Financial Aid Director Miller Heads to Brown

Financial aid at Harvard has changed, and after 20 years in Cambridge, Harvard's longest serving Financial Aid Director, James S. Miller, has decided that he needs a change too.

Miller, a 1973 graduate of Brown University, is moving back to his alma mater to work in development. He spent more than two decades in Harvard's admissions and financial aid office and leaves the aid program in its strongest state in the history of the College.

Miller, whose resignation went into effect Sept. 3, saw the aid program through both an unprecedented expansion and changes in structure.

When he came to Harvard in 1978, one year of school cost less than $9,000. As tuition skyrocketed in the 1980s, he became a primary advocate for maintaining Harvard's leadership in financial aid, with efforts in development and government advocacy.


Now, more than $90 million in aid is distributed each year.

"People don't realize how precarious things like the financial aid program are," Miller said. "There were periods when Harvard had to think very hard about whether to maintain its financial aid commitment because it was tough, but it did, and it would again."

Currently, the Financial Aid Office is in the hands of a committee of senior admissions officers led by William R. Fitzsimmons '67, dean of admissions and financial aid. Fitzsimmons said he hopes to find a replacement in the next few months, but the process could take as long as a year.

The search will be difficult, especially since the position of director has changed in recent years. The ideal candidate, like Miller, will have to serve as both an administrator and an advocate.

"There wasn't one part of the job in which he wasn't absolutely superb," Fitzsimmons said. "He has been a giant in the financial aid world."

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