Financial Aid DepartmentLock Haven University
Manage the Financial Aid Office, which has responsibility for all aspects of student financial aid awarding and administering, to provide outstanding customer service to current and prospective students at the main campus, the Clearfield campus, and the locations in Harrisburg and Coudersport.
Direct and coordinate all aspects (e.g. awarding of funds, administrative compliance, funds application and accountability, reporting, and quality assurance) of federal, state, university, and various other sources/programs of student financial aid in accordance with applicable federal and state laws, regulations, Board of Governors policies, institutional polices, and operational guidelines. Recommend, develop, review, implement, and interpret to others the policies and procedures (institutional as well as non-institutional) related to student financial aid programs.
Act as the spokesperson for the office (and for the university as a whole) in dealing with various federal, state, and other non-institutional agencies, as well as institutional administrators, offices, committees, etc.
Direct the selection, supervision, training, evaluation, and all other personnel functions associated with the office staff. Administer and control the operating budget of the office.
Recommend computer programming modifications and additions necessary to keep the University in compliance with changing federal and state laws and regulations and to optimize student service and staff efficiency.
- Provide excellent customer service to current and prospective students and their parents.
- Ensure compliance with Title IV, other federal regulations, and state regulations governing student financial aid.
- Collaborate with other offices on campus to achieve the University’s enrollment management strategy.
- Establish effective channels of communication within the SFS office to promote teamwork and collegiality.
- Communicate effectively with students, parents and staff regarding financial aid matters.
- Implement institutional policies, procedures and operational guidelines to ensure compliance with federal, state, and other financial aid regulations. Apply these complex and ever-changing regulations accurately and equitably to all prospective recipients of financial aid.
- Interpret how the regulations apply to unusual situations. Determine compliance with domicile requirements necessary to be eligible for in-state tuition rates.
- Identify effective means of communicating changes in regulations to students, faculty advisers, and other constituencies.
- Enrollment Management and Retention – Provide key assistance with the attraction and retention of all students who rely on financial aid in order to access the University’s educational programs. Develop policies and strategies for utilizing aid resources that assist the institution in meeting its optimal enrollment and retention goals. Proactively assist Admissions and the academic departments in their recruitment activities by providing financial aid award packages for prospective students in a timely way. Counsel current and prospective students and their families about the costs of attendance, program eligibility criteria, and requirements for maintaining continuing eligibility for financial aid. Inform students and families about aid application procedures, award delivery time frames, and payment plan options. Provide group counseling as part of the institution’s enrollment efforts in off-campus recruitment activities (e.g., new student receptions, high schools, public service programs) and on-campus events (e.g., open houses, group visitation days, orientation). Assure support of proactive recruitment and retention opportunities for under-represented students to promote institutional goals of a diverse student body.
- Regulatory Requirements – Oversee the coordination and completion of reports for federal and state agencies, annual audits and/or program reviews; coordinate the completion of the federal Fiscal Operations Report and Application to Participate (FISAP) Ensure compliance with all aspects of Title IV financial aid regulations. Review all withdrawals for financial aid recipients and process refunds and overawards according to federal and state guidelines. Administer NCAA regulations regarding financial aid. Monitor federal and state regulatory updates, impact reports, financial aid literature, training manuals, audit guides, institutional reports, professional publications (e.g., Student Aid News, NASFAA Journal, PASFAA and EASFAA newsletters, Chronicle of Higher Education). Update and prepare staff training materials and office policies and procedures in accordance with regulatory changes.
- Customer Relations – Develop financial aid materials (both online and print formats) that are readily understandable and inform and educate current and prospective students about financial aid opportunities, regulations, and processes. Assure exceptional customer service to all constituents, especially students, through prompt responses to all correspondence (e.g., letters, email, surveys, reports, budget forms) and telephone inquiries. Meet with students to discuss concerns when issues are escalated from the counselor level. Develop effective means of communicating complex changes in financial aid regulations to students and others in a timely manner.
- Fiscal Management – Track student aid awards, acceptances, and expenditures. Collaborate with Student Accounts on reporting expenditures, reconciling annual fund balances, and directing refunds on a periodic basis. Assist in ensuring compliance with NCAA regulations and requirements through the participation on the compliance committee, review of NCAA manuals, and participation in compliance seminar/meeting.
- Supervision and Training – Train, supervise, mentor, and evaluate professional staff, clerical staff, and student employees. Promote professional development activities for professional and clerical staff.
- Institutional Effectiveness – Establish and document department goals that are aligned with the University’s Strategic Plan and mission and identify specific strategies for achieving them. Assess departmental effectiveness annually, and modify strategies and allocate department resources accordingly.
- Institutional Relations – Work in mutually cooperative way with other University offices and departments (e.g. Registrar, Admissions, Academic Affairs, Business Office). Articulate and interpret policies procedures of the office to the University and community.
- Budget Preparation, Management, and Supervision – Prepare, allocate, and oversee office operating and student employment budgets to ensure appropriate expenditures consistent with office needs, goals, and objectives.
- Public Relations – Respond to student, parent, and community (internal and external) needs, issues, and concerns. Coordinate the development of publicity and other information materials. Present financial aid workshops at high schools and elsewhere and in conjunction with state professional associations.
- Committee Service – Serve on University committees and tasks forces as assigned (e.g. Administrative Computing).
- Bachelor degree required.
- 5 years of experience in financial aid administration at an accredited higher education institution with progressively greater management responsibility.
- Proficiency in Title IV financial aid and other federal and state regulations pertaining to financial aid.
- Demonstrated commitment to outstanding customer service to diverse students and parents.
- Masters degree preffered
- Experience in a collective bargaining environment preferred.
- Experience with the Student Information System preferred.