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Assistant Director of Financial Aid

School of International and Public Affairs

Assistant Director of Financial Aid

  • 533303
  • Morningside
  • School of International and Public Affairs
  • Full Time
  • Opening on: Jan 18 2023
  • Grade 11
  • Job Type: Officer of Administration
  • Bargaining Unit:
  • Regular/Temporary: Regular
  • End Date if Temporary:
  • Hours Per Week: 35
  • Salary Range: $68,000-$76,000
The salary of the finalist selected for this role will be set based on a variety of factors, including but not limited to departmental budgets, qualifications, experience, education, licenses, specialty, and training. The above hiring range represents the University's good faith and reasonable estimate of the range of possible compensation at the time of posting.

Position Summary

Reporting to the Associate Director of Financial Aid, and in their absence to the Director, the Assistant Director of Financial Aid counsels students on all aspects of financial aid and determines their eligibility for aid. Maintains records, administers the Office's use of the PowerFAIDS system, oversees related communication with students, and maintains the external database of institutions/agencies providing funding to students at the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs (SIPA). SIPA enrolls approximately 1,300 students, all at the graduate level, and approximately half are international students.


Counsels and advises students about graduate level financial aid programs, eligibility criteria, application procedures, costs, debt management, and financial planning.

Interprets financial aid application data, determines student eligibility and packages new and continuing students.

Assists in the administration of PowerFAIDS, including but not necessarily limited to setting up student budgets and packaging procedures, creating reports and selection sets, troubleshooting technical issues, training staff, and serving as SIPA's liaison with the University's central team as needed.

Assists with the recording of fellowship awards. Assists with monitoring financial aid disbursements as needed.

Manages communication outreach with admitted and current students regarding financial aid awards, federal eligibility requirements, verification and database match problems, and debt management.

Verifies compliance and eligibility for students receiving aid under federal and institutional guidelines.

Notifies students of changes in eligibility and recommends alternatives as appropriate.

Along with the Associate Director, maintains and updates the financial aid office website and the database of external fellowships and grants, as well as contributions in all communication outlets. Reads admissions files as needed.

Conducts in-person and online financial aid information sessions and admission recruitment events, as needed.

Assists with special projects as needed.

Performs related duties and responsibilities as assigned/requested.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree, or equivalent, and two years of related full-time, professional level experience in a financial aid office, including experience with counseling students and knowledge of financial aid regulations.
  • Excellent interpersonal, organizational and communications skills required.
  • Strong customer service orientation with a deep commitment to valuing diversity and contributing to an inclusive working and learning environment.
  • Must be able to work with tact and discretion, and make independent decisions, in a fast-paced office environment with multiple deadlines.
  • The successful candidate will have a high level of computer literacy and experience with standard office automation tools and be able to satisfactorily complete tasks requiring significant attention to detail.
  • The ideal candidate will demonstrate a proven track record of taking on initiative and be open to feedback while maintaining a growth, learning, and change-positive mindset.

Preferred Qualifications

  • Experience or familiarity with SLATE preferred.

Other Requirements

Columbia University requires COVID vaccination for all Columbia University members who have any on-campus presence. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement and exceptions may be found at the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage: .   Compliance with these measures is mandatory.

Equal Opportunity Employer / Disability / Veteran

Columbia University is committed to the hiring of qualified local residents.

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