The Director of Financial Aid reports to the Executive Vice President and is primarily responsible for the overall operation of all Financial Aid programs (institutional, state, and federal). The Director of Financial Aid provides leadership direction and coordination by providing oversight of the daily core operations for financial aid and management of the Office of Financial Aid. This role is responsible for developing a comprehensive vision and strategy for financial aid operations. This position monitors federal and state regulatory environments and identifies any resulting changes that may impact the office workflow to generate financial aid packages The position serves as the Title IV Compliance Officer for the University. The Director will provide leadership creating an environment of consistency, accuracy, and excellent customer service.
ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Leads the financial aid team to accomplish University mission to provide personalized, accurate and timely service; and to remain in compliance in the awarding of financial aid. Leads with integrity, positivity and professionalism.
Manage, hire, train, supervise and evaluate Office of Financial Aid staff to develop an enthusiastic and highly competent professional performance levels. Determines work priorities, trains, delegates tasks, and evaluates work efforts.
Communicates and works collaboratively with leadership, other departments, faculty and staff to accomplish retention and recruitment goals and objectives of financial aid and the University.
Ensure compliance with federal and state laws and rules and regulations that pertain to financial aid programs, such as the Higher Education Act and Federal Student Aid and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA); and compliance with MACU’s confidential and proprietary information policy.
Provides accurate and timely financial aid applications and reports to federal and state agencies, including but not limited to, Program Participation Agreement (PPA), Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP), and Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System (IPEDS).
Provides accurate and timely reports for internal controls, strategic decision-making and audits.
Thinks creatively and works in a team to increase enrollment and retention.
Designs, implements and evaluates the effectiveness of financial aid communications.
Develops, implements, and revises policies and procedures to ensure compliance with all Federal and State laws and regulations. Responsible for the development and implementation of college polices as they relate to financial and institutional aid.
Ensures accurate and timely updates to the PowerFAIDS software and the Jenabar financial aid module in collaboration with IT as needed.
Serves on MACU’s compliance, planning and policy-making committees, as assigned.
Develops and manages the annual financial aid department budget.
Coordinate the annual reconciliation of federal, state and institutional programs.
Maintains a high level of professional competence in best practices in financial aid, program assessment, operational budgeting and a working knowledge of the college software system.
Coordinate enrollment reports with the Registrar's Office to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse (NSLC) and the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS).
Directs all aspects of the financial aid program, including merit-based scholarships, need-based grants, student loans, and the work study opportunities in compliance with federal and state laws and in accordance with university policies.
Coordinate with Bursar’s Office to ensure proper cash management procedures, including timely disbursement of funds.
Ensure all financial aid and verification documents are received and properly processed.
Supervises and monitors the Financial Aid satisfactory academic progress (SAP) process for financial aid students, ensuring that review and notification to students is done based on the established College policy and schedule, and Federal Financial Aid Regulations.
Develop procedures to enhance collaboration and communication with Admissions, Enrollment, Registrar and Academic Affairs to promote effective enrollment management within the University.
Administer the budget and reporting for the Federal Work Study (FWS) program and coordinate with the Coordinator of Student Employment on all aspects of student employment.
Administers, controls, and coordinates federal, state and institutional financial aid funds from numerous individual programs. Ensures compliance with all laws and regulations through accurate reporting and auditing and resolves any issues related to auditors' findings.
Processes the awarding of financial aid funds utilizing federal needs analysis calculations. Reviews the processing and edits work performed by the department staff. Resolves complex problems for office staff, students and other parties involving funding, awarding and/or disbursement of funds.
Counsels students and parents in regard to financial eligibility. Uses professional judgment in determining the appropriate categorizing of information based on individual circumstances.
Conducts financial aid presentations at local high schools, classroom visits on and off campus, and other venues are requested.
Responsible for Return to Title IV Calculations
Collaborates across campus on ways to increase financial literacy, reduce student financial aid bad debt and reduce MACU’s cohort default rates.
All other duties as assigned by the Executive Vice President.
Directly supervises employees in the Office of Financial Aid. Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required.
Knowledge of financial aid systems, procedures, and standards.
Knowledge and ability to apply current financial aid delivery mechanisms and adapt with new technological developments, as applicable.
Knowledge of general auditing and SFS policies, standards & procedures across universities, federal and state levels.
Skill in planning, developing, coordinating, and directing financial aid programs and initiatives.
Knowledge and understanding of financial aid process and programs including (but not limited to): financial aid general eligibility criteria, federal grants, state grants, federal loans, private loans, campus-based aid programs, outside scholarship, military benefits and institutional aid.
Extensive process and regulatory knowledge of mission critical area of processing tools (e.g. ED Tools, COD, CPS, NSLDS)
Experience with Jenzabar and PowerFAIDS Administrative Software or an equivalent SIS System.
Skill in writing reports containing technical information.
Experience using technology and data to improve processes.
Ability to adhere to federal, state, and institutional policy and compliance requirements including confidentiality and recordkeeping requirements
Experience in budget preparation, fiscal management and forecasting.
Experience in planning, analyzing, and coordinating activities and establishing priorities.
Skill in supervising and training employees, to include organizing, prioritizing, and scheduling work assignments.
Experience in building effective teams to ensure customer service standards are met and assigned goals and objectives are reached.
Excellent managerial skills including encouraging a positive, productive atmosphere, monitoring staff workload, resources and efficiency, assessment of staff, and corrective action plans.
Ability to demonstrate excellent customer service including accurate and timely support to students and staff
Outstanding interpersonal and community relations skills and the ability to communicate and work effectively within a diverse community.
Proper phone etiquette and the ability to represent the university in a professional manner required
Ability to dynamically problem-solve for customers while providing practical information and options
Excellent computer skills, including effective utilization of Microsoft and Google products.
Ability to work a flexible schedule that will include days, evenings, and weekends.
Ability to articulate and defend the unique Christian educational mission and vision of the University to a wide variety of individuals and groups.
Individual must not be in default on any federal student or parent loan.
Individual must not be convicted of, or have pled nolo contendere or guilty to, a crime involving the acquisition, use, or expenditure of federal, state, or local government funds, -or- be administratively or judicially determined to have committed fraud or any other material violation of law involving federal, state, or local government funds (CFR 668.14(b)(18)(i)).
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms, and talk or hear. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.
EDUCATION and/or EXPERIENCE:
A Master's degree from a four-year college or university is preferred, but a Bachelor’s degree is required. Seven (7) to nine (9) years of progressively responsible financial aid experience in a post-secondary institution.
with five (5) to seven (7) years in a supervisory position preferred.
Mid-America Christian University (MACU) is a private, Christian liberal arts college that's experiencing unprecedented growth, tripling in size within the last few years. The reason for this growth is simple: Mid-America offers life-transforming associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs, as well as specialized certificate programs that expand students' employment and ministry opportunities. MACU accommodates the needs of all students, whether a recent high school graduate looking for a traditional campus experience or a working adult needing flexible courses. With a range of programs such as: Behavioral Science, Counseling, Business Administration, Bible & Theology, Teacher Education, Leadership and Criminal Justice, the possibilities are endless. All courses are taught from a worldview that promotes Judeo-Christian values and ethics.