Financial Aid Director

Posted: 10/23/2022


About Us

NOLS (National Outdoor Leadership School) is a nonprofit global wilderness school that supports thousands of students each year all over the world.  Our school began in a small cabin in Sinks Canyon, Wyoming in 1965 as the National Outdoor Leadership School. At that time, we were primarily an outdoors skills school, doing our work in local mountain ranges and exploring what it meant to teach leadership in the backcountry. Today, we are NOLS, a multifaceted wilderness school headquartered in Lander, Wyoming with locations in seven U.S. states and six countries, that supports thousands of students each year all over the world in both field & classroom courses.



As the Financial Aid Director you will be responsible for overseeing schoolwide scholarship initiatives and programs. You will create annual award plans and manage the use of scholarship funds from a variety of sources including endowments, gifts, government funding such as 529, Americorp, and VA benefits, and others. You will manage designated and general funds to equitably award scholarships to the students of all NOLS pillars (programs). As the Financial Aid Director, you will work closely with departments across the organization to ensure equitable and compliant scholarship awards, program management, and reporting. In the future, the Financial Aid Director will be a partner with the Chief of Program Strategy and other members of the Executive Team to develop strategic objectives for the financial aid program, including program goals and development of need-based screening procedures.  For now, the position will report to the Chief Financial Officer.  The scholarship budget for FY23 is $1.4 million.



  • Desire to bolster and innovate a financial aid program 

  • Prior experience managing the allocation of financial aid or designated funds 

  • Ability to foster and maintain relationships across diverse stakeholder groups

  • Excellent professional level communication in person, over the phone, and electronically  

  • Detail orientation, with propensity for thorough record keeping and reporting

  • Enjoy working in a collaborative team environment

  • Exceptional judgment and discretion to make autonomous decisions

  • Committed to providing high quality internal and external customer service

  • Experience building and managing budgets, and allocation of resources

  • Collaborative problem-solving style required.  


Preferred skills

  • Spanish proficiency

  • Experience with Microsoft Dynamics 365, Google Suite, Microsoft Suite

  • Prior experience managing government student funding (529, Americorp, VA, etc.)

  • Prior nonprofit or educational experience


  • Work cooperatively with internal and external stakeholders, overseeing annual scholarship budget and allocation of approximately $1.4 million ensuring equitable distribution

  • Develop scholarship review and award procedures, implementing guidelines and criteria for consistent and equitable awards

  • Act as a liaison between universities and students wishing to utilize their AmeriCorps Awards and/or their 529 Plan Funds

  • Oversee and manage the use of Veteran’s Administration (VA) Funds. Coordinate between the VA administration and veterans seeking to utilize their VA benefits. Certify and counsel students using VA Funds and ensure VA best practices are followed.

  • In conjunction with Finance and Advancement develop a list of restricted and unrestricted funds from all sources to build aggregate financial aid budget

  • Monitor actual expenditure of scholarship funds and work with allocators to ensure that funds are spent in full and in accordance with all restrictions

  • Work with Executive Team to create annual budgets and develop strategic long-term allocation

  • Ensure that all regulations and program guidelines are followed for use of governmental and sponsored funds

  • Produce periodic reports in alignment with NOLS & local, state, and federal reporting requirements


The above duties should not be considered an exhaustive list; other responsibilities may be required.


Position Details

While this position has a strong preference to be based at NOLS Headquarters in Lander, Wyoming, remote work opportunities may be available. NOLS can currently employ remote employees who are legal residents of: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, New Mexico, New York, Utah, Washington, or Wyoming. 


Please note not all locations in all states listed are eligible. For specific locations please reach out to the recruiter listed below in the ‘How to Apply’ section. Current employees and residents in the state of Colorado please contact HR for salary information.


COVID-19 Vaccine Policy

All employees are required to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by their first day of work, unless they meet a medical, disability or religious exemption and a reasonable accommodation is approved. Any COVID-19 vaccine approved by the World Health Organization (WHO) is an acceptable vaccine for the purpose of this policy. Full vaccination or an approved exemption is a condition of employment for all new employees.


Equal Employment Opportunity

NOLS does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, genetics information, disability unrelated to job or admission requirements, or status as a protected veteran. The school’s nondiscrimination policy applies to all phases of its employment process, its admission and financial aid programs, and to all other aspects of its educational programs and activities. Retaliation directed to any person who pursues a discrimination complaint or grievance, participates in a discrimination investigation, or otherwise opposes unlawful discrimination is prohibited.


Reasonable Accommodation

NOLS values community and fosters a sense of belonging for our employees and applicants. We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations in the workplace because they embody these values, as well as our operating principle of promoting a positive, safe, and learning environment. Reasonable accommodations may be requested for disability; limitations related to pregnancy, childbirth, or a related medical condition; religion; and domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, or harassment. Reasonable accommodations may be requested at any point of the employment process, including during recruitment. Please email with your request.


Pre-Employment Check

  • A criminal background check is required from all NOLS employees.

  • NOLS participates in E-verify.

  • Current NOLS employees please note it is NOLS policy to conduct an internal reference check with human resources and/or your current supervisor as part of the reference check process. If you have any questions or concerns about this process please contact human resources


How to Apply

Please send your PDF cover letter and resume, and any questions to: Stephen Dahnert, CFO (


Closing Date for Applications

Open until filled


Starting Date

The target start date for this role is two weeks from the time of offer. 


Thank you for your interest in NOLS. Please consider providing some optional, anonymous information by visiting this link.