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Mary Nucciarone

Director of Financial Aid, University of Notre Dame

Focus Area: Affordability

Notre Dame, Indiana
Office Representing: Financial Aid

Mary Nucciarone serves as the director of financial aid at the University of Notre Dame. In this role, she recommends, monitors, and implements policies and procedures for the administration of financial aid. Nucciarone oversees the distribution of more than $433 million in federal, state, private, and institutional financial aid to over 9,000 undergraduate, graduate, and professional students. Nucciarone serves as the primary liaison to University colleges, departments, and athletics on issues of compliance and individual student support related to financial issues. She also serves as a member of the Enrollment Management Advisory group and coordinates the implementation of short and long-range goals that support the recruitment and retention of students and other University initiatives. Nucciarone serves as a member of the Undergraduate Academic Code Committee, Financial Aid Strategy Team, Athletic Compliance Committee, and Student Health Insurance Advisory Committee. She also assists special groups of students including undocumented/DACA students, first-generation students, and low-income students.

How did you first get interested in or involved in higher education issues?

"As a new financial aid director, I had the opportunity to testify at a congressional field hearing hosted by former Rep. Tim Roemer (D-IN). I realized that as a financial aid professional I had a responsibility to serve as the voice for students regarding public policy," Nucciarone said. "Since that time, I have served on various committees at the state and national level that provided the opportunity to learn about the creation of public policy. Throughout my professional career I have engaged in the review of education research and demographic trends. I have had the chance to collaborate with other aid professionals, researchers, and educational leaders who have challenged me to think strategically and in visionary ways. I have learned that the intersection of research, demographics and well-formed public policy can be foundational in advancing social needs."

Why did you apply to be a part of the Forward50? What drew you to this opportunity?

"When I saw the description and charter of the Forward50 I was intrigued by the opportunity because of the diversity of the group that would be selected as members," Nucciarone said. "I spoke with colleagues about this opportunity and they encouraged me to apply because they know I am committed to issues of access, affordability, transparency, and accountability for traditional and non-traditional learners. I believe that the construct of this group will provide a unique platform to identify innovative and forward-thinking policy solutions. Serving as a coalition on behalf of students and higher education regardless of sector is powerful. Creating recommendations for community and congressional members can be foundational to the reauthorization process. The opportunity to present the ideas and lead dialogue surrounding these important issues is vital to the creation of public policy that will serve the common good of students and our country."

Leadership roles with professional associations:

  • College Board: Past Trustee, Past Chair of CSS Council, Past Chair of Financial Aid Standards and Advisory Committee, Past Chair of Colloquium
  • Indiana Student Financial Aid Administration (ISFAA): Past Commissioner for Training & Development

Membership(s) held with other professional associations:

  • National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA)
  • Sallie Mae Campus Insights Committee
  • National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities (NAICU)
  • Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA)
  • Enrollment Planning Network (EPN)