The University of Lynchburg has hired a new director of financial aid. Melena Verity brings more than 20 years of experience in the field. Most recently, she overhauled the financial aid process at Hood College in Frederick, Maryland.
“There were many aspects that made the University of Lynchburg an attractive place to work,” Verity said. “What most impressed me was that the school is considered a college that changes lives. I look forward to working in a community that makes such a difference in the lives of our students.”
Some of her initial goals include streamlining financial aid processes and making them more strategic. She also wants to enhance customer service and help the office become “more student-centered.”
In her most recent role at Hood College (2017-21), Verity automated financial aid packaging for new students. She also evaluated financial aid processes and reports, improved them to increase efficiency, and fixed errors in historical data. To better serve students with more informative financial aid notifications, she upgraded office communications and documents.
Verity’s career also includes stints as financial aid director at Tusculum University (2010-14), Maryville College (2014-15), and Judson College (2016-17).
“Melena has extensive experience with overhauling financial aid processes and figuring out how to make things run efficiently, and that’s exactly what is needed here at Lynchburg,” said Vice President for Enrollment, Marketing, and Communications Mike Jones.
He is excited about Verity’s expertise and pleased with the progress his unit has made since last fall, when enrollment was added to his portfolio. Merging the three units under one proverbial roof — albeit in separate buildings — has allowed the University to streamline marketing and recruitment efforts and better focus on its key goal of growing enrollment, Jones said.
“We’ve made tremendous strides in marketing and recruitment by working more collaboratively, and by putting the right people in the right places,” he said. “The final piece was financial aid, and Melena is perfectly suited to move us forward.”
A thorough review by two consultants, most recently Credo, helped Jones reimagine how all of the pieces can work together. Late last fall, he hired Aaron Basko as associate vice president of enrollment management — a position suggested by Credo among its more than 100 recommendations. Basko oversees financial aid and enrollment strategy. Susan Hogg, who previously managed transfer students, was named director of admissions.
Other hires in admissions, marketing, and financial aid have helped the units get back to full staffing and address crucial strategic needs.
“We’re in a good place as we welcome the Class of 2026 and ramp up recruitment efforts for next year and beyond,” Jones said.