Executive Director of Financial Aid
ID: 7183351 (Ref.No. 4641631)
Posted: September 28, 2023
Application Deadline: Open Until Filled
Job Type: Full-Time
Job Number: 2015-1603400
Location: CA 94556, CA
Department: Enrollment Management
Closing: 10/29/2023 11:59 PM Pacific
Saint Mary's College of California seeks a dynamic and collaborative executive director of financial aid (EDFA). Reporting to the vice president for enrollment management, the new executive director will develop, implement, and advance comprehensive financial aid services. The EDFA oversees and leads the implementation of financial aid leveraging strategies, financial aid policies, and awarding practices to assist undergraduate and graduate students enroll and persist to graduation. The executive director will join an enrollment management leadership team consisting of key partners in the admissions, registrar, and enrollment management offices. Saint Mary's College of California's Financial Aid Office staff is optimistic, engaged, and eager to attract and support a seasoned leader who will provide exemplary customer service; manage, mentor, and train staff for optimal professional performance; and collaborate fully within a caring and supportive community.
Designated as a Hispanic-Serving Institution, Saint Mary's College of California boasts a highly diverse student population. Additionally, the College enjoys a large community of first-generation students. The executive director of financial aid must exhibit a deep appreciation and commitment to diversity, first-generation college students, and access programs integral to student persistence and retention.
The executive director of financial aid is responsible for the integrity of all financial aid programs and will create and update policies on compliance, ensuring accuracy and complete regulatory compliance. All federal and state reporting and reconciliation falls under the purview of the EDFA and financial aid staff.
Additionally the executive director will establish and execute policies that support the objectives, goals, and priorities of the enrollment management division and of the institution. The EDFA will ensure staff knowledge and professional training fostering the continuity and clarity of office duties as well as consistency, empathy, support, and follow through for best practices in customer care.
The new executive director will facilitate effective financial aid packaging, including timely notification and delivery of financial aid funds from all sources. Serving in an instrumental role in working with the vice president for enrollment management and Human Capital (HCRC) on enrollment projections and financial aid optimization efforts, the EDFA will help Saint Mary's reach institutional targets for enrollment, including diversity, discount rate, and net tuition revenue. The EDFA is responsible for all awarding processes and disbursement of approximately $70 million in financial aid. The EDFA will implement best practices and practical delivery of funded and unfunded institutional gift assistance for students and also supports the efforts of the advancement office on endowed scholarship awarding and distribution, and appropriate donor stewardship.
The new executive director will maintain a level of service excellence regarding financial aid policies and best practices for financial aid processes, communications, and delivery. To instill trust and confidence in the Financial Aid Office, the executive director must be a prominent leader and an effective communicator. Recognizing the value, professionalism, and strong work ethics of the current staff of six, the EDFA will guide, mentor, teach, and work alongside staff to instill the value of team effort in a best practices environment.
With a proven track record in systems optimizations, the EDFA will have primary responsibility in Ellucian Colleague. The EDFA 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. The EDFA will produce the rules and write algorithms that allow for annual updates to the new student and continuing student auto-packaging module in Colleague, as well as ensure data integrity and regulatory compliance throughout the Colleague system in conjunction with key administrative partners.
The EDFA will collaborate and develop strong working relationships with the Registrar's Office, Admissions, Student Accounts, the Student Success Office, Student Life departments, Athletics, and other key partners across the College. On a regular basis, the EDFA will meet with partners to resolve issues and proactively work towards greater inter-departmental efficiencies to ensure full compliance and greater customer care.
Additional responsibilities of the executive director of financial aid include the following:
- Provide leadership to the College community in relating the impact of
federal, state, and institutional financial aid budgeting decisions toward
achieving College enrollment objectives;
- Encourage innovation and inclusive excellence within the Financial Aid
Office to provide student-centered services for graduate and
- Ensure that the Financial Aid Office's practices are guided by, and
comply with, ethical standards;
- Possess knowledge of the regional and national dialogue regarding
financial aid best practices;
- Develop, analyze, and interpret statistical financial data for enrollment
and financial reporting, including, but not limited to: Integrated
Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS); Common Data Set;
California SB70 enrollment; Federal Fiscal Operations Report and
Application to Participate (FISAP); Federal A-133 audit for Campus-
Based Aid; federal and state (i.e., Cal Grant) Program Participation
Agreement; state Institutional Participation Agreement;
- Develop workshops and programming focused on financial literacy and
college affordability (for graduate and undergraduate students);
- Develop and implement electronic communication flows for financial aid
awarding to new and continuing graduate and undergraduate
- Serve on key institutional committees including the Budget
Committee and Enrollment Group.
Experience and Qualifications
Knowledge, Skills and Attributes of the Successful Candidate
The ideal candidate will be a collaborative and proactive problem solver who works well under pressure; remains at all times current on national financial aid policies, regulations, and trends; demonstrates skill in the appropriate use of technology to support efficient systems and a positive student experience; and has the capacity to lead and manage a complex financial aid effort. The successful candidate will thrive in this highly relational institution as someone who appreciates and respects the strength of a smaller community of learners and colleagues. A bachelor's degree is required with an advanced degree strongly preferred. Eight years of progressive leadership and management experience in financial aid administration is required.
In addition, the following job-related qualifications represent the knowledge, skills, and attributes an individual needs to possess:
- Ability to meet deadlines and maintain a high level of accuracy and
- Demonstrated evidence of customer service orientation with the ability to
serve all individuals well in a highly diverse student population;
- Ability to work individually and collaboratively in a dynamic organization;
- Experience in training, managing, mentoring, and professionally developing a
financial aid team capable of extraordinary customer service and accuracy in
compliance - with positive strength and energy;
- Experience working with Ellucian Colleague and financial aid modules is
preferred; proficiency in financial aid related technology is required;
- Ability to use tact, diplomacy and judgment in dealing with all customers and
has a comfort level and positive demeanor working under pressure; and
- Demonstrating an executive presence, self-reliance, proactive and
enthusiastic approach, with an ability to make a positive impression on others.
Mission and Values
The College's mission statement celebrates its three traditions, the classical tradition of liberal arts education, the intellectual and spiritual legacy of the Catholic Church, and the vision of education enunciated by Saint John Baptist de La Salle and developed by the Brothers of the Christian Schools and their educational institutions for more than 300 years. The identity of Saint Mary's College of California is built on three core commitments and The Saint Mary's College experience is guided by five Lasallian Core Principles:
- Concern For the Poor and Social Justice
- Faith in the Presence of God
- Quality Education
- Respect for all Persons
- Inclusive Community
- Promoting global perspectives and inclusive excellence
- Preparing students for meaningful personal and professional lives
- Integrating the intellectual, spiritual, and social lives of our community
- Creating a more just and sustainable world
- Addressing the conditions and effects of poverty
NES is assisting Saint Mary's College with this search for a Executive Director of Financial Aid. If you wish to have a confidential conversation about this opportunity or submit nominations, please contact: Laura Robinson, [email protected],
Robin Reynders, [email protected] or Mary Napier, [email protected]
To apply, please send the following items: 1) a resume, 2) a detailed letter of interest, and
3) contact information for three professional references by email to:
[email protected]. For assurance of full consideration, please submit
application materials no later than October 24. Applications will be reviewed until the
position is filled. All applications and nominations will be considered confidential,
and notice will be given before references are contacted. The Executive Director of
Financial Aid's anticipated start date is late May or early June, 2024.
Please apply online at https://www.schooljobs.com/careers/stmarys
We envision a community that goes beyond tolerance of differences to one guided by social justice, cultural competence and engaged citizenship. We know we can reach greater heights of excellence by learning from diverse people.