Information & Responsibilities
California Institute of the Arts is seeking candidates for an experienced, dynamic, and forward thinking Director of Financial Aid. Reporting to the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment/Associate Provost of Student Success, the Director oversees the administration of all student financial aid, including over $22 million of institutional scholarship funding. The Director provides training and leadership to the financial aid staff, and works collaboratively within the Student Success and Enrollment teams and across campus to support the successful recruitment and retention of undergraduate and graduate students.
The Director is responsible for the planning and implementation of communication strategies to improve student understanding of financial aid and the overall cost of attending CalArts, and is also responsible for ensuring the staff of the financial aid office provide reliable, detailed, high touch customer service to students, prospective students, and their families. To this end, the Director is also responsible for the development of streamlined internal processes to maximize the amount of staff time dedicated to counseling students and their families.
In addition to their work with the administrative offices within the Enrollment unit, the Director works closely with the Deans, Program Directors, and Faculty Enrollment Liaisons within each school to facilitate the deliberate and timely distribution of school-based scholarship funds, and to ensure institutional scholarship resources are allocated consistently and strategically in support of a diverse and talented student body.
The Director acts as the primary campus resource regarding best practices in needs analysis, strategic utilization of financial aid for enrollment and retention, and compliance with all federal and state regulations related to student financial aid. This includes developing and maintaining institutional policies and procedures, and providing education to the CalArts community about these policies.
The ideal candidate will be detail oriented, well versed in the thoughtful application of technology, and a highly effective communicator with a primary focus on customer service and the student experience.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS (including but not limited to)
Administration of Aid Programs
• Manage the financial aid review and awarding process for new and continuing students, including administration of institutional, state, and federal aid programs.
• Develop and administer departmental processes to ensure compliance in all aspects of federal and state awarding, including Title IV aid, state grants, federal work study; ensure that all federal and
state funds are properly allocated, disbursed and reconciled in adherence to federal and state regulatory requirements. • Manage annual setup of Colleague financial aid module; monitor performance of Colleague throughout the year and collaborate with IT as needed to ensure all updates are tested and installed in a timely manner.
• Maintain comprehensive and current understanding of federal and institutional needs analysis and packaging best practices, and provide training to staff in review of student aid eligibility and packaging of aid funds.
• Serve as the compliance officer for the financial aid office, including managing audits, researching compliance-related questions, and ensuring adherence with federal and state financial aid compliance requirements. Ensure timely submission of annual FISAP and all other federal and state reporting, and supervise SAP review and processing.
• As needed, act as a backup for other financial aid staff in verification, needs analysis, awards packaging, and student counseling.
• Manage the financial aid appeals process for new and continuing students.
Leadership and Collaboration
• Provide day to day oversight of the Office of Financial Aid, including management of the office’s operational budget, and the hiring and direct supervision of all office staff.
• Encourage teamwork and promote continuous professional development in financial aid staff.
• Develop and maintain written departmental processes and procedures, including strategies for maintaining high quality service during high work volume periods and written procedures for use of Colleague.
• Serve in a leadership capacity within the Enrollment unit by providing insight and ideas regarding the implementation and improvement of efficient and high quality student service.
• Promote effective and collegial collaboration within the Enrollment unit, and with other campus partners including Accounting, Information Technology, and Advancement, as well as with partners across the six schools.
• Collaborate with the Accounting, Payroll, and Registrar’s Office to develop institutional processes to ensure compliance in cross-functional tasks, including VA benefits, timely NSLDS reporting, processing and disbursement of outside scholarships, and federal work study.
• Collaborate with the Accounting and Advancement Office to develop clear and consistent procedures relating to named scholarship awards.
• Collaborate with Institutional Research, Enrollment Management, and IT to develop and maintain accurate reports for use within the department and across the institute.
• Under the guidance of the Vice President of Enrollment and the Assistant Vice President of Enrollment & Associate Provost for Student Success, and in collaboration with faculty enrollment liaisons, establish and implement holistic institutional awarding philosophies to support enrollment goals and student success.
• Serve on the Student Success Committee, the Enrollment Management Committee, and other administrative committees as needed; chair the Financial Aid Appeals Committee.
• Maintain professional visibility through active participation in professional organizations and financial aid presentations at on- and off-campus events.
Financial Literacy and Student Success
• Develop and implement strategies to educate students on the cost of their education.
• Develop and implement comprehensive financial literacy program for incoming students to support responsible financial planning and budgeting.
• Analyze institutional data within the context of broader trends in higher education to identify predictors of student attrition as it relates to financial factors, and propose policies or services to mitigate these factors.
• Develop strategies to promote scholarship opportunities for current and prospective students.
• Develop and oversee student-oriented financial aid counseling services, including meeting with students and their families; provide appropriate training and resources for staff within the department and across campus to ensure consistent messaging and customer service.
• Develop and maintain online resources for students and their families, and annual direct communication campaigns.
• Demonstrated ability to create and maintain a respectful, positive work environment
• Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills, including the ability to communicate complex information to a variety of constituencies
• Ability to interact effectively with varied internal and external constituencies demonstrating tact, diplomacy, discretion and good judgment
• Comfort acting as a change agent and leading teams through periods of transition
• Proven ability to motivate staff, achieve goals, and sustain a commitment to developing, enhancing, and maintaining a student-oriented culture of service
• Ability to contribute to the overall success of the organization as a member of a team within a collaborative decision-making environment
• Excellent organizational and time management skills with the ability to meet deadlines and manage multiple projects; keen and consistent attention to detail
• Current expertise in all applicable federal, state and institutional regulations, policies, and guidelines
• Knowledge of current best practices and trends in financial aid awarding practices and philosophies
• Demonstrated commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness
• Bachelor’s degree required (master’s degree preferred)
• 5-7 years progressively responsible experience in a college financial aid office, including experience managing direct reports within the office
• Technical fluency with common office and financial aid software systems, including MS Office and the Google suite, and student databases (Ellucian Colleague experience preferred)
• Experience with data analysis, and the ability synthesize and communicate complex data in order to inform institutional decisions
• Experience with institutional methodology and complex institutional financial aid modeling (preferred)
How to Apply
This position is available immediately. If you are interested, please follow this link to apply http://apply.interfolio.com/76953
Equity & Diversity
California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) seeks to employ faculty who can engage our diverse communities of learners at the highest levels of artistic endeavor and critical thinking. Across the range of practitioners from artists to scholars and librarians, we welcome candidates who possess a demonstrated worldview and cultural competency to support teaching and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students of varied backgrounds, capabilities, perspectives, social identities and gender expressions. CalArts is an equal opportunity employer.
CalArts has a multidisciplinary approach to its studies of the arts through six schools: Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater. CalArts encourages students to explore and recognize the complexity of the many aspects of the arts. It is supported by a distinguished faculty of practicing artists and provides its Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts students with the hands-on training and exposure necessary for an artist's growth. CalArts was founded in 1961 and opened in 1969 as the first institution of higher learning in the United States specifically for students interested in the pursuit of degrees in all areas of visual and performing arts.