Administration, Education, Higher Education

Director, Undergraduate Financial Aid and Student Employment

  • Princeton University
  • Princeton, NJ

This position has been filled.

About Princeton University

Princeton University is a world-renowned research university with a vibrant community of scholarship, research, and teaching that seeks to serve the nation and humanity. The university’s faculty and students have achieved the highest levels of distinction in the discovery and transmission of knowledge and understanding.

Princeton has a profound, enduring commitment to undergraduate education, with a low student-to-faculty ratio and a curriculum that emphasizes learning, creativity, innovation, and collaboration within a program of liberal arts in the arts and humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, and engineering. Students work closely with distinguished faculty who routinely push the frontiers of human knowledge with their research and scholarship. Students’ experiences inside and outside the classroom simultaneously prepare them for meaningful lives and careers, broaden their outlook, and help shape their character.

Princeton’s focus on undergraduates is unique for a major research university. Students are able to develop close working relationships with professors, who are leaders in their fields. Every faculty member is expected to teach undergraduates, and every student is expected to do original, creative research.

Princeton students come from across the country and around the world, and they join the University community eager to learn and excited to open doors to discovery. The approximately 5,300 undergraduate students are part of a vibrant campus community, and students stay connected to Princeton long after they have graduated. Students are encouraged to explore many academic and extracurricular opportunities while taking advantage of the University’s extraordinary facilities and resources.

Classrooms are filled with students and faculty from a variety of backgrounds, and students benefit from the interdisciplinary connections at the core of Princeton’s curriculum. Over the last decade, the University has nearly doubled the number of students in the entering class who are first-generation college students or recipients of Federal Pell Grants, which provide support for students from low-income backgrounds.

In 2016, Princeton’s Board of Trustees adopted a strategic framework designed to guide future institutional decision-making. The strategic framework outlines Princeton’s priorities in the context of “the growing leadership responsibilities that accompany Princeton’s increasingly distinctive capacity to contribute to the world, and the evolving opportunities and challenges on campus and beyond that result from technological advancement.” To be successful in this environment, the University must embrace an innovative mindset that not only marshals its own resources and talents but also leverages those outside its gates; that finds new ways to “cultivate interaction between its faculty members, researchers, and students and their counterparts in the non-profit, corporate, and government sectors.”

Among the University’s highest strategic priorities is the expansion of the undergraduate population by 125 students per class—approximately 10 percent of the total population. In fall 2022, the University will open two new residential colleges that will provide the space and the capacity to achieve that goal over several years.

In addition to expanding the undergraduate population and increasing the socioeconomic diversity of its student body, the University’s strategic priorities include:

  • Achieve unsurpassed quality in all fields;
  • Emphasize service;
  • Exercise visible leadership in the arts and the humanities;
  • Undertake a bold interdisciplinary initiative centered on the environmental sciences;
  • Invest in engineering and information sciences; and
  • Improve Princeton’s connections to the innovation ecosystem.

Christopher L. EisgruberPresident

Christopher Ludwig Eisgruber has served as Princeton University’s 20th president since July 2013. He served previously as Princeton’s provost for nine years, beginning in 2004, after joining the Princeton faculty in 2001.

As president, Eisgruber has led efforts to increase the representation of low-income and first-generation students at Princeton and other colleges and universities. Princeton’s socioeconomic diversity initiatives have attracted national attention from The New York Times, The Washington Post, 60 Minutes, and other news outlets.

Eisgruber received his A.B. in physics from Princeton in 1983, graduating magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. He then earned an M.Litt in politics at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar, and a J.D. cum laude at the University of Chicago Law School, where he served as editor-in-chief of the law review. After clerking for U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Patrick Higginbotham and U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, he taught at New York University’s School of Law for 11 years.

In 2001, Eisgruber joined the Princeton faculty as the director of the Program in Law and Public Affairs and the Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs and the University Center for Human Values. He directed Princeton’s Program in Law and Public Affairs from 2001 to 2004.

Jill Dolan, Dean of the College

Jill Dolan is the senior officer responsible for Princeton’s undergraduate academic program. All matters relating to the curriculum, academic advising, academic regulations, and scholastic standing fall under her aegis. Dean Dolan is the Annan Professor in English and a professor of theatre studies in the Lewis Center for the Arts. She served for six years as the director of Princeton’s Program in Gender and Sexuality Studies and is a faculty affiliate of the Program in American Studies. She holds a Ph.D. in performance studies from New York University.

Karen Richardson, Dean of Admission

Karen Richardson was appointed dean of admission at Princeton University, July 1, 2019. In this capacity, she serves on the President’s cabinet and is responsible for articulating the University’s mission to prospective students and their families. Dean Richardson works closely with all University constituencies and a 44-person staff, and serves as spokesperson for the admission office and for the University on admission matters.

Dean Richardson, a member of Princeton’s Class of 1993, served as dean of admission at Tufts University from 2016 to 2019. During her 11 year tenure at Tufts, she served as director of diversity recruitment and director of the then newly created Office of Graduate Admissions. Her career in admission began here at Princeton in 2002 when she served as an assistant dean. Dean Richardson’s work in education extends into the K-12 sphere as she served as deputy superintendent in the Boston Public School system with direct responsibility for the Office of Family and Community Engagement. She holds a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and has been a member of the board of directors for The Common Application since 2018.

For more information on Princeton University, please visit

Financial Aid at Princeton

Princeton is committed to making a Princeton education affordable to all. Our financial aid program for undergraduates is recognized as one of the most generous in the country, providing financial aid in the form of grants that do not need to be repaid. Princeton was the first university in the country to eliminate loans from its financial aid package. In addition, Princeton is one of only a handful of schools in the country that does not limit the financial aid available for international students. The full need of all admitted international students is met just as it is for students from the United States.

A commitment to affordability is a central tenet and guiding priority of Princeton’s financial aid strategy, and the University’s aid program is designed to encourage all qualified students — regardless of financial circumstances — to consider applying for admission to Princeton. Financial aid is awarded solely based on a student’s need, and the average grant fully covers the cost of tuition. The Class of 2025 includes 22% Pell-eligible students; over 60% of our undergraduate students are on financial aid. Of the 18% of our students who accrue debt, their loans on graduation amount to approximately $9,000, well below the national average.

The Director of Undergraduate Financial Aid and Student Employment will lead a full-time, high-performing, highly-collaborative staff of 15, who serve undergraduate students receiving grant aid, as well as aid and non-aid students seeking campus jobs. The department awards over $200,000,000 annually in need-based aid.

The Opportunity

Princeton University seeks an experienced and dynamic leader to serve as its next Director of Undergraduate Financial Aid and Student Employment. Reporting to the Dean of Admission, and serving on the Dean of the College’s senior leadership team, the director will advance Princeton’s transformational leadership in providing access to higher education to a talented and diverse student body.

The next director will lead a unit that has achieved considerable success in developing aid policies and procedures that provide holistic evaluations of all aid applications, even as the number of students on financial aid at Princeton has increased considerably. Princeton’s approach to financial aid prioritizes the needs of their student body and applicant population through a careful approach to needs analysis and a home-grown financial aid technology system that supports the evolving needs of Princeton’s financial aid program.

The director leads the University’s Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid and Student Employment programs and develops long-term aid and student employment strategies in support of the University’s mission. In close partnership with the Provost, the Dean of the College, and the Dean of Admission, the director establishes effective aid strategies that help enroll students from diverse socio-economic backgrounds.

At Princeton, the Director of Financial Aid and their staff works closely with the Dean of Admission and her team to curate incoming classes of students. The staff of the Office of Undergraduate Financial Aid also participate in financial literacy initiatives in conjunction with the Office of Campus Life and other campus units. The office collaborates across campus, making it a vital source of support for students, staff, and faculty.

With a focus on continuous improvement, the director uses analytics and evidence-based methods to inform policy and to process initiatives. The director communicates and collaborates with University leadership to enhance aid and student employment policy, approaches, and practices. The director coordinates policy initiatives in conjunction with the Dean of the College and the Dean of Admission through the standing faculty Committee on Undergraduate Admissions and Financial Aid (CUAFA).

The director also oversees Princeton’s aid policies, including need analysis methods and packaging procedures; internal and external compliance and risk management, including audit requirements; NCAA regulations; and all Title IV federal rules across campus.

The director also: 

  • Plans and monitors the aid budget, including all federal aid, University scholarships, and outside sources;
  • Collaborates with the Dean of the College, the Provost’s office, the Office of Finance and Treasurer, and the Provost’s Priorities Committee on the annual operating budget;
  • Serves as a member of and regularly reports to the Committee on Undergraduate Admission and Financial Aid (CUAFA);
  • Ensures University priorities to support student aid needs are met;
  • Collaborates with the offices of Campus Life and University Services for dining, residence halls, and extra-curricular programming and student support needs;
  • Keeps current on recent technologies to design and maintain custom system integration for application and awarding systems, software, reporting functions, data interfaces, and all related IT issues;
  • Develops communication and outreach strategies and materials, including websites, publications, travel, and conference participation;
  • Provides information for press inquiries with the assistance of University Communications and maintains a presence with students and colleagues across the University as a college fellow, invited speaker, or participant at campus events; and
  • Serves as a member of the Ivy League Aid Directors Council and as the COFHE financial aid liaison and represents Princeton University nationally with respect to economic diversity and all other aid topics.
Candidate Profile

These duties and roles require a deep understanding of Princeton’s best-in-class aid program; the insight and judgment to steward this program into the future; and the ability to be both decisive and collaborative with all constituents. Maintaining department standards of integrity and excellence in an open and collegial atmosphere is key. 

The next Director of Financial Aid and Student Employment should have at least ten years of experience in college or university administration, including a record of achievement working in undergraduate financial aid administration, preferably at a selective college with an extensive institutional aid program. A minimum of five years in a senior leadership role along with experience managing financial aid policies is strongly preferred. A bachelor’s degree is required; an advanced degree is preferred.

Additionally, candidates will possess many, if not all, of the following professional qualifications and personal characteristics:

  • Experience supervising, mentoring, and motivating a diverse, high-performing team, and experience with well-established management practices including staff development, organization, prioritization, and accountability;
  • Knowledge of federal, state, and other relevant regulations governing aid, including Title IV compliance regarding the collection and retention of student data;
  • Experience with institutional need analysis, modeling and forecasting, and the technology that supports an efficient and effective financial aid program;
  • Proven ability to communicate clearly and effectively in writing and in person;
  • Thorough understanding of the legal landscape relating to college and university financial aid policies and practices governing undergraduate financial aid in a highly visible institution;
  • Experience using both quantitative and qualitative data across a broad array of metrics; developing comprehensible data and analytics on financial aid and on-campus student employment;
  • A record of collegiality, collaboration, consultation, and fostering a spirit of teamwork among and between members of various departments; and
  • A high level of transparency, integrity, and discretion.

Amy Sugin of Koya Partners has been exclusively retained for this search. To express interest, please submit a compelling cover letter and resume here. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.

Koya Partners is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals living with disabilities. If you are a qualified individual living with a disability and need assistance expressing interest online, please email If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.


Equal Opportunity and Nondiscrimination at Princeton University: Princeton

University believes that commitment to principles of fairness and respect for all is favorable to the free and open exchange of ideas, and the University seeks to reach out as widely as possible in order to attract the ablest individuals as students, faculty, and staff. In applying this policy, the University is committed to nondiscrimination on the basis of personal beliefs or characteristics such as political views, religion, national or ethnic origin, race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, age, marital or domestic partnership status, veteran status, disability, genetic information and/or other characteristics protected by applicable law in any phase of its education or employment programs or activities. In addition, pursuant to Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and supporting regulations, Princeton does not discriminate on the basis of sex in the education programs or activities that it operates; this extends to admission and employment. Inquiries about the application of Title IX and its supporting regulations may be directed to the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education or to the University’s Sexual Misconduct/Title IX Coordinator. See Princeton’s full Equal Opportunity Policy and Nondiscrimination Statement.

About Koya Partners

Koya Partners, a part of the Diversified Search Group, is a leading executive search and strategic advising firm dedicated to connecting exceptionally talented people with mission-driven clients. Our founding philosophy—The Right Person in the Right Place Can Change the World—guides our work as we partner with nonprofits & NGOs, institutions of higher education, responsible businesses, and social enterprises in local communities and around the world.

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