Xavier University of Louisiana — Director of Financial Aid

Position Overview
The Director of Financial Aid provides leadership, direction, and coordination for the organization and delivery of university-wide student financial aid processing and operations, with an eye on institutional scholarship policies as they relate to net tuition revenue (NTR). This role is responsible for developing and executing a comprehensive vision and strategy regarding financial aid operations; will also have full command of scholarship leveraging programs and practices. The candidate will provide leadership for all programs that will create an environment of consistency, accuracy, and customer service. Candidate should also possess a passion for training and mentoring staff. Compliance with internal policies and state and federal guidelines, regulations, and laws mandatory. This position requires strong coordination and communication with the Vice President and Chief Financial Officer; reports to Vice President for Enrollment Management. 

Position Outcome
Most Important Services and/or Results Expected from this Position: 

  • Successfully direct the Office of Financial Aid to meet objectives and goals of the strategic plan of the University, as related to enrollment and fiscal stability 
  • Administer Title IV programs 
  • Work to implement industry best practices related to federal, state, and institutional financial aid 
  • Prepare accurate and realistic financial aid and operating budgets 
  • Supervise and train staff 
  • Represent the University in a professional manner at all times 
  • Uphold the mission of the University as a private, Catholic HBCU

Required Skills, Traits and Abilities
Knowledge of: 

  1. Federal, state, institutional, and local sources of financial aid 
  2. Institutional/organizational, policies, procedures, and administrative practices, generally administered in higher education 
  3. Finance, accounting, and management 
  4. Rules, regulations, requirements, and policies related to enrollment, financial aid, and retention 
  5. Modern office methods, procedures, and equipment, including computer databases and related software 
  6. Principles of training and providing work direction 
  7. Correct English usage, grammar, spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary 
  8. Interpersonal skills using tact, patience, and courtesy 
  9. Campus emergency procedures 

Ability to: 

  1. Create and manage databases to support financial aid/enrollment reporting 
  2. Work with, and keep, confidential information 
  3. Lead, motivate, and build consensus with staff and institutional stakeholders 
  4. Organize and analyze large amounts of data. Be able to prepare said data for easy interpretation/visualization of internal and external stakeholders 
  5. Maintain an organized work environment 
  6. Use persuasive written, oral, and listening skills 
  7. Work under extreme pressure in a fast-paced environment 
  8. Demonstrate accountability for meeting established tuition discount goals 
  9. Work independently and proactively to solve problems 
  10. Utilize professionalism and leadership qualities representative of an institution of higher education 
  11. Adapt to changing work demands and priorities 

Minimum Entry Requirements: 

  1. Bachelor’s degree or higher is required 
  2. Knowledge of database development and utilization to support enrollment management 
  3. Seven to ten years of previous financial aid experience 
  4. Experience in a non-profit higher education institution is preferred 
  5. Demonstrated experience in assisting/creating a campus-wide Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) division 
  6. Working knowledge of tuition discounting practices, packaging philosophies, and Title programs 
  7. Previous experience managing and leading teams of people 

Essential Functions 

  1. Administer and supervise the implementation of all financial aid policies, funding programs, and University policies; serve as chief operations person for the Office of Financial Aid 
  2. Prepare and submit the annual FISAP 
  3. Administer all Title (particularly IV) aid programs in compliance with current regulations 
  4. Administer all institutionally funded (endowed) and non-funded scholarships according to institutional guidelines; help promote outside scholarships 
  5. Assist with packaging and verification policies to maximize enrollment and net revenue 
  6. Work with lenders and guarantee agencies to ensure student and parent loan processing is efficiently handled; help generate cash flow 
  7. Plan, organize, and supervise the operational functions of the Office of Financial Aid 
  8. Ensure the Satisfactory Academic Progress policy is monitored and enforced as it pertains to meeting aid eligibility 
  9. Update Program Participation Agreement (PPA), as needed 
  10. Counsel students, parents, and staff regarding financial aid programs 
  11. Prepare and complete required reports and applications for federal, state, and local funds and grants 
  12. Attend and assist with meetings and workshops on financial aid 
  13. Prepare and manage operating budget to balance at end of year 
  14. Provide statistical information on financial aid for federal and state publications and organizations, including IPEDS and SACS 
  15. Attend professional conferences/webinars to increase awareness of issues that will likely impact the aid environment in general, and XULA, in particular 
  16. Work closely with Enrollment Management to articulate affordability to parents of prospective and current students 
  17. Edit financial aid section of the catalog 
  18. Prepare student cost-of-attendance budgets 
  19. Supervise the development of publications, forms, and mailings 
  20. Alongside VPEM, articulate forward-thinking vision within enrollment management division 
  21. Work closely with IS department staff to implement database reporting structures for financial aid/ enrollment functions 
  22. Implement appropriate training and professional development for all financial aid staff 
  23. Travel as needed; develop and foster relationships and partnerships with corporations, schools, and other agencies to facilitate recruitment of students throughout NOLA 
  24. Work with business office, as needed, on federal fund reconciliation 
  25. Work with CPA and auditors, as required, to ensure compliance and meet regulations 
  26. As required, work with other internal and external stakeholders on the management, creation, and generation of scholarship programs 
  27. Other duties as assigned 

Work Distribution

% of Total Working Time / Work Tasks and Responsibilities
35% – Daily oversight and management of staff, aid programs, and University policies
15% – Database management
15% – Personnel hiring, training, leadership, and mentoring
15% – Office budget, awarding budgets, and schedules
10% – Reports, PPA, FISAP
5% – Marketing
5% – Travel

Physical Requirements

  • Ability to lift and carry 25 pounds or more, on occasion 
  • Able to sustain driving during the day and night 
  • Able to sit and stand for long periods of time 
  • Able to wear a headset for calling and to type on keyboard for long periods

The statements made here are not an exhaustive list of duties, responsibilities, and skills required for this position. Furthermore, they do not establish a contract for employment and are subject to change at the discretion of the employer.

Related: