Barnard College — Executive Director of Financial Aid

Barnard College, a distinctive liberal arts academic institution devoted to empowering young women to pursue their passions, seeks an Executive Director of Financial Aid.  It will be essential that this Executive Director of Financial Aid bring deep experience, demonstrated care for a well-qualified staff, and an effective approach to collaborating with many campus colleagues in enrolling and retaining students who will thrive at Barnard.

The Opportunity

Under the direction of the Dean of Enrollment Management at Barnard College, the Executive Director of Financial Aid will provide student-centered and strategic leadership for the Office of Financial Aid. As an experienced leader of people and financial aid programs, the Executive Director will be responsible for efficiently and effectively administering the College’s financial aid programs – including federal, state, and institutional funds exceeding $45 million annually.

The Executive Director provides direct oversight of the daily operations for the Office of Financial Aid including creating and implementing policy, staff training and supervision, providing compliance oversight, reporting and analysis of financial aid budgets, and integrating new technology and best practices within the field. The successful candidate will be a master collaborator with key members of the College community including leaders in finance and student services, successfully balance the needs of students and families and College business goals, provide strong guidance and leadership to the team in student-centered communication and customer service, and have an unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. The Executive Director will also serve as a member of the Enrollment Management Committee and provide key financial aid insights to support strategic enrollment goals.

The essential duties and responsibilities of the Executive Director of Financial Aid include:

  • Provide senior leadership and office management to the Office of Financial Aid by setting and prioritizing office goals, creating and overseeing organizational structure, hiring and mentoring staff, office budget planning, staff professional development and performance management, and establishing an office culture of excellence in student-centered service.
  • Develop and recommend policy and procedures for the use and distribution of college financial aid funds in compliance with federal, state, and institutional guidelines; implement policy and evaluate the effects of adopted policy on the College and the student body keeping in mind such issues as retention, recruiting, budget, access, and equity.
  • Review and analyze current business practices; monitor, review, and analyze current and future financial aid-related public policy for potential impacts; and recommend and/or implement adjustments to student aid related college business practices and procedures, as needed.
  • Oversee the development and maintenance of the College’s financial aid policies and procedures manual in compliance with federal, state, and institutional policies, procedures, and regulations.
  • Prepare institutional applications for federal and state student aid funds, including the annual Fiscal Operations Report and Federal Application for Funds, the quarterly Higher Educational Opportunity Program reports, and quarterly Pell Grant Institutional Program Summary Report; ensure College compliance with statutes and regulations regarding the administration of federal and state programs and prepares for annual audits and periodic program reviews by independent auditors and/or representatives of federal and state agencies.
  • Develop and recommend annual budgets for Barnard grant aid, including projecting federal and state support; conduct briefings for the president, college senior leadership, and financial aid committees.
  • Create an open, welcoming, and inclusive environment in financial aid that actively supports and advises prospective and current students and their families.
  • Select students eligible for grant aid and authorize disbursement of financial aid funds to those students; review Professional Judgment cases and render decisions on financial aid related matters; report to the Controller’s Office the amount and form of each award made; and authorize transfer of funds to appropriate accounts.
  • Work with Beyond Barnard to assure the proper administration of Federal Work Study and Barnard College Job programs, including monitoring awards, providing eligibility lists, and preparing reports.
  • Assign Barnard restricted scholarships by providing the Development Office with recipient information reports; support fundraising efforts in the development of additional financial aid resources by providing data for grant proposals.
  • Develop collaborative relationships with key departments across the college, including the Bursar’s Office, Office of the Controller, Finance, Beyond Barnard and other offices; maintain strong partnerships with the Bursar office and create bridges that assist students in understanding the relationship of financial aid to student billing.
  • Partner with the new LeFrak Center for Health and Well-Being to collaborate on financial literacy programs for current students. 
  • Serve as a member of the Strategic Admissions-Aid group that includes the President, Executive Vice President of the College and General Counsel, Chief Financial Officer, Vice President for Enrollment and Communications, Dean of Enrollment Management, and Bursar.

Qualifications, Abilities and Desired Characteristics

Barnard College expects candidates to have a minimum of seven years of experience in financial aid administration, including several years of supervisory experience. It is required that the Executive Director will have a bachelor’s degree and it is strongly preferred that the selected candidate have a master’s degree or equivalent, in student personnel administration or a related field.

The successful candidate will also possess the following abilities and characteristics: 

  • In-depth knowledge of federal, state, and institutional regulations governing financial aid, including grants, work study and loan programs.
  • Familiarity with federal financial aid programs and their requirements, as well as experience in the awarding of financial aid within a need-based analysis using Institutional Methodology (IM).
  • Knowledge of electronic payment/disbursal systems for Federal and State aid processing.
  • Ability to work effectively with students and parents; student centric professional who possesses a sensitivity to student needs and development.
  • Strong interpersonal skills; exceptional oral and written communication abilities, as well as effective presentation and counseling skills.
  • Understanding of how to use systems to streamline processes and create efficiencies in order to be responsive to the needs of prospective and current students (working knowledge of PowerFAIDS, Colleague, Workday, and Slate a plus).
  • Demonstrated supervisory skills; a willingness to cross train, provide professional development and enhance the existing strengths of the team.
  • Strong organizational and analytical skills; ability to analyze, interpret, and understand data and key metrics to leverage financial aid effectively.
  • Ability to inspire the financial aid team as a confident change agent and desire to create a culture of collaboration with key partners at the college.

The College

Barnard College has been a distinguished leader in higher education for women for over 125 years and is one of the most sought after private liberal arts colleges in the nation. Founded in 1889, the College was the first in New York City, and one of the few in the country, where women could receive the same rigorous liberal arts education available to men. Its partnership with Columbia University, its setting in New York City, and its unwavering dedication to the advancement of women make Barnard a truly singular place to study and learn.

Today, Barnard College enrolls over 3,000 academically talented undergraduate women from diverse backgrounds. Barnard’s student body includes residents from nearly every state and nearly 58 countries worldwide. Over 44% of the student body identify as students of color, and 13% are non-US citizens or permanent residents. Barnard has a need-blind admissions policy, and 16% of its students receive Pell grants with 41% of all students receiving some form of financial aid. With an 11% admissions rate, Barnard is among the most sought-after colleges and universities in the nation.

Barnard’s faculty are 65% women, 100% of whom possess the highest degree in their field. The College boasts a 10:1 student to faculty ratio. Barnard’s Foundations Curriculum was established in 2016 and gives students the opportunity and freedom to create their own educational experience. The curriculum challenges students to think theoretically, empirically, and technologically, to write effectively, and to speak persuasively. Barnard offers degrees in more than 50 fields and has 10 academic centers. Barnard graduates nearly 600 students and is consistently among the top in producing Fulbright scholars and graduates. After graduation, nearly 90% of graduates are employed or attending graduate/professional schools within six months.

The College’s FY 2022 operating budget is projected at $253 million with revenue derived primarily from Term Bill revenue, gifts & grants, endowment income and federal & state sources for research and financial aid. On June 30, 2021, the College’s endowment was valued at $460 million and is managed through an outsourced chief investment officer model.

Barnard College and Columbia University

Barnard is an independent liberal arts college for women with its own leadership, administration, trustees, budget and endowment, faculty, curriculum, admissions standards, graduation requirements, and physical campus. Barnard operates in partnership with Columbia University, an Ivy League research university recognized worldwide for its contributions in science, medicine, the arts, and the humanities.  Barnard and Columbia share resources, whereby undergraduate students from both institutions have access to courses and facilities of both schools. Barnard and Columbia students also participate in a wide variety of joint social and extracurricular activities, and Barnard students are members of Columbia’s Division I Ivy League Conference athletic teams through the Columbia-Barnard Athletic Consortium.

Barnard faculty are tenured at both Barnard and Columbia and have access to Columbia’s Academic Research Institutes, Global Centers, Seminars, and other programs.

Mission Statement

Barnard College aims to provide the highest-quality liberal arts education to promising and high-achieving young women, offering the unparalleled advantages of an outstanding residential college in partnership with a major research university. With a dedicated faculty of scholars distinguished in their respective fields, Barnard is a community of accessible teachers and engaged students who participate together in intellectual risk-taking and discovery. Barnard students develop the intellectual resources to take advantage of opportunities as new fields, new ideas, and new technologies emerge. They graduate prepared to lead lives that are professionally satisfying and successful, personally fulfilling, and enriched by a love of learning.

As a college for women, Barnard embraces its responsibility to address issues of gender in all of their complexity and urgency and to help students achieve the personal strength that will enable them to meet the challenges they will encounter throughout their lives. Located in the cosmopolitan environment of New York City and committed to diversity in its student body, faculty, and staff, Barnard prepares its graduates to flourish in multi-cultural surroundings in an increasingly interconnected world. The Barnard community thrives on high expectations. By setting rigorous academic standards and giving students the support they need to meet those standards, Barnard enables its students to discover their own capabilities. Living and learning in this unique environment, Barnard students become agile, resilient, responsible, and creative, prepared to lead and serve their society.

President Sian Leah Beilock

A cognitive scientist by training, President Beilock is focused on developing Barnard as a singular institution. She is raising the College’s eminence in math, science, and technology to parallel its renown in the arts and humanities. Building on Barnard’s unique relationship with Columbia University, President Beilock is increasing options for students to transition directly from the College into a range of master’s programs at Columbia, including international relations, public health, computer science, and engineering. She is also working to bridge the gap between college and life after college through the innovative Beyond Barnard office; to amplify the importance of health and wellness through the opening of the Francine A. LeFrak Foundation Center for Well-Being; and to ensure that Barnard continues to attract a highly diverse student body that is deeply engaged with all that the College and the City of New York have to offer.

Prior to her appointment as President, Beilock spent 12 years at the University of Chicago, where she was the Stella M. Rowley Professor of Psychology and a member of the Committee on Education. Her research specializes on how children and adults learn and perform at their best, especially under stress. In her role as a member of UChicago’s senior leadership, she served as the Executive Vice Provost and an Officer of the University. President Beilock earned her Bachelor of Science in cognitive science from the University of California, San Diego, and Doctors of Philosophy in both kinesiology and psychology from Michigan State University.

Division of Enrollment and Communications

Jennifer Fondiller, ‘88 oversees the division of enrollment and communications.  This important area of the College focuses both externally and internally as it introduces Barnard to the world and includes the offices of admission, financial aid, communications, and pre-college programs.  The Executive Director of Financial Aid will report to the Dean of Enrollment Management, Christina Lopez, who oversees both admissions and financial aid. Critically, the division of enrollment and communications works effectively and collaboratively with nearly every facet of the Barnard community in an effort to seamlessly select, welcome and orient new and continuing students to the College.


Located on the upper west side of Manhattan in Morningside Heights, the Barnard campus occupies four acres within four blocks between 116th and 120th Streets on the west side of Broadway. Morningside Heights is home to seven major institutions of higher education and has been dubbed the city’s “academic acropolis.” Barnard’s beautiful campus is very densely built, with six buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Opened in October 2018, the Cheryl and Philip Milstein Center for Teaching and Learning is the hub of academic and intellectual life on campus. President Beilock says, “The Milstein Center is more than a wonderful new building… [It is] a place where we will look at pedagogy with fresh eyes and innovative tools and an opportunity to change the way we think about libraries and study spaces, and the way we interact in the classroom.”

For more information on Barnard, please visit

To Apply

Napier Executive Search is assisting Barnard College with this search for Executive Director of Financial Aid. For more information or to nominate someone for this position, contact Mary Napier ( or Laura Robinson ( for a confidential conversation. Interested candidates should submit a résumé along with a cover letter expressing interest in this position. Candidates should provide the names and contact information of at least three professional references; references will not be contacted without permission. All application materials should be submitted electronically to as soon as possible. Materials will be reviewed beginning May 13, 2022 and the search will remain open until the position is filled.  The anticipated start date is Summer 2022.

Barnard College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Barnard does not discriminate due to race, color, creed, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital or parental status, national origin, ethnicity, citizenship status, veteran or military status, age, disability, or any other legally protected basis, and to the extent permitted by law. Qualified candidates of diverse ethnic and racial backgrounds are encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels.