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Director of Financial Aid (REVISED)
Northern Illinois University
The Director of Student Financial Aid reports directly to the VP of Enrollment Management, Marketing & Communications (EMMC) and serves as the chief administrator of student financial aid consisting of federal, state and local funds exceeding $200 million annually to more than 13,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students. The Director supervises the receipt, evaluation and approval of requests for all aid programs, establishes procedures for and keeps records on transactions with students, ensures effective and efficient use of automated financial aid management systems, prepares or supervises the preparation of all audit requests, and ensures that the University’s use of funds is in compliance with applicable state and federal regulations
Duties and Responsibilities (generally)
-To provide administrative leadership and oversight of the Financial Aid Office and all its functions.
-To serve the needs of the Financial Aid Office by:
-working with the Vice President of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications (EMMC) in creating and implementing a strategic financial aid leveraging plan to achieve enrollment goals, in accordance with the University’s mission, vision and values and as outlined in the Strategic Enrollment Management (SEM) Plan.
-providing direction and oversight of financial aid administration best practices; office/process efficiencies; interpretation and administration of all aid policies; and innovative, data-driven strategies to leverage financial aid funding.
-developing a cohesive and collaborative team environment.
-working in conjunction with staff from other NIU academic/student services units to meet the mission and strategic goals of the Division of EMMC and NIU.
Minimum Required Qualifications for this position
- Bachelor’s degree in any field
- At least five (5) years (60 months) of experience in all aspects of college student financial aid administration, with significant progressive position responsibilities.
- Three (3) years (36 months) of supervisory experience of a diverse staff, including hiring, evaluation, supervision, motivation, and training of professional staff, graduate students, and undergraduate students.
- Demonstrated experience with a highly automated financial aid management system. Experience using complex databases and ability to oversee and define specifications for financial aid systems programming.
Note: Master’s degree in an area consistent with the duties of the position may be substituted for one (1 year) of work experience.
Specialty Factors (Additional Required Qualifications)
Education and Experience Preferred
- Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration, Business or Public Administration, Accounting, Counseling, or closely related field.
- Demonstrated experience working with PeopleSoft.
- Demonstrated experience working with financial aid leveraging models and their impact on recruitment, retention and student completion.
- Demonstrated experience working with the Illinois Student Assistance Commission (ISAC) and the Alternative Application for Illinois Financial Aid.
- Demonstrated understanding of innovative uses of technology in administering student financial aid.
List the knowledge, skills, and abilities critical to the performance of this position.
Demonstrated commitment to diversity; excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- A thorough knowledge of policies, regulations and practices for awarding financial aid, including needs analysis and packaging. Knowledge of extensive procedures and eligibility requirements for federal, state and university programs. This includes a considerable body of authorizing legislation and regulations, which direct the awarding of funds to students based on need. Knowledge of fiscal management policies and procedures.
- Knowledge of the annual processing cycle, including specialty programs, planning and preparation processes necessary for effective operation and delivery of student aid, including integrated components with other campus units.
- Knowledge and understanding of, or the ability to learn, applicable state regulations and regulations regarding administering financial aid for a NCAA Division I athletic program.
- Superior communication, organizational, and interpersonal skills, including the ability to communicate effectively both in writing and verbally, with students, parents, auditors, high school and community college counselors, employees, college administrators and other constituents of the Financial Aid Office.
- Ability to establish collegial relationships with diverse students, staff, faculty, administrators, and the community.
- Demonstrated experience in facilitating organizational development and change.
- Competency for analyzing related data and assessing policies and practices as part of strategic enrollment planning.
- Possess the following skills and attributes: proven leadership skills; ability to handle multiple projects and processes simultaneously; strong attention to detail; student-oriented attitude; advanced customer service orientation; professionalism; strong work ethic; ability to work at a fast pace; adaptability; strong problem solving skills; and willingness to continually learn and improve.
- Experience with budget development and management.
- Ability to work evenings and weekends during peak periods; some regional/national travel may be expected.
- Successful criminal history background check.
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