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Director of Financial Aid Services

Apply now Job no: 492854
Work type: Full-time
Location: Chester
Categories: Administrators

Widener University has established a COVID-19 vaccination policy that requires all faculty and staff who will be on our campuses to be fully vaccinated and compliant as a condition of employment. Our goal is that all members of the Pride may safely experience Widener's hands on, inclusive, and personalized learning environment in person.

In addition to the above COVID-19 statement, all employees, who do not already have an approved exemption, are also required to receive a booster dose no more than 7 days after you become eligible.

Widener University is currently seeking an experienced and dynamic leader for the role of Director of Financial Aid Services in the Division of Enrollment to provide leadership and oversight of all aspects of Student Financial Aid Services at all campus locations.  Reporting to the Associate Vice President of Enrollment, the Director works collaboratively with the division of Enrollment, including the Bursar, Registrar, One-Stop Service Center, Loan Office and Admissions areas, as well as with the Development office and Retention office to help recruit and retain students, and promote a greater understanding of financial aid policies. 

The Director of Financial Aid also oversees the services provided to current and prospective students and their families by the financial aid staff and One Stop Service Center staff, including needs analysis, aid offers for undergraduate and graduate,  professional student populations, counseling, and exemplary customer service.  In addition, the individual is responsible for ensuring the highest level of integrity and compliance for all federal, state and university programs.

Why work at Widener?  At Widener University, we strive to deliver a comprehensive benefits package developed to attract and retain talent.  We offer employees the opportunity to participate in a variety of benefit program including health & welfare, retirement accounts, tuition programs at Widener University, life insurance, paid time off, and flexible work arrangements for many roles. 

Widener University is committed to fostering an environment in which faculty, staff, and students from a variety of backgrounds, cultures, and personal experiences are welcomed and can thrive. The Division of Enrollment  holds a deep commitment to an inclusive culture that supports the work of faculty and staff members across the institution, and works closely with the Chief Diversity Officer to facilitate that commitment. Faculty and staff are active participants in our work to enhance diversity, equity, & inclusion, including representation on the Faculty Council Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and the Diversity Leadership and Inclusion Council.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES (including, but not limited to):

Essential duties:

The successful candidate will be an experienced financial aid professional familiar with current trends and challenges in financial aid, who understands the principles of need-based aid and non-need based aid , and who thrives in a fast paced environment

  • Directs financial aid office operations at 3 campus locations and develops strategies to manage multiple work streams, ensuring that they are conducted within existing policy, procedural and compliance guidelines; that best practices are followed, and technology and automation are leveraged at every opportunity,
  • Communicates regulatory and policy changes to administration, faculty, staff, and students as appropriate.
  •  Prepares and submits statistical data and required federal, state and university reports on an ongoing basis, assists in fiscal planning, and is responsible for university wide compliance with all financial aid regulations and related consumer information requirements. 
  • Represents Widener University and the Student Financial Aid Services office at institutional, state, and national committees, forums, and meetings.
  • Uses analytics and evidence-based methods to inform policy and process improvement initiatives.
  • Communicates and collaborates with University leadership to enhance aid and student employment policy, approaches, and practices.
  • Oversees aid policies, including need analysis methods and packaging procedures; internal and external compliance and risk management, including audit requirements; NCAA Division III regulations; and all Title IV federal rules across campus.
  • Ensures all aspects of awarding undergraduate and graduate aid are completed accurately and timely
  • Stays ahead of and is familiar with current trends and challenges in financial aid
  • Works with Undergraduate, Graduate, and Law Admissions on messaging and recruitment strategies to communicate affordability and procedures to apply for aid
  • Ensures appropriate professional support including training, professional development, and performance evaluation of staff.
  • Manages the office's operational budget, as well as a $65+ million undergraduate aid budget, law aid budgets, and all university endowed funding.
  • Provides support for the two law schools insuring effective communication and collaboration with the Chester Campus
  • Works with team to ensure high levels of customer service and the accurate, compliant and timely processing of financial aid
  • Understands the principles of need-based aid
  • Thrives in a fast-paced environment

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS (education/training and experience required):

Required:

  • A bachelor’s degree;
  • Seven plus years of progressively responsible and successful leadership in financial aid administration;
  • Knowledge of federal, state, private financial aid programs, reporting, and regulations;
  • Knowledge of best practices and broad experience in developing and administering need-based aid programs;
  • Experience with budget preparation and administration;
  • Experience and proven record in financial analysis and planning;
  • Strong managerial and administrative skills;
  • Exceptional and creative communication and critical thinking skills, combined with the proven ability to move ideas forward in a collaborative manner;
  • Exceptional analytical and accounting skills experience;
  • Strong problem solving and time-management skills;
  • Superior interpersonal skills and outstanding leadership skills;
  • Demonstrated commitment to diversity and to serving the needs of a diverse population; and
  • Demonstrated working knowledge of electronic financial aid systems including COD, FAAAccess, CPS, SAIG, NSLDS, PHEAA Partner Interface, and Perceptive Imaging Software

Preferred:

  • A master’s degree
  • Experience with the PHEAA system and PA State programs
  • Ellucian Colleague system experience preferred.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS AND/OR UNUSUAL HOURS: 

  • Occasional weekend work supporting campus events
  • Ability to work at a computer for long periods of time (2+hours)
  • This role may be eligible for a flexible work arrangement.

Qualified candidates must submit resume and cover letter for consideration.  Incomplete applications will not be considered. Only those selected to interview will be contacted. 

Widener has a strategic commitment to building an inclusive university community whose diversity enriches the lives of all members and where our students are prepared for living in a pluralistic and ever-changing world. As a leading metropolitan university, Widener strives to embody the values that are inherent in our mission: civic engagement, access, inclusion, academic excellence, innovation and leadership.

Widener University, an independent, metropolitan, doctoral-intensive university, connects curricula to social issues through civic engagement. Dynamic teaching, active scholarship, personal attention and experiential learning are key components of the Widener Experience. Located in Chester, PA, Widener's main campus is nestled between Philadelphia, PA and Wilmington, DE, with Law Schools located in both Harrisburg and Wilmington. For more information about the university, please visit our website at www.widener.edu.

EOE M/F/V/D

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