Position Description & Responsibilities

Merrimack College seeks a proven, dynamic, and forward-thinking professional for the position of Dean of Student Financial Services. As a key member of the leadership team reporting to the Vice President for Enrollment & Dean of Admission, the Dean oversees the college’s financial aid and bursar functions.

The Dean of Student Financial Services will support the Vice President in establishing procedures and guidelines surrounding the effective and efficient distribution of financial aid among eligible applicants and enrolled students to meet the enrollment and financial aid budget goals of the institution. The Dean will be responsible for establishing a strategic regimen of merit and need-based aid to support the best fit students of the institution as well as consistent accurate annual and point-in-time reporting on aid distribution and annual projections.

The Dean is a leader on campus and provides overall coordination, management and leadership necessary for the effective administration of the College’s Office of Student Financial Services. The Dean will continually work to improve financial aid, billing delivery, communication systems and processes with special attention toward the integration of these areas to improve service to all students.

  • Establishes procedures and guidelines regarding the effective, efficient, and innovative distribution of financial aid among eligible applicants and enrolled students, as well as approaches to the management of student receivables, with central focus on meeting the institution’s enrollment and budget goals.
  • Works closely with all Enrollment Management Offices (Admission, Welcome Center, Academic Success Center, Student Affairs, etc.) to maximize the yield, retention, and success of a talented and diverse student population.
  • Oversees and coaches SFS staff in guiding students and families through all stages of enrollment via interpersonal counseling, publications, workshops and correspondence with a keen eye toward customer service.
  • Works with external consultants to establish institutional financial aid policies. Utilizes historical data to inform and project effective use of financial aid to meet institutional goals. Works closely with senior administration in setting enrollment and net revenue goals.
  • Selects, trains, oversees and evaluates a growing staff of 10 full-time professionals with responsibility for administering the college’s scholarship, grant, work study, student billing, cashier, loan and financial aid counseling programs.
  • Manages the Student Financial Services operating budget.
  • Works closely with the Office of Admission and the Vice President to determine the composition and character of each entering cohort and manages the financial aid packaging process and procedures from applicant status to enrollment.
  • Provides leadership on various working groups dedicated to streamlining and improving policies and procedures across functional areas of the college.
  • Oversees all areas and functions of financial aid awarding such as disbursement, reconciliation, compliance, and reporting.
  • Oversees all areas and functions of student billing including but not limited to, the development of assessment/charge tables, 1098-T’s, student health insurance, collections, and processing of student payments.
  • Ensures a high level of customer service through staff training, assessment, utilization of technology, process and policy development, and proactive communication.
  • Extensively analyzes data to inform program effectiveness, strategic and annual planning, and to create, distribute and present reports to academic departments, senior staff and the Board of Trustees.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of Title IV federal financial aid regulations. Monitors and maintains the College’s compliance with constantly changing federal and state student aid regulations and programs. This includes annual surveys, audits and reports.
  • Keeps abreast of new financing options and aid programs for students and their families and new approaches to distributing institutional funds, as well as regulations associated with the collection of student receivables.
  • Follows current research on the impact of aid on enrollment decisions, academic work, and life after college; anticipating and adjusting to future changes.
  • Oversee the administration of all Title IV aid.
  • Works in close collaboration with the Office of Fiscal Affairs to ensure integration and compliance.
  • Partners with the Office of Development and Alumni Relations, and Fiscal Affairs to manage/award Restricted and Endowed scholarships and grants.
  • Has a clear commitment and dedication to advancing the College’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Strategic Plan.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees required.
  • Strong supervisory and leadership skills, with demonstrated commitment to staff development
  • Demonstrated ability to thrive in a data-oriented and analytical environment that has a high level of individual and team accountability
  • Proven success in executing on strategies to meet enrollment and financial aid budget goals
  • Exceptional written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to effectively document policies and procedures
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work collaboratively with internal and external constituents, including students, parents and alumni.
  • Demonstrated ability to plan and manage fiscal resources through budget planning and fund management
  • Cross-cultural competence and ability to communicate effectively with students and families from diverse backgrounds.
  • Demonstrated strong multi-tasking, organization, and time management skills
  • Willingness to travel
  • Willingness to work nights and weekends as needed
  • Ability to manage change effectively
  • The ability to thrive in a fast paced, growing and changing organization
  • At least ten years of progressive leadership experience within higher education financial aid, preferably at both undergraduate and graduate levels
  • Experience leading, inspiring and engaging a team of people
  • Demonstrated experience delivering exceptional customer service to a diverse array of customers
  • Experience with PowerFAIDS by College Board, Slate by Technolutions, CashNET, Jenzabar-CX, and Cognos software.
  • Experience with Federal and State financial aid software
  • Experience in annual audit processes
  • Experience fostering a culture that values diversity and inclusive excellence

Statement on Our Mission:

Merrimack College is a Catholic Augustinian institution of higher education committed to building a culturally and racially diverse community. Our mission is to enlighten minds, engage hearts and empower lives and is inspired by our Catholic faith and the Augustinian tradition of seeking truth through inquiry and dialogue.

Merrimack College seeks candidates who understand, respect and can contribute to Merrimack’s Augustinian mission and values and advance our work in the area of diversity, equity and inclusion. We strongly encourage applications from members of underrepresented groups. All candidates should describe in their application

previous experience related to equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as how they will engage in fostering a culture that supports our Augustinian mission, our Catholic faith and our values of diversity, equity and inclusion.

Application materials should include:

  • Cover letter stating motivation and interest in the position, citing experience relevant to the qualifications and including experience with, and commitment to, our Catholic Augustinian mission, our values, and our desire to be a more diverse, equitable and inclusive institution of higher learning.
  • Resume

This position is subject to the successful completion of a criminal background check.

Required Vaccinations & Remote Work:

Unless otherwise stated above, this is an on-campus position. This is not a remote or hybrid position as employees are essential in order to provide a fully on-campus, residential college experience for our students and the community.

Merrimack College currently has a COVID-19 Vaccination Policy. Students, faculty and staff are required to be vaccinated for COVID-19.

About Merrimack College:

The only Catholic, Augustinian institution of higher education in New England, Merrimack College is a private, independent, coeducational institution with more than 5,000 undergraduates and graduate students from 32 states and 37 countries, and comprises schools of liberal arts, science and engineering, health sciences, education and social policy, and business. The college’s 260- acre campus is approximately 25 miles north of Boston in North Andover and Andover, Massachusetts. Merrimack is a Master’s Colleges & Universities/Medium Programs institution in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Merrimack is one of the fastest growing educational institutions in the country and has steadily climbed up U.S. News & World Report’s ranking of Best Colleges, coming in 46th out of 170 schools ranked in the Regional Universities North category in 2020. Merrimack is also listed as one of the top 10 most innovative schools and placed 35th for best undergraduate teaching programs among schools in the U.S. News category.

Merrimack College is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

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Posted: 8/24/21

Closing Date: 10/24/21

Position Code: 157