Cornell University invites inquiries, applications, and nominations for the position of Director of Compliance for Financial Aid.

About the University 

WEB UP 2016 1379 012 select 3Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. The inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery and engagement. The main campus located in Ithaca, NY, Cornell's far-flung global presence includes the medical college's campuses on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and Doha, Qatar, as well as the Cornell Tech campus located on Roosevelt Island in the heart of New York City. Cornell offers a rich array of services, programs, and benefits to help employees advance in their career and enhance the quality of personal life, including employee wellness, workshops, childcare and adoption assistance, parental leave, and flexible work options.

Position Description and Responsibilities 

This newly created position will have a key role in aligning the Title IV Financial Aid Compliance Program with the university’s compliance objectives. Reporting to the Vice Provost for Enrollment, the Director will partner closely with the Office of University Registrar (OUR) and the Office of Financial Aid and Student Employment (FASE) to ensure the university meets its compliance objectives relative to participation in federal student aid programs. 

Serving as a member of the senior leadership team for the Division of Enrollment, this is an opportunity to utilize innovation and functional expertise to drive the university’s compliance efforts. The Director will provide strategic oversight and expert-level guidance related to compliance with federal student financial aid regulations, all within a dynamic and changing environment.

Major areas of responsibility include:
  • Lead the university’s Title IV Financial Aid Compliance Program;
  • Chair the Title IV Financial Aid Compliance Committee to assess new and changed regulations;
  • Engage stakeholders to provide training;
  • In conjunction with the University Audit Office and Division of Financial Affairs, conduct annual risk assessments and ongoing monitoring activities;
  • Assist in developing internal controls, and track improvements in compliance areas;
  • Provide regular reports and presentations to senior leadership and the Board of Trustees on the state of the university’s Title IV compliance and related activities.

Position Qualifications

UP 2017 1275 012 selectThe ideal candidate will be an effective, persuasive, and innovative professional with extensive experience in Title IV compliance as well as demonstrated success in developing and implementing compliance strategies that achieve the university’s objectives.

The successful candidate will also possess:
  • Demonstrated experience leading compliance efforts involving Financial Aid and/or Registrar-related functions;
  • Expert-level knowledge of Title IV regulations and federal student aid programs, including but not limited to Direct Loans, Pell Grants, Perkins Loans, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), and Federal Work Study;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of all areas of financial aid, including applications, awarding and aid packaging, entrance counseling and federal verification, master promissory notes, exit counseling and repayment;
  • Experience working with U.S. Department of Education (ED) and reporting to the National Student Loan Data System (NSLDS) and National Student Clearinghouse (NSC);
  • Excellent judgment, problem solving, diplomacy and discretion with the ability to manage confidential information;
  • Strong analytical skills and the ability to analyze complex information, evaluate results, and facilitate resolution of difficult challenges;
  • Skilled in writing concise, logical analytical reports and presenting on complex issues;
  • Strong and effective interpersonal skills including the ability to listen well and demonstrate sensitivity to and respect for individual needs;
  • Ability to work well cross-functionally and influence across the organization;
  • Must interact with others and represent Cornell in a professional, respectful and thoughtful manner;
  • Experience developing and delivering educational presentations before a group.

The ideal candidate will have 7+ years of experience or equivalent. Bachelor's degree required; Master’s preferred. 

Other preferred qualifications include:
  • Experience leading financial aid or related compliance functions, ideally in a large, decentralized, multi-location research university;
  • Experience with external compliance audits (Uniform Guidance/A-133) strongly preferred;
  • Recognized subject-matter expert on federal regulations pertaining to student financial aid and related areas of compliance, including Title IV; FERPA; GI Bill, Yellow Ribbon and 9/11 Grants; and the Federal School Code;
  • Working knowledge of New York State educational requirements;
  • Knowledge of PeopleSoft Campus Solutions and other related technologies;
  • Strong working knowledge of Department of Education resources including IFAP, FSA Handbook, etc.

How to Apply 

Interested candidates should send a cover letter describing their interest in and qualifications for the position and a resume electronically to The subject line in the email should be CUDCFA. Confidential inquiries may be made by contacting Megan Spelman by email to or by telephone at 585-366-4329.

All applications are considered confidential. Materials will be received as submitted and will be considered until the position is filled. 

Diversity and Inclusion are a part of Cornell University’s heritage. We are a recognized employer and educator valuing AA/EEO, Protected Veterans and Individuals with Disabilities. Cornell University is an innovative Ivy League university and a great place to work. Our inclusive community of scholars, students, and staff impart an uncommon sense of larger purpose, and contribute creative ideas to further the university's mission of teaching, discovery, and engagement.

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