Director of Student Financial Aid, Student Financial Services
Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) seeks a strategic, visionary, and collaborative leader to serve as its next Director of Student Financial Aid.
Carnegie Mellon University is a private, global research university that is positioned among the world’s most renowned education institutions and serves a diverse community of more than 14,000 students, 104,000 active alumni, and 6,300 faculty and staff. This role is based at the university’s main campus location in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, consistently rated as one of the most livable cities in the United States. Carnegie Mellon values equity and inclusion, and the curious and passionate are challenged to deliver work that matters.
This is an exciting opportunity for someone who thrives in an interesting and challenging work environment and has a strong orientation toward data analytics. Reporting to the Director of Student Financial Services and serving as a member of a cohesive, student-centered enrollment leadership team, you will possess a deep understanding of the integral role of financial aid in supporting student enrollment, student success and student services. You will oversee a team of ten professional staff to execute on the department’s mission and serve Carnegie Mellon students across all campus locations.
You will have significant fiduciary responsibility to the institution with reporting responsibilities to your direct supervisor, auditing agencies (internal and external), state and federal governments, and university leadership. While many actions in the student financial aid realm are driven by existing process and procedures, you will be responsible for continually improving and updating processes with attention to student services, efficiency, and compliance.
Core responsibilities include:
- Financial Aid Program Administration and Compliance - Overseeing and planning for undergraduate financial aid resources, as well as campus-wide compliance and reporting of all federal, state, institutional, and other financial aid programs totaling more than $150 million annually. Budget creation, monitoring and reporting, submission of Program Participation Agreements (including semi-annual foreign gift reporting), annual submission of Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP), and overseeing university’s annual external Uniform Guidance audit of federal student aid programs.
- Management and Staff Development - Recruiting, hiring, supervising, performance evaluation, coaching, and professional development of Student Financial Aid staff. Ensuring regular and timely training of relevant staff in Student Financial Aid, Undergraduate Admission, and The HUB related to regulatory, system, and service components of all student financial aid functions.
- Project work (S3, SFS, ECM, and Data Analytics) – Assessing, proposing, and guiding the development and maintenance of systems to improve customer service, increase efficiencies, and ensuring internal control. Serving as the business owner for PowerFAIDS and all student financial aid-related functionality within the Student Services Suite (S3) and the Student Financial Services (SFS) environment. Investigating and implementing the use of outside vendors and services related to financial aid application processing, awarding, notification, reporting, counseling, literacy, etc.
- Operations – Developing and implementing policies, internal controls, and standard methodologies to ensure efficient and controlled operations with a focus on excellent customer service. Preparing, analyzing, and distributing comprehensive reporting to ensure adequate internal control and serving senior university leadership in decision making and planning. Establishing key performance metrics in all areas and providing monthly reporting to monitor departmental success. Developing and managing an operational budget, forecasting student financial aid revenue and expense streams, and providing specific recommendations to senior management.
- Strategic and operational leadership to division and university – Collaborating with other leaders within Student Financial Services, Enrollment Services and across the Pittsburgh and other campuses, to provide leadership and direction on student financial aid and maximize its effectiveness in promoting student success. Participating in the long-range planning for Student Financial Aid, Student Financial Services, and Enrollment Services.
- Bachelors’ degree required. Masters’ or equivalent combination of training and experience preferred
- At least 8 or more years of experience with financial aid administration, including development and implementation of financial aid programs and large staff management or an equivalent combination of education and experience
- 10 or more years of related experience at a private, high-select, research institution preferred
Flexibility, excellence, and passion are vital qualities within Student Financial Services. Inclusion, collaboration and cultural sensitivity are valued proficiencies at CMU. Therefore, we are in search of a team member who is able to effectively interact with a varied population of internal and external partners at a high level of integrity. We are looking for someone who shares our values and who will support the mission of the university through their work.
You should demonstrate:
- Significant and increasingly complex leadership experience and administrative roles
- Strong financial stewardship; previous oversight and experience with budget planning, financial analysis, and reporting
- Knowledge of needs analysis and financial aid programs, both federal and state, including regulations and laws that govern financial aid programs
- In-depth understanding of Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA), and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)
- Experience managing Program Participation Agreement (PPA) and Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) submissions
- Knowledge of current practices and trends in financial aid awarding practices and philosophies
- Excellent communication and active listening skills, including the ability to convey complex information to a variety of constituencies. Ability to interact effectively with varied internal and external constituencies, demonstrating excellent diplomacy and discretion
- Proven ability to motivate staff and support the professional development of team members
- Strong interpersonal skills. Proven track record of a collaborative spirit and relationship development
- Proven dedication to diversity, equity and inclusion
- Analytical approach. Ability to utilize information and data to inform strategic decision making
- Well-versed in quality data collection to ensure adequacy, accuracy and integrity. Ability to strictly follow data privacy and security procedures for data handling and analysis to ensure adherence to legal and institutional standards
- Experience designing and implementing complex business processes
- Strong technical skills including Microsoft Office, report writing, and dashboard development
- Use of Federal Student Aid (FSA) and student information systems systems
Weekend and evening hours may be required
- Background check
Are you interested in this opportunity with us? Please apply.
Please visit “Why Carnegie Mellon” to learn more about becoming part of an institution inspiring innovations that change the world.
A listing of our employee benefits is available at: www.cmu.edu/jobs/benefits-at-a-glance/.
Carnegie Mellon University is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran.
Please visit https://www.cmu.edu/policies/administrative-and-governance/statement-of-assurance.html to review our Statement of Assurance.Admissions / Financial AidUnited States-Pennsylvania-PittsburghFull TimeMaster's Degree or equivalenttrue