Hamilton College, a pre-eminent, residential, private liberal arts college in Upstate New York, invites applications and nominations for the position of Director of Financial Aid. Reporting to the Vice President for Enrollment Management, the College seeks a director who understands and appreciates the transformative power of financial aid, and will assist in meeting the College’s enrollment, retention, and net tuition revenue goals; oversee the Financial Aid Office; administer the College’s generous financial aid budget; and manage a team of four professionals who are committed to a superior level of attention and service to both Hamilton families and the College.
The Director of Financial Aid will have strategic oversight for the Financial Aid Office and, with the Vice President for Enrollment Management and the Dean of Admission, will monitor current economic and enrollment trends and respond accordingly to meet overall enrollment objectives. As a member of the senior leadership team for enrollment, the director will regularly review the efficacy of the College’s financial aid programs and offerings by measuring yield, retention, graduation rates, and socioeconomic status.
The director will coordinate the financial aid needs analysis and awarding of financial aid for a student body of approximately 2,000 students (with roughly 50 percent demonstrating financial need), and will effectively communicate Hamilton’s financial aid policies and the College’s generous commitment to access and affordability. Demonstrating care and compassion for Hamilton’s prospective and current families is vitally important, and the financial aid team strives to simplify what can be an overwhelming and complex process for families. Sustaining the office’s tradition of excellent service and counseling to Hamilton families, the director will continue an open and welcoming environment to help existing and new students and their families navigate the college financial aid process, and will represent Hamilton externally through national organizations and at off-campus financial aid programs.
Along with key partners across campus (including Student Accounts, Student Employment, Dean of Students staff, Library and IT Services, Registrar, Institutional Research, and Opportunity Programs, among others), the director is a critical member of a campus community that cares deeply about student success. With the Associate Dean of Diversity and Inclusion, the director will co-lead the management of a financial literacy program for Hamilton students. The director will also serve on various campus committees, including but not limited to: Enrollment, Compliance Oversight Leadership Team (COLT), Student Emergency Aid Society (SEAS), and Data Governance.
The director will be responsible for regulatory compliance for all federal and state student aid programs, and will ensure the College meets all related deadlines and procedures and provides seamless transactions between the Admission, Registrar, and Student Accounts offices for the awarding, disbursement, reconciliation, and reporting of student aid. In addition, the director will oversee the responsible administration of numerous endowed scholarships, conducting stewardship as warranted, and will serve as liaison to the Advancement Office on new scholarship agreements and ongoing review of existing endowed scholarships.
Hamilton practices need-blind admission for first-year domestic applicants, meaning an applicant's financial need will not be a factor in the admission decision. Family finances may be considered for international and transfer applicants, and for students offered admission from the College’s waitlist. Hamilton meets the full demonstrated financial need of all admitted students, and financial aid is need-based and determined by both the Federal Application for Student Financial Aid (FAFSA) and the CSS Profile. The director will have primary oversight for the office’s financial aid software (PowerFAIDS) and ensure timely delivery of financial aid notifications and the responsible and seamless flow of information to and from other campus information systems (including Slate for Admission and Colleague, the current student system of record).
A bachelor’s degree is required for this position, along with seven or more years of similar or related experience, preferably in financial aid or enrollment management for a highly selective, private college.
The following job-related qualifications represent the knowledge, skills, and attributes an individual needs to possess in order to perform the job in a satisfactory manner:
- Broad knowledge of the current financial aid landscape and enrollment trends;
- Exemplary analytical skills and a deftness with technology and statistical data analysis;
- Successful experience with people and process management;
- Demonstrated ability to think innovatively and strategically;
- Comfort with budget development and analysis;
- Willingness to be a big picture thinker while serving as a detail-oriented, hands-on manager;
- Strong commitment to access, equity, and inclusion
- Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and a commitment to superior service;
- Exemplary team-building and leadership ability;
- Experience with PowerFAIDS highly preferred.
Hamilton’s commitment to being “A School of Opportunity”
“Need-blind admission means, quite simply, that the admission committee will not consider a family’s ability to pay our tuition and fees when reviewing each student’s application. At Hamilton, our commitment to practice need-blind admission demonstrates our deep commitment to providing access and opportunity to qualified students from all economic backgrounds.”
-- Monica Inzer, Vice President for Enrollment Management.
Hamilton has been long committed to access and opportunity, but nearly a dozen years ago made that commitment even more clear. During an economic recession, and when balancing the College’s budget was a top challenge and priority, Hamilton joined roughly four dozen colleges that pledge to be need-blind in admission (meaning a family’s ability to pay will not be a factor in admission decisions) and meet 100% of demonstrated financial need. Since that momentous decision, in addition to attracting classes of unprecedented academic ability and talent, Hamilton has seen record applications and selectivity, increased diversity of all kinds, and improved retention. This stance has helped the College attract and retain excellent leaders and teachers who want to be at an institution that admits and supports the very best students possible. To ensure Hamilton sustains this financial aid promise, the largest component of Hamilton’s current and most ambitious fundraising campaign is allocated to financial aid endowment. The income earned from scholarship funds in Hamilton’s roughly $1.5 billion endowment provides approximately 40 percent of the College’s financial aid budget.
Guided by the motto “Know Thyself,” Hamilton prepares students for lives of meaning, purpose, and active citizenship. Our open curriculum gives students the freedom to explore their passions while honing critical thinking and communications skills.
Founded more than 200 years ago, Hamilton is both traditional and progressive, having supplemented its focus on teaching students to think independently and communicate clearly with a cocurricular program that provides internships and other experiential learning and leadership opportunities. Guided by Hamilton’s 20th president, David Wippman, the College community has been involved in strategic planning since 2018, which has focused the campus on issues ranging from curricular innovation and student success to imagining the Hamilton of the future.
Hamilton’s most recent entering class was selected from a record-high applicant pool (9,380), resulting in the lowest admit rate on record (14.1%), and is the most ethnically and socioeconomically diverse class on record (40% U.S. students of color or international citizens, 22% Pell Grant recipients, and 18% first generation to college). The College’s current financial aid budget of $49.2 million supports roughly half the student body, with an average financial aid award of $51,749 (and an average grant of $48,324). Hamilton’s overall enrollment is roughly 2,000 students, hailing from 49 states and 46 countries, with 33% identifying as U.S. students of color or international citizens.
Hamilton’s mission to prepare students for lives of meaning, purpose, and active citizenship is inextricably tied to its commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. Serious intellectual inquiry and informed engagement with an ever-changing world depend on open dialogue among people with differing perspectives and values, and from different backgrounds. The work of achieving an inclusive, equitable community is of paramount importance. Hamilton is continually striving to make further progress through positive action, change, and growth.
Students choose from 44 majors (called “concentrations”) and 57 areas of study; approximately one-third of students participate in 29 NCAA Division III varsity sports as part of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC). Students also engage in 16 club sports and 15 intramural programs, part of more than 200 clubs and organizations focused on volunteerism, religion, public affairs, culture, the media, comedy, music, and performance. In the last 15 years, largely funded by alumni and parent donors, the College has invested about $340 million in new construction, renovations, and landscaping improvements. The campus has grown from 1.5 million to more than 2 million square feet across 1,350 acres
Those employed at Hamilton often cite a caring campus community that fosters long-term appreciation of individuals. In addition to providing a competitive benefits package that features robust tuition reimbursement plans and retirement contributions, Hamilton is located in a region with a relatively low cost of living and access to quality child care, including the Clinton Early Learning Center. The College also provides support, at no cost, for relocating employees and their families to the area. M3 Placement & Partnership concentrates and specializes in many aspects of transitioning to Central New York, including work opportunities for the spouses and partners of new Hamilton employees.
Hamilton’s 1,350-acre campus is situated on a hilltop overlooking the safe and picturesque village of Clinton, with quaint shops, historic homes, several restaurants, and an award-winning school district. Additional shopping and amenities are located 10 minutes away in New Hartford and Utica (pop. 65,000), which is home to an outstanding regional art museum, the historic 3,000-seat Stanley Theatre, an AHL hockey team, the popular Utica Boilermaker 15k road race, and a rich variety of cultural cuisine. Cooperstown, home to the Baseball Hall of Fame, is less than one hour away, and the southern border of the Adirondack Park is about 60 minutes to the northeast where hiking, biking, fishing, kayaking, skiing, and snowmobiling are popular. The College is 45 minutes east of Syracuse, 90 minutes west of Albany, three hours from Niagara Falls, and four hours from Boston or New York City.
Napier Executive Search is helping Hamilton find the College’s next Director of Financial Aid. For more information, or to nominate someone for this position, contact Robin Reynders (email@example.com) or Mary Napier (firstname.lastname@example.org). All conversations will remain confidential unless otherwise stated and agreed.
Interested candidates should submit a résumé and a letter of interest describing their unique qualifications for the Director of Financial Aid position at Hamilton College. Candidates should also provide the names and contact information of at least three professional references. For confidentiality, references will not be contacted without permission. For best consideration, all application materials should be submitted electronically to email@example.com by March 4, 2022. The preferred start date is Spring/Summer 2022.
Hamilton College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity employer and encourages diversity in all areas of the campus community.