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Director of Student Finance

Northwestern University
Evanston, Illinois
$125,000 - $175,000
Date posted
Jun 12, 2024

Director of Student Finance

Job ID: 50419
Location: Evanston, Illinois

Department: Student Finance
Salary/Grade: EXS/13

*Relocation assistance available

Job Summary:
Reporting to the Assistant Provost for University Records and University Registrar, the Director of Student Finance leads a team that delivers exceptional financial services to Northwestern students, parents, alumni, and to our schools and programs. The Director will be an active and engaged member of a team of peers and office staff co-creating a new student services-focused unit within the Office of the Provost. The office is responsible for nearly $1B in invoicing and collecting tuition, room and board, and fee revenue for all academic units across Northwestern University.

The Director of Student Finance:

  • Elevates the priority of service excellence and collaboration within Student Finance operations by leading a dedicated team of 28 full-time staff to ensure that students, families, and internal partners consistently experience exceptional service.
  • Assures accurate invoicing for every University academic program, proper application of charges and credits to students’ accounts, billing and collection of student tuition and fees, compliance with applicable rules and regulations, and translation of academic program schedules and rates into Oracle Campus Solutions parameters.
  • Collaborates with other student-serving units to reduce student barriers and facilitate institutional student support and enrollment goals.
  • Manages Northwestern’s student loan program.
  • Oversees the reconciliation of all outstanding receivable balances and validation of balances on the University’s general ledger.

Specific Responsibilities:
Leadership and Staff Management:

  • Leads a team of 28 dedicated staff members, including five direct reports, fostering a culture of accountability, collaboration and excellence.
  • Equips and empowers team members to consistently meet the highest standards of student support, efficiency and unit customer service.
  • Takes responsibility for personal, individual and team professional development and stays abreast of industry best practices.
  • Represents Northwestern at meetings and conferences
  • Continually evaluates and improves the delivery of student account services, ensuring an exceptional experience for all stakeholders.

Financial and Strategic Management:

  • Develops and monitors budgets for the department, including revenue and expense projections, ensuring financial sustainability and responsible resource allocation.
  • Drives organizational transformation, streamlining processes, and enhancing operational efficiency.
  • Actively contributes to strategic co-creation of a Provostial unit focused on student support across student services office boundaries, breaking down administrative barriers to student success.
  • Clarifies, defines, and secures approval for student financial services policies.

Collaboration and Liaison:

  • Establishes an office culture of cross-unit collaboration designed to ease student navigation across student services units.
  • Collaborates with internal stakeholders including academic schools and departments, financial aid, registrars' and housing offices, and student organizations to ensure that Student Finance services align with their needs and expectations.
  • Works closely with information technology staff and other stakeholders to design, prioritize, and implement student systems upgrades, enhancing the efficiency of our services and support for students and units. Oversees the definition and set up of schedules and billing for new and revised academic programs, supporting the institution's growth and working closely with academic units to meet their needs sustainably.

Compliance and Regulation:

  • Ensures departmental compliance with federal, state, and institutional student aid programs, NCAA regulations, data privacy, taxation, debt collection, and banking.
  • Stays up-to-date with evolving rules and regulations, implementing necessary changes and enhancements promptly to maintain compliance.
  • Establishes and assures unit-wide adherence to best practices regarding policy exceptions.

Billing and Collection Management:

  • Oversees the proper application of student tuition and fees, financial aid, student loans, housing, and miscellaneous charges to students' accounts and payment plans.
  • Continually enhances billing delivery, payment plans, and payment methods, with a focus on increasing the adoption of electronic billing and payments.
  • Oversees selection and management of SAAS products necessary to meet University and stakeholder needs not addressed by the SIS.
  • Takes responsibility for the reconciliation of all outstanding receivable balances and validation of balances on the University's general ledger.

Student Loan Origination and Servicing:

  • Manages the relationship with Northwestern’s student loans vendor (ECSI)
  • Ensures efficient and compliant loan origination, servicing, and collections.
  • Implements regulations and best practices for administering federal and private student loans and account collections.
  • Other duties as assigned

Minimum Qualifications: (Education, experience, and any other certifications or clearances)

  • Successful completion of a full 4-year course of study in an accredited college or university leading to a bachelor's or higher degree in Accounting, Business Administration, Finance or related field; OR appropriate combination of education and experience.
  • Minimum 10 years management experience in progressively responsible positions
  • Experience leading a customer or student service focused organization.
  • Experience in using software technology solutions to assure maintenance of financial control environment as well as efficiency and effectiveness of services

Minimum Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities.)

  • Strong conceptual understanding of enterprise system capabilities, particularly higher education and financial systems.
  • Demonstrated understanding of accounting principles and processes.
  • Able to carry out management duties that require following University operational business procedures.
  • Able to present ideas effectively, both orally and in writing.

Preferred Qualifications: (Education and experience)

  • 10 years of experience in an accounting-related higher education function.
  • 7 years of experience with Oracle Campus Solutions student finance module or similar student information system.
  • Experience with organizational change through such techniques as business process re-engineering and change management.
  • Leadership experience in a student finance, Bursar or financial aid office

Preferred Competencies: (Skills, knowledge, and abilities)

  • CPA-Certified Public Accountant
  • MBA-Master of Business Administration (or similar advanced degree)
  • Six Sigma, Change Management, or similar discipline certification

Target hiring range for this position will be between $125,000-$175,000 per year. Offered salary will be determined by the applicant’s education, experience, knowledge, skills and abilities, as well as internal equity and alignment with market data.

Please apply online at

At Northwestern, we are proud to provide meaningful, competitive, high-quality health care plans, retirement benefits, tuition discounts and more! Visit us at to learn more.

Work-Life and Wellness:
Northwestern offers comprehensive programs and services to help you and your family navigate life’s challenges and opportunities, and adopt and maintain healthy lifestyles.
We support flexible work arrangements where possible and programs to help you locate and pay for quality, affordable childcare and senior/adult care. Visit us at to learn more.

Professional Growth & Development:
Northwestern supports employee career development in all circumstances whether your workspace is on campus or at home. If you’re interested in developing your professional potential or continuing your formal education, we offer a variety of tools and resources. Visit us at to learn more.

Northwestern strongly recommends COVID-19 vaccinations and boosters for people who can obtain them as a critical tool for minimizing severe illness. More information can be found on the COVID-19 and Campus Updates webpage.

The Northwestern campus sits on the traditional homelands of the people of the Council of Three Fires, the Ojibwe, Potawatomi, and Odawa as well as the Menominee, Miami and Ho-Chunk nations. We acknowledge and honor the original people of the land upon which Northwestern University stands, and the Native people who remain on this land today.

Northwestern University is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes, including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply. Click for information on EEO is the Law.

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