Excelsior College invites inquiries, nominations and applications for an experienced, innovative, committed, and collaborative professional to serve as the next Senior Director of Financial Aid. This position is located in Albany, New York.
About the College
Excelsior College is an innovative institution dedicated to providing an engaging and interactive learning environment to over 23,300 undergraduate and graduate students. Nationally recognized as one of the pioneers in distance learning and the assessment of learning, Excelsior College offers affordable higher education opportunities for individuals looking to complete their degree.
Founded in 1971 by the New York State Board of Regents, Excelsior College was originally known as the Regents External Degree Program. From 1971 until 1998, Regents College (as it became known in 1986) operated as a program of the Board of Regents and under the authority of The University of the State of New York by which degrees and diplomas were awarded during that period. In April 1998, the Board of Regents granted the College a charter to operate as a private, nonprofit, independent institution and on January 1, 2001, Regents College changed its name to Excelsior College.
In the early 2000s, Excelsior was among the first institutions to develop and offer courses via fully online instruction. The College initially achieved its mission to provide adult learners with a flexible and affordable pathway to a credential through the assessment of learning and the aggregation of credit earned from inside and outside the classroom. It soon added credit by examination, and students could study independently and take exams to validate their knowledge. Thirty years later, in the 2000s, the College was among the first institutions developing and offering online courses.
Excelsior College has a mission-driven culture and has served as a model for how innovative institutions can deliver quality and affordable education. The College's strategic plan, Fulfilling the Promise, reflects an energy and entrepreneurial nature that encourages providing educational opportunities to adult learners through the validation of prior learning, military service, professional development, and life experience.
About the Position
Reporting to the Executive Director for Student Financial Services and Registration, the Senior Director is responsible for the management of all areas of financial aid compliance and administration. The Senior Director is charged with leading a team of 10 professional staff in supporting the overall mission of the College and work collaboratively within the department and with other units and key personnel to achieve unit and institutional goals through data driven decision-making, people leadership and management, strategic planning, policy development and effective execution of financial aid processes.
Position Duties & Responsibilities
- Direct the day-to-day operations including the supervision of all financial aid processing staff and the administration of all Federal, State, institutional and private aid.
- The Federal Student Aid (FSA) program fund management, counseling of students and parents, processing, satisfactory academic progress, and professional judgment.
- New York State aid programs including the certification of the Tuition Assistance Program (TAP) and Aid to Part-Time Study (APTS), ensuring compliance with these programs.
- Institutional scholarship awarding.
- Certification of private loans.
- Financial aid packaging, origination, initiation of disbursements and monthly reconciliation with the fiscal office.
- Chief point of contact for the financial aid office with College’s independent auditors for the annual FSA A-133 audit and the U.S. Department of Education.
- Assist with accurate and timely filing for all annual reports (FISAP, IPEDS, Clery, Common Data Set, HRSA, etc.).
- Support and be a strategic partner to the Executive Director in ensuring that the College’s Financial Aid programs, policies and practices reflect the latest regulatory requirements, support the College’s overall mission and objectives and support the goals and outcomes of other units across the College.
- Work in collaboration with the Executive Director to establish and implement procedures necessary to streamline processes to ensure compliance, efficiency, student success, retention, satisfaction, and persistence.
- Promote student enrollment and support initiatives designed to increase course and exam registration.
- Strive to improve the overall educational experience of students.
- Develop and manage policies, and procedures, staffing and annual training needs for the office of financial aid.
- Develop Requests for Information (RFI) to establish preferred lender lists for private loan programs to secure private lending options for Excelsior College students.
- Provide the unit with key performance indicators to make data driven decision about the financial aid office and the unit.
- Promote an environment of continuous improvement within the unit.
- Additional hours and availability may be required during busy times.
- Other duties and projects as assigned.
The Successful Candidate
The successful candidate will have excellent interpersonal, verbal, written, and listening skills, including the ability to communicate effectively with students, staff, and campus partners. The Senior Director must have demonstrated strategic leadership experience leading/directing a financial aid compliance function, strong customer-service orientation and experience providing high-caliber support to students are essential. The successful candidate must demonstrate expertise in Title IV Federal Student Aid regulations, financial aid software and proficiency with Microsoft technology. Attention to detail, along with strong supervisory, problem-solving, communication and interpersonal skills are essential. An elevated sense of integrity and accountability are critical. The ideal candidate will have experience with PowerFAIDS financial aid management system and demonstrate an interest in promoting distance learning higher education to a diverse adult student population.
This position requires a bachelor’s degree and a minimum of six to eight years of progressively responsible experience in a financial aid office, including supervision. A Master’s degree and additional administrative experience is desirable for this position.
HOW TO APPLY
Interested candidates should send a letter of application and resume that relates skills, abilities, knowledge and professional experiences to the stated qualifications for the position and notable achievements. The packet should be sent to: ECSDFA@wspelman.com. The subject line in the email should be ECSDFA.
For full consideration, all materials should be received by October 12, 2020. The process will continue until the position is filled. Confidential inquiries may be made by contacting Megan Spelman at Megan@wspelman.com or at 585-366-4329.
Excelsior College is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action/ADA employer committed to excellence and diversity that strives to enhance our ability to develop a diverse faculty and staff to increase our potential to serve a diverse student population.