Employment at MSM

Job Opening at MSM:

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Director of Financial Aid at Manhattan School of Music

Position Description

Title:  Director of Financial Aid
Department: Office of Financial Aid
Reports To:  Dean of Enrollment Management
Status: Exempt
Internal Contacts: Admissions, Bursar, Registrar, Student Affairs & Residence Life, Advancement, Faculty, Students
External Contacts: Department of Education, HESC, Lenders/Guarantors

Position Summary

The Director of Financial Aid serves as a key strategic partner in the enrollment management process. The Director is the School’s primary administrator of federal, state, and institutional financial aid programs, overseeing financial aid strategy, communications, and operations. The Director is expected to work closely and collaboratively with other administrators, staff, and faculty to achieve the mission and vision of the School, support efforts to develop scholarship sources, and articulate School policy, as well as federal and state regulations that govern financial aid awarding.


  • Administer all financial aid programs of the School, which include federal, state, and institutional grants, scholarships, and loans, as well as work-study programs.
  • Develop, in consultation with Admissions and the Dean of Enrollment Management, annual awarding strategies, ensuring financial aid awards are packaged and communicated to accepted and returning students in a timely manner. Analyze responses to packaging strategies, adjusting as appropriate to assist in meeting enrollment goals.
  • Work closely with the Dean of Enrollment Management to provide necessary up-to-date statistics using institutional data and resources to collect, analyze, review, and report enrollment management data trends.
  • Recruit, supervise, develop, and train financial aid staff in the operation of the Office of Financial Aid.
  • Responsible for the development, revision, and implementation of financial aid policies, procedures, and practices that support the Office, the School, and remain in compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and guidelines.
  • Communicate effectively with prospective students and their parents regarding the value of MSM programs, scholarship opportunities, and funding strategies. Provide effective counseling in one-on-one, small group, and large group settings.
  • Serve as liaison to governmental agencies providing financial aid funding, ensuring all required reporting (FISAP, PPA, ECAR, etc.) and communication is completed in a timely way. Provide documentation for annual audit of financial aid programs.
  • Serve as liaison for the financial aid office with other departments to create partnerships ensuring effective flow of information in an appropriate and timely manner.
  • Oversee the Office of Financial Aid’s Direct Lending, financial literacy, and default management programs to enable students to successfully manage student loan debt and minimize default rate of the School.
  • Monitor and manage the budgets for the Office of Financial Aid and various scholarship programs, ensuring proper accounting and documentation procedures are followed.
  • Oversee various award programs, certifying financial aid information and determining annual cost of attendance information. Support decision-making for special circumstances and appeals of refund policy.
  • Using PowerFaids, Slate, Jenzabar EX, and other technology resources, analyze information from financial aid data and College surveys to improve and refine financial aid communications, publications, and strategies. Support institutional efforts for data submission for IPEDS, accreditation, and other information needs.
  • Provide support for Auditions, Orientation, and other key recruitment activities, making presentations as appropriate.
  • Participate in institutional committees and task force groups as appropriate.
  • Appropriately represent the School at national, regional, and state professional organizations, engaging in workshops, meetings, and informational sessions to further engage and develop Financial Aid staff through internal and external professional development opportunities.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

Job Requirements:

  • Ability to use independent judgment to plan and manage departmental goals.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills as demonstrated through various means and documentation.
  • Knowledge of rules and regulations for Federal student financial assistance programs, including tax laws and ability to quickly learn State of New York rules and regulations governing student financial assistance.
  • Skills in budget development and management.
  • Demonstrated proficiency in an array of computer systems, applications, and databases such as Microsoft Office, financial aid management systems (i.e. PowerFAIDS), and other school platforms (Slate, Jenzabar EX) to analyze and interpret information.
  • Excellent interpersonal and customer service skills and ability to use good judgment and discretion for dealing effectively with a wide variety of individuals, including students and their parents, faculty, staff, and outside agencies.
  • Demonstrated ability to remain organized and highly productive while under pressure and stress and to effectively handle emotional situations and difficult people.
  • Ability to supervise, mentor, and train staff within a cooperative work environment.
  • Ability to establish collaborative relationships between departments.
  • Ability to maintain and present a professional appearance.
  • Ability to maintain confidentiality.
  • Ability to work regular established hours of operation and additional hours as business necessitates and to travel to conferences and other off-site locations.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor’s degree required in student services, higher education administration, business, administrative policy, or related degree from an accredited college or university.
  • Master’s degree preferred in student services, higher education administration, or related degree from an accredited college or university.
  • A minimum of five years of progressively responsible financial aid experience with at least three years of supervisory experience.
  • Current knowledge of federal financial aid programs, Title IV regulations, and compliance.

Contact Information:

Please send letter of application and resume via email to:


Equal employment and equal educational opportunity have been and will continue to be fundamental principles at Manhattan School of Music, where employment and enrollment are based upon personal capabilities and qualifications without discrimination or harassment because of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship or veteran status, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law. Manhattan School of Music does not permit retaliation against individuals who oppose a discriminatory practice or participate in an investigation.