Executive Director of Financial Aid

Job description

The Executive Director of Financial Aid reports directly to the Vice President for Enrollment Management and Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid. This position is responsible for the administration and management of the financial aid office and its functions, including but not limited to strategic and compliant packaging and delivery of university, federal and state financial aid programs while supporting the overall admission and retention goals of the University. The Executive Director supervises a staff of two associate directors and two clerical staff positions and brings substantive financial aid leadership to the University. In addition, the Executive Director will serve as an effective and collegial campus collaborator within the St. Lawrence campus community.

The primary duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director of Financial Aid will include the following:

Strategic Distribution of Financial Aid

The Executive Director will manage over $70 million in institutional gift funds in addition to all state and federal programs. The Executive Director will work closely with the Vice President for Enrollment Management to monitor the institutional financial aid grant and scholarship budget. The successful candidate will take a leadership role in working with external partners to design and implement the packaging strategies that will enable St. Lawrence to best serve students and meet the University goals for enrollment and net tuition revenue.

Federal and State Policy and Procedure Compliance

The Executive Director is the chief compliance officer for all forms of state and federal aid and will be responsible for accurate reporting and full compliance with all regulations, laws, and institutional policies for all aid programs. The successful candidate will research, analyze, develop, and recommend departmental processes and procedures to increase and improve operational efficiency while ensuring proper controls and regulatory compliance. Following a tradition of clean financial aid audits, the Executive Director will oversee and coordinate the financial aid office response to annual audits and complete all federal and state reports, applications, and reconciliation processes in a timely fashion, in order to maintain strong eligibility. Accurate policies and procedures are an essential component of this work. The Executive Director is also responsible for implementing budgetary controls for federally allocated financial aid programs and for working with Institutional Advancement staff to build and implement endowed scholarship policies.

Customer Service and Campus Collaboration

The Executive Director will maintain and increase the highest level of customer service possible to all students and families who interact with the Financial Aid Office. Maintaining personal and digital communication in a timely fashion is essential to success, as is embracing an overall culture of service. This includes but is not limited to counseling students and packaging aid awards in a timely fashion, managing incomplete files and those slated for verification, and maintaining an appeals process.

The Executive Director is also expected to create and maintain campus partnerships with all offices whose work interacts with that of financial aid to best support students. Active participation in admission recruitment events is often expected, as is work with Student Financial Services and the Registrar to provide smooth transitions for students. Collaboration and communication are important skills, as is the ability to keep the campus informed on issues related to financial aid.


The Executive Director will oversee the management of the Ellucian Colleague financial aid module and will play a critical role in the anticipated move to automated packaging and ultimately the implementation of the self-service module. The Executive Director will also work closely with admissions operations to continue and improve the integration with Slate and with our financial aid leveraging partner. Knowledge of and comfort with best practices for using technology and automation is essential, in order to maintain smooth customer service and inter-office data sharing.

Other duties will include:

  • Conduct need analysis to determine student eligibility for various aid programs.
  • Verify financial aid application documents and maintain student generated information used to determine eligibility for various aid programs.
  • Engage with the athletic staff and NCAA compliance team to conduct activities that support the University’s Division I hockey teams and NCAA regulations; duties include packaging and awarding the GIA scholarship/financial aid awards and providing required documentation, accountability, and timeliness for the awarding process, as well as tracking and documenting books and class material purchases each semester.
  • Serve as the University’s resident expert on financial aid industry trends and policy/regulation updates and advises leadership on the University’s response.
  • Maintain the Financial Aid website with current information.
  • Hire, train, supervise, and conduct performance evaluations of assigned staff.
  • Cross-train admissions counselors on financial aid standards and procedures and educate other University leadership as requested.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in liberal arts or related field
  • Progressively responsible leadership and project experience in higher education student financial aid at the Associate Director level or higher; 6-7 years required.
  • Experience in supervising staff and managing operational budgets.
  • Demonstrated successful experience in managing a student financial aid office and in developing, evaluating, and improving financial aid awarding from a data-driven perspective.
  • Ability to refine and implement systems to enhance technology across all areas of financial aid packaging, awarding, and student communication while maximizing technology support from both internal and external sources.
  • Proven technical skills in data management and computerized systems related to student financial aid and student accounts.
  • Ability to develop, implement, maintain, and revise financial aid policies and procedures in compliance with federal and state laws and university policies and regulations.
  • Ability to develop, modify, implement, and maintain the application intake and tracking process for proper documentation of all financial aid awarding for audit purposes.
  • A demonstrated commitment to diversity and inclusion is required.
  • Demonstrated success in developing and maintaining relationships with a wide range of internal and external constituents including students, faculty, staff, and parents.
  • Proven leadership and supervisory skills in a professional environment.
  • Experience working with students from diverse backgrounds.
  • Ability to be innovative while meeting and exceeding requirements of higher education financial aid responsibilities.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Substantial knowledge of and experience with Ellucian Colleague software preferred.

Interested applicants must apply online at http://employment.stlawu.edu uploading all required materials which are defined in the “special instructions to applicant” section.  Review of applications will begin June 10, 2021. Applications submitted after this date will be reviewed as needed. Questions about the position may be directed to Florence Hines, Vice President for Enrollment Management & Dean of Admissions and Financial Aid, at [email protected]

All offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a background (including criminal records) check.




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Job No:
Posted: 5/20/2021
Application Due: 7/19/2021
Work Type: Full Time
Salary: Comprehensive Salary and Benefits package