Associate Director of Financial Aid

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Cambridge, MASSACHUSETTS


Faculty of Arts and Sciences


Position Description

In collaboration with the Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid, the Associate Director provides strategic managerial support in the operation of the financial aid office and the planning of GSAS financial aid policies and programs.  Oversees the day-to-day operations of the Financial Aid Office, coordinating the activities of 15 staff members who collectively administer $190M in student aid funds for the 4,800 PhD and MA candidates and 200 special students/visiting fellows who register at GSAS annually.  Maintains the department's master operations calendar and identifies opportunities to increase efficiency.  Coordinates closely with the 58 GSAS departments and programs in the awarding of financial aid to admitted students.

Duties include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Drafts annual operating budget ($62K) for the Financial Aid Office and monitors expenses.  Responsible for the reconciliation and reporting of intra- and extra-University financial accounts and programs.  Prepares and coordinates data for internal budgets, internal and external audits and surveys. Creates and generates management reports.
  • Oversees the administration of the federal, state, institutional, and private financial aid funds allocated to GSAS.  Has crucial role in assuring GSAS compliance with federal, state, institutional and program regulations, keeping abreast of frequently changing requirements. Oversees the Title IV federal aid programs, including the awarding of aid, need analysis, quality control standards, loan origination, and disbursement of funds.  Maintains the office policies and procedures manual and ensures that staff are offered the training and professional development opportunities needed for meeting the manual’s requirements.
  • Counsels students on financial planning, budgeting and debt management, including oversight of loan entrance and exit counseling.  Interacts with other offices to coordinate and provide highest quality customer service to students and to ensure compliance with federal policies.  Approves text regarding financial aid that appears in application materials, the GSAS website, and other internal and external GSAS documents.
  • Provides leadership and supervision in the development of technology solutions to internal operating needs and the data needs/requirements of outside offices and agencies.  Oversees configuration of PowerFAIDS and other financial aid systems to ensure maximum efficiency and effectiveness.  Manages and oversees multiple database integrations. 
  • Participates in University-wide committees pertaining to financial aid compliance and training.  Responds to University-wide initiatives regarding financial aid.  Represents GSAS to key internal offices such as development and HUIT.
  • Supervises one staff assistant, assigning and review work, conducting performance reviews, and takes corrective action, up to and through terminations, as needed.  Has dotted-line supervision of three Assistant Directors of Financial Aid, supporting the Dean for Admissions and Financial Aid in the assignment and review of the work conducted by their respective teams.

Basic Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree or equivalent work experience required
  • A minimum of 7 years’ relevant work experience

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Expereince in a graduate environment and ability to serve a diverse population of adult students
  • Strong knowledge of federal financial aid regulations
  • Knowledge of and expertise with online financial management systems, database transfers, Excel, Word, automated financial aid systems, PowerFAIDS strongly preferred
  • Excellent interpersonal, oral/written communication , customer service skills
  • Strong presentation/public speaking ability
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise and motivate staff
  • Strong analytical and report writing skills
  • Adaptability and flexibility

Working Conditions

This position requires a weekly, on-campus presence and will be based in Cambridge, MA. Any remote work must be performed in a state in which Harvard is registered to do business (CA, CT, MA, MD, ME, NH, NY, RI, and VT). Human Resources Consulting is currently developing hybrid workplace models which actively support some remote work (within a state in which Harvard is registered to do business) where business and team needs allow. Furthermore, individual flexible and remote work options for this role will be discussed during the interview process. 

Additional Information

All Harvard employees must be fully vaccinated. Individuals may submit a request for exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement and exemptions may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage: .” 

Job Function

Faculty & Student Services


USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

S0158M FSS Financial Aid Mgt IV


Graduate School of Arts and Sciences


00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Pre-Employment Screening


Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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