijing, Istanbul, Paris, Mumbai, Rio de Janeiro, Santiago, Nairobi, and Tunis. For more than 250 years, Columbia has been a leader in higher education in the nation and around the world. At the core of its wide range of academic inquiry is the commitment to attract and engage the best minds in pursuit of greater human understanding, pioneering new discoveries, and service to society.

Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation

“In this time that demands new concepts around which to assemble and empower the next generation of architects, planners, urban designers, and real estate developers, Columbia GSAPP represents a unique environment that fosters the design of new modes of living and sharing, creates new forms of knowledge and practice, and renews our commitment to engagement with the world and the urgent issues of our time.”

Dean Amale Andraos

Founded in 1881, the Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation at Columbia University in the City of New York confers Masters Degrees in the areas of Architecture, Urbanism, Real Estate and Preservation, as well as Doctoral Degrees in Architecture, Urban Planning and Historic Preservation. As a leader in developing new forms of design research and scholarship to open up new territories for more meaningful practices of architecture and the design of cities, the school combines pioneering experimentation with an uncompromising engagement in New York and various cities across the world, offering students an unparalleled spatial network of resources and exchange. Columbia GSAPP is a laboratory for learning that weaves together cutting-edge design skills, incisive critical thinking and new forms of knowledge as students and faculty engage one another in a spirit of intellectual generosity that strives to re-imagine the future of architecture, cities and the environment.

A globally-minded education is one of the most remarkable facets of GSAPP and Columbia University at large. Expanding the students’ knowledge of the world enables them to engage with varied cultures, work across complex contexts, and contribute to advancing the fields of the built environment as citizens of the world. Global travel is fundamental to GSAPP’s curricula and is inextricable from our students’ formation – through studio and seminar study trips to Summer Workshops and Kinne Fellowships, as well as opportunities to engage with the Studio-X network and related global exhibitions and events.

Columbia GSAPP’s faculty, whose focus ranges from pure scholarship to pure practice, actively contributes to the school and university’s standing as a leading research institution. GSAPP’s faculty includes scholars producing new knowledge that advance the limits of the discipline as well as leading practitioners upending current forms of practice through research and design.

As a mode of inquiry that simultaneously sits within each discipline while moving beyond them, research at Columbia GSAPP embodies the maturation of the longstanding spirit of experimentation of the school. Centers, such as the Temple Hoyne Buell Center, the Center for Resilient Cities and Landscapes, the Center for

Spatial Research and the Center for Urban Real Estate, offer GSAPP students opportunities for interdisciplinary study and collaborations with other areas throughout Columbia University.

To learn more about GSAPP, go to

To Apply: Napier Executive Search is assisting Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation to identify candidates for Director of Admissions and Financial Aid. To arrange for a confidential conversation or to

nominate a candidate for this position, contact Laura Robinson at [email protected] or Mary Napier [email protected] To apply, please send a resume, a detailed letter of interest, and contact information for three professional references by email to: [email protected] Resumes will be reviewed until the position is filled, but for assurance of full consideration, submit application materials no later than November 8, 2018 . All applications and nominations will be considered confidential and notice will be given before references are contacted.


Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer --Race/Gender/Disability/Veteran. Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

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