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Senior Assistant Director of Financial Aid Systems and Technology

Apply now Job no: 493871
Work type: Full Time
Location: Swarthmore
Categories: Staff

Essential Responsibilities

Data and Knowledge Management

1.  Assess the manual and semi-automated processes of the Financial Aid Office; design and implement automated processes to facilitate the financial aid application process

2.  Supports the technological goals of the business process analysis performed in 2017

3.  Coordinates, executes and completes projects that align technical solutions with Financial Aid’s strategic direction

4.  Day to day technician for all issues technologically related; assessing operations for the need or opportunity for a system solution

5.  Experience in data analysis and root cause analysis. Proven problem solving and analytical thinking capabilities

6.  Assists in the development of new applications to improve internal efficiencies, streamline processes, and ensure data integrity

7.  Understands and curates reports to ensure accuracy of information and that goals are being met.

8.  Applies knowledge of workflow and operating practices to data-related projects

9.  Provides technical solutions in all areas of Financial Aid using exceptional knowledge of the complement of Banner and Argos

10.  Provide operational support for Enterprise functional users with an emphasis on Ellucian Banner

11.  Coordinate and test Banner upgrades and patches

12.  Proficient use of Argos Enterprise Reporting software by Evisions to support Financial Aid operations

13.  Oversees all development and modification to datablocks and reports built in Argos and other tools.

14.  Develops a project schedule to identify when each task will be performed. Resolves any issues and solves problems throughout project life cycle.

15.  Maintain and develop a system of scheduled reports to support both internal and external data reporting

16.  Coordinate with the Director of Operations to ensure that the financial aid office systems support federal and institutional methodologies

17.  Advise and partner with the Director of Operations to ensure the efficient, accurate, and automated processing of student financial aid applications from initial receipt through review to communication of the final decision to the family

18.  Advise and partner with the Director of Services to oversee all financial aid services are responsive to the needs of students, parents, and campus partners

19.  Interface with the Information Technology Services department as well as external vendors, and direct counterparts at peer institutions

20.  Participate in the selection and implementation of purchased and in-house developed applications, assisting in developing integration between systems and testing applications

21.  Knowledge of computer system capabilities, business processes, and workflows

22.  Ensure institutional data is readily available to senior administrators, managers, regulatory agencies, auditors and accrediting bodies

23.  Assist with module security planning, management, testing, software defect management, high-level module functional support, process oversight, and scheduling

24.  Develop the College’s financial information systems roadmap to assist with management of projects, people, and tasks, ensuring goals and objectives are completed on time

25.  Ensure the uniformity, accuracy, and consistency of the data through the application of effective data management, security, stewardship, and governance processes

26.  Assist with needs assessments, system integrations, design support, and general change management support

27.  Act as liaison between vendors, financial institutions, government agencies, and College departments for electronic data transmissions, uploads, and interfaces to and from the College's Enterprise System

28.  Participates in cross-campus projects on such topics as data sharing, learning, and training

Data Visualization and Analytics

1.  Explores, evaluates, and implements when approved new data visualization technology(s) to enhance and extend Financial Aid’s current reporting and data visualization capacity

2.  Develops interactive dashboards in order to simplify and encourage effective data exploration/analysis amongst leadership and non-technical staff


1.  Communicates directly with students and parents and campus partners in need of technical assistance

2.  Develops and maintains automated e-communications system for updating students/parents on financial aid status (financial aid portal and Self Service Banner)

3.  Maximize internal use of Banner documentation tracking and external user interface

4.  Becomes proficient in use of technical applications to support Financial Aid Communications such as Emma and YAMM, and develops an understanding of the nuances and delicate nature of delivering communications to multiple households for a single student

5.  Maintains data analytics for communications and makes recommendations for improvements

6.  Becomes proficient in Drupal to update Financial Aid website and support colleagues in ongoing maintenance

Training, Security, and ITS Support

1.  Works with colleagues to ensure the successful implementation of new technologies and related systems

2.  Coordinates, plans, and delivers training opportunities for Financial Aid colleagues

3.  Writes and maintains documentation of Financial Aid’s technical business practices

4.  Works as the first resource for Financial Aid colleagues before they contact the ITS help desk

5.  Works with Director of Operations to assign database user/security roles for Financial Aid module and Argos

6.  Anticipates and identifies developments in the technical industry, and maintains awareness of trends and developments in the fields of the departmental constituents

7.  Trains colleagues in the Argos Enterprise Reporting software by Evisions to support Financial Aid operations

8.  Serves as Financial Aid Office’s representative on the Information Security and Information Systems Committees

Financial Aid Vendor Management

1.  Works with Director of Services in Financial Aid to help manage Financial Aid Office’s application vendor, JobX; and with Admissions, when called upon, to assist in our integration with Admissions’ Slate

2.  Becomes proficient in email tools (Emma and YAMM) and serves as a resource for colleagues

3.  Tests all applications (new and existing) to ensure accuracy

4.  Coordinates exchange of data between Banner or Argos and various tools, implements solutions, and ensures appropriate testing of applications

5.  Works with Financial Aid colleagues to determine technical needs, including identifying needed systems, tools, or services, writing RFPs, and assessing resources needed for implementation and maintenance

6.  Works in collaboration with ITS to prioritize technology needs from vendors, garners approval for purchase, and ensures a realistic timeline for all parties

Additional Responsibilities

1.  Develop capabilities in the following areas: data mapping, table structure knowledge, custom coding logics, issue analysis and recommendations, writing and running SQL queries, documentation skills, functional analysis, business process improvement, requirements documentation and process flow charting

2.  Attends and assists other College Financial Aid staff at College events as needed

3.  Serves voluntarily on ad-hoc or standing College committees, as appropriate and with approval of supervisor

4.  Takes advantage of opportunities for professional development at least twice annually

5.  Frequently communicates with colleagues who have inquiries about various technologies and processes. Exchanges accurate information in these situations

6.  Creates and inspects reports to determine if there are any errors

7.  Serves on other committees or teams as needed, where input from area of expertise is important

8.  Represents Financial Aid offices and the College at industry conferences and events; maintains relationships with colleagues at peer institutions in order to share information and solutions

9.  Performs other assignments as directed by his or her supervisor

Required Qualifications

1.  Bachelor’s degree

2.  5-7 years experience working in a college or university setting

3.  3-5 years experience managing financial aid technology

4.  Proficiency with Excel, Word and other reporting tools, preferably Argos

5.  Knowledge of business processes and functions

6.  Understanding of relational database structures and relational database-reporting tools

7.  Experience in client/server administrative application structures and environment

8.  Advanced PL/SQL (Procedural Language/Structured Query Language) skills

9.  Exceptional computer skills with experience evaluating, mastering and implementing peripheral software applications, and training colleagues in various applications. Highly proficient in Windows operating system and Microsoft Suite

10.  Outstanding organizational skills, demonstrated experience in project management, and ability to respond to multiple priorities

11.  Extreme accuracy and attention to detail with ability to handle multiple and varied tasks both independently and collaboratively

12.  Extensive background and experience with report and analysis design

13.  Experience with the application of User Interface and User Experience best practices

14.  Demonstrate ability to review business processes and translate them into business intelligence reporting and analysis solutions

15.  Knowledge of computer system capabilities, business processes, and workflows

16.  Experience in data analysis and root cause analysis. Proven problem solving and analytical thinking capabilities

17.  Demonstrate ability with enterprise application and database driven applications

18.  Extensive background and experience with report and analysis design

19.  Self-motivated and works independently and as part of a team

20.  The ability to manage large amounts of data and organize it into meaningful reports

21.  Excellent analytical, communication and interpersonal skills. A talent for listening, interpreting, and synthesizing information.  Ability to effectively bridge communications between non-technical software end-users and the technical team

22.  Strong skill in dealing with people, using tact and diplomacy, and the ability to maintain a high level of confidentiality. Strong customer service skills

23.  Ability to work evenings, weekends, or as needed to complete projects or meet heavy demand

24.  Ability to communicate fluently in English, speak in public and on the telephone

25.  Ability to operate standard office equipment

26.  Ability to travel locally or nationally for professional development

Preferred Qualifications

1.  Ellucian Banner expert

2.  Advanced degree or applicable certifications

3.  Strong skill in articulating the value of higher education


Swarthmore College is a highly selective liberal arts college located in the suburbs of Philadelphia, whose mission combines academic rigor with social responsibility. Swarthmore has a strong institutional commitment to inclusive excellence and nondiscrimination in its educational program and employment practices and encourages candidates who will further advance the goal of fostering a diverse and inclusive community. As one of the nation’s finest institutions of higher learning, Swarthmore College is global in outlook and draws students from around the nation and world. The 425‐acre campus is a designated arboretum, complete with gardens, rolling lawns, a creek, wooded hills, and hiking trails in the Crum Woods.

Swarthmore College actively seeks and welcomes applications from candidates with exceptional qualifications, particularly those with demonstrable commitments to a more inclusive society and world. Swarthmore College is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Women and minorities are encouraged to apply. 


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