Agnes Scott College, a private, liberal arts inclusive women’s college in Decatur, Georgia, is seeking a Director of Financial Aid (DFA). Reporting to the Vice President for Enrollment and Dean of Admission and Financial Aid, the Director will be an integral member of the enrollment management leadership team. They will provide leadership and management of the College’s student financial assistance programs in ways that provide integrity to the mission of the college and its students. The DFA will administer the College’s financial aid program by utilizing college resources to meet enrollment goals while maintaining full compliance with all federal, state and College regulations, policies and procedures. Agnes Scott seeks a highly collaborative individual to work with key administrative partners for seamless and accurate data and reporting, to keep leadership and the college community abreast of federal and state proposed legislative changes that might impact the institution and its students, and to provide exemplary customer service to students and families, both at the undergraduate and graduate level.
Leading an office that includes an associate director, assistant director, and soon-to-be-hired assistant director in charge of graduate financial aid, the new DFA will work diligently alongside the financial aid staff to ensure all functions of the financial aid process and procedures are completed in a timely, efficient and customer service-oriented manner.
The new DFA will focus on the following opportunities and responsibilities:
- Serve as one of five senior enrollment leaders to create, review and implement policies and procedures designed to reach institutional targets for enrollment, including diversity, discount rate and net tuition revenue;
- Collaborate with enrollment senior leadership and external partners (Human Capital Research Corporation) on enrollment and financial aid optimization projections;
- Serve as the College’s primary compliance agent and oversee the administration and regulatory reporting of all federal and state financial aid programs, ensuring full compliance and accuracy;
- Administer the timely delivery of student financial assistance at the federal, state and institutional level, including institutional need-based, merit and endowed gift assistance, as well as all federal and state grants, loans and work programs;
- Develop process and procedures around the financial aid programs associated with Agnes Scott’s growing graduate programs and ensure the new staff person dedicated to graduate financial aid is highly trained and well-equipped to provide excellent customer service;
- Manage the financial aid awarding and verification process within the Ellucian Colleague financial aid software module;
- Manage the fiscal aspects of endowed and expendable scholarships including the development of an efficient selection process and the effective awarding of allocated funds and associated reporting;
- Develop, analyze, and interpret statistical data for timely and consistent reporting;
- Collaborate with the Office of Advancement to ensure adherence to endowed scholarship agreements with regard to institutional financial aid budget relief;
- Propose the annual financial aid departmental operating budget and manage staffing, processing expenses, training and planning within the approved budget;
- Revise established policies and procedures to accommodate changes in federal and state regulations as well as institutional policies to ensure that established procedures are followed and regulatory compliance is met;
- Communicate with students and families in an inclusive and equitable style that addresses the concerns and level of support needed for each individual case presented;
- Lead, mentor and develop financial aid staff, providing supervision, training and professional development opportunities as well as organizing, prioritizing and scheduling office assignments;
- Participate in regularly-scheduled SARRFA Committee meetings, a working group of key partners including student accounts, registrar, residence life and financial aid, to ensure the timely and accurate transactions of student information and to keep abreast of issues affecting student enrollment and retention;
- Collaborate with the Office of Admission to ensure admission counselors are well trained on financial aid topics;
- Prepare and present financial aid related topics and materials to students, families and other community groups in an effective way that will be understood by all audiences;
- Represent Agnes Scott College at professional state, regional and national organizations.
The ideal candidate will possess a bachelor’s degree, with an advanced degree preferred; as well as five years of progressive leadership and management experience in higher education administration. In addition, the following job-related qualifications represent the knowledge, skills and abilities of the successful candidate:
- Advanced understanding of federal and state regulations with a record of exemplary compliance;
- Effective leadership and managerial skills to train and oversee staff who perform a variety of functions within regulatory compliance;
- Emphasis on customer service and possessing a strong student orientation;
- Comprehensive knowledge of financial aid software modules and interfaces, including annual application setup, routine and exception processing, data import and export functions, and complex query language data extraction and reporting with a strong preference to experience in Ellucian Colleague;
- Ability to evaluate, create, innovate and improve processes for greater efficiency and effectiveness in all manual and electronic processes and reporting and for the benefit of customer service;
- Experience in enrollment management and budget administration as well as managerial and policy formulation;
- Proficiency in data analysis, research and financial aid modeling and leveraging;
- Ability and willingness to work effectively in a workplace that values diversity, equity and inclusion;
- Commitment to the institutional mission, a genuine passion for an inclusive women’s educational experience, and the ability to enthusiastically share the transformational power of an Agnes Scott education with interested and well-qualified students;
- Familiar and comfortable serving students with a highly personalized approach;
- Outstanding communication (both oral and written) and presentation skills;
- Positive and collaborative spirit;
- Demonstrated ability to work independently and to maintain confidentiality where appropriate.
AGNES SCOTT COLLEGE
Agnes Scott College honors in its name the integrity and intellectual curiosity of Agnes Irvine Scott, a Scots-Irish immigrant to the United States. Her son, Col. George Washington Scott, was the college’s primary benefactor, and The Rev. Frank Henry Gaines, minister of Decatur Presbyterian Church, was the founding president. Agnes Scott was established with a distinctive mission: To educate women for the betterment of their families and the elevation of their region. The first institution of higher education in Georgia to receive regional accreditation, Agnes Scott College dedicated itself from the beginning to the highest level of “moral and intellectual training and education.” The college’s residential campus, prized for its aesthetic distinction, has given all student generations a sense of place, purpose and responsibility. This tradition of educational leadership continues in the 21st century as the college models new forms of undergraduate education for women through SUMMIT, Agnes Scott’s core curriculum, which prepares every graduate to be an effective leader in a global society and enables every student to develop professionally relevant skills throughout their four years. The College is guided by the 2021-2026 strategic plan, Pathway to Success, to implement innovative curricular and co-curricular initiatives to best serve the modern student.
Leocadia I. Zak became the ninth president of Agnes Scott College in July 2018. A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Mount Holyoke College, which recognized her as a Woman of Influence in 2012, she holds a JD degree from Northeastern University School of Law. During Zak’s tenure, Agnes Scott has achieved record enrollment and fundraising, launched graduate programs, and has been recognized by U.S. News & World Report for innovation, teaching, first-year experience and social mobility.
Widening the vision of its founders while remaining grounded in its original mission, Agnes Scott College continues to provide students with an edge for achievement. Alumnae distinguish themselves in medicine, science, education, ministry, the arts, law, politics, business and community service. Since the early 1920s, the college has ranked in the top 10 percent of American colleges whose graduates complete Ph.D. degrees. The Agnes Scott student body has expanded to include women who represent the diversity that is the United States and the world.
- Agnes Scott College educates women to think deeply, live honorably and engage the intellectual and social challenges of their times.
- Agnes Scott College provides a dynamic liberal arts and sciences curriculum of the highest standards so that students and faculty can realize their full creative and intellectual potential.
- Agnes Scott College fosters an environment in which women can develop high expectations for themselves as individuals, scholars, professionals, and citizens of the world.
- Agnes Scott College strives to be a just and inclusive community that expects honorable behavior, encourages spiritual inquiry, and promotes respectful dialogue across differences.
- A Commitment to Women
- A Commitment to Teaching and Learning
- A Commitment to the Liberal Arts
- A Commitment to an Appreciation of Diverse Cultures
- A Commitment to a Community that Values Justice, Courage and Integrity
Since 1889, Agnes Scott College has empowered students to fulfill their potential through an innovative liberal arts education. They believe in big questions, global perspectives and leading change. It is a community where the dreamers, the intellectually curious and the socially engaged fulfill their potential. Agnes Scott is one of the top liberal arts colleges in the nation – a home for those who think college should be transformative. Its goal is to open doors for talented students and help them grow as individuals, scholars, professionals and citizens of the world.
Grounded in a core curriculum focused on global learning and leadership development, Agnes Scott offers 34 majors and 32 minors leading to a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Science degree. Dual degrees are offered in computer science and nursing with Emory University and in engineering with Georgia Institute of Technology. The college also offers a growing set of post-baccalaureate and graduate programs. Agnes Scott recently added new graduate programs in counseling, health communications and medical sciences, along with post-baccalaureate programs in pre-medical and pre-allied health. The faculty share a passionate dedication to student learning. They are also committed scholars, research scientists and creative artists actively engaged in their disciplines. Agnes Scott College faculty have won numerous national and international fellowships and awards, including Fulbright Awards, and fellowships and grants.
Enrollment and Financial Aid
Agnes Scott College enrolls approximately 1,000 undergraduate students. Forty-one percent have been Pell eligible and 33 percent are first generation. Forty-five states and U.S. territories are represented, as well as two percent international students, representing twelve countries.
All Agnes Scott students receive some form of financial aid in gift assistance (merit-based and need-based), loans and work, from federal, state, institutional and outside sources, with eighty-eight percent qualifying for need-based aid. Thirty-six percent of students graduate debt free. Beginning in fall 2022, students have been awarded The Agnes Assurance Scholarship (in 2023, a $23,000 merit-based scholarship renewable for four years) or a higher merit-based scholarship ranging from $24,000 – $26,000.
Diversity and Inclusion
Over the past few decades, Agnes Scott has become one of the country’s most diverse liberal arts colleges. Sixty-three percent of undergraduates identify as students of color, and no racial or ethnic group is in the majority. The undergraduate student body includes women and persons of other marginalized genders, while the post-baccalaureate and graduate programs are coed. Members of the college community represent many different racial, ethnic, national, cultural, religious and gender identities, sexual orientations, political views and socioeconomic backgrounds. Nearly thirty percent of full-time faculty and a third of exempt staff are people of color, and eight of the last thirteen tenure-track faculty hires were women of color.
In 2015, the college strengthened its commitment to diversity and inclusion by establishing the Gay Johnson McDougall Center for Global Diversity and Inclusion. This campus-wide center honors the remarkable woman who integrated Agnes Scott in 1965 and went on to a distinguished career in the global human rights movement, becoming the first United Nations Special Rapporteur for Minority Rights. The center’s mission is to help Agnes Scott create a culture of inclusive excellence by promoting active and ongoing engagement with diversity by all members of the campus community.
Students have endless opportunities to get active and expand their leadership skills while at Agnes Scott. They take part in the greater community through community engagement projects and immerse themselves in experiences that promote an understanding of self, others and the world.
The Center for Student Involvement encourages students to get actively and intentionally involved and serves as a primary resource for diversity, leadership, service and wellness programs, and activities.
Residence life is an integral part of Agnes Scott’s liberal arts experience, and nearly eighty percent of students live on campus. While living on campus, students can take advantage of residence life programs such as Decatur and Atlanta excursions, on-campus social activities, and opportunities to learn outside the classroom. The residence halls provide a balance of study, rest, relaxation and social opportunities. In addition to traditional residential halls, Agnes Scott also offers Living-Learning Communities (LLC). The Agnes Scott LLCs are intended for upper-class students who have an interest in leadership development, global learning or STEM fields.
Through the Department of Athletics, Agnes Scott offers the following NCAA Division III intercollegiate sports: basketball, cross country, soccer, softball, tennis and volleyball. Starting in Fall 2022, the college began to compete in the newly formed Collegiate Conference of the South. A strong recreation and intramurals program offers students a variety of activities to enhance fitness, encourage friendly competition and play just for fun. Students (as well as faculty and staff) can use the SNAP Fitness gym located on campus, a facility with free weights, exercise equipment and personal training.
Decatur is a historic city with a small-town feel located just six miles from downtown Atlanta. With a population of about 25,000, Decatur is known as a community of “homes, schools and places of worship.” The Agnes Scott campus is within easy walking distance to restaurants, shops and music venues. Residents can listen to famous and up-and-coming singer/songwriters at Eddie’s Attic or have a picnic at one of Decatur’s concerts on the square. The city of Decatur’s downtown square is the perfect starting point for exploring DeKalb County and all of metro Atlanta. With three MARTA train stations inside its city limits, Decatur is well connected to downtown Atlanta, Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport and the world. For information about life in Decatur, click here.
Atlanta, the urban center of the Southeast, offers world-class arts and cultural attractions, sporting events, thriving commerce and an international airport – all of them easy to get to by car or public transportation. Metro Atlanta is the ninth-largest and one of the fastest growing metro areas in the nation. Home to more than six million people, the region offers robust business options from Fortune 500s to more than 700 startups. For more information about the region, click here.
Applications, nominations and inquiries for the position of Director of Financial Aid at Agnes Scott College should be directed to Napier Executive Search. To arrange for a confidential conversation, please contact Robin Reynders (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mary Napier (email@example.com). An application must include a detailed letter of interest, an up-to-date resume and contact information for three professional references. For best consideration, submit all application materials by email to: firstname.lastname@example.org by January 25, 2023. Materials will be reviewed beginning in late January, and the search will remain open until the position is filled. The anticipated start date is Summer 2023. All applications and nominations will be considered confidential, and notice will be given prior to contacting references.
An equal opportunity employer, Agnes Scott College does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, age, veteran status, disability or genetic information, gender identity, gender expression or any other characteristic protected by law in its employment. Agnes Scott College has a strong commitment to diversity and urges members of underrepresented groups to apply.