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Arts administration ,
submitted by
Andrew Levine

Student Services Associate


Merit School of Music seeks a skilled communicator and problem-solver to be its next Student Services Associate. The successful candidate will support teachers, parents, and students via excellent collaboration. They will lead the enrollment process, facilitate communication, maintain the student database, and help with other tasks as necessary. This is a salaried, overtime-exempt, results-oriented position where success is measured by meeting deadlines and satisfying stakeholders. A thriving candidate will help recruit and retain new students via Merit's recruitment events and public performances.

Organization Overview

Merit School of Music is a community music school located in Chicago's West Loop. Our primary goals are to help young people transform their lives and experience personal growth through music by providing access to sustained participation. For more than 40 years, we have been home to a diverse community of talented young musicians and have acted as a springboard for achieving full musical and personal potential. Our 125 passionate and experienced teaching artists provide access to high-quality music education, engaging over 3,000 students annually at our downtown location and in area schools and community centers.

Our students, who reflect Chicago's socioeconomic and ethnic diversity, have the rare opportunity to learn together, dream together, teach each other, and broaden their horizons as they build inspiring lives through music. Merit develops musicians and provides young people with the tools they need to excel in life, with virtually 100 percent of our graduates going to a conservatory or college.

Merit School of Music is committed to building a world where historically underrepresented groups can access quality music education. Simultaneously, Merit is continually working towards becoming an organization that reflects the city's demographics and the students we serve. Merit is dedicated to being an inclusive, diverse, equitable, and anti-racist organization and continually examining our efforts in this area.

Reporting Relationship

The Student Services Associate reports to the Director of Student Services.

Essential Duties

Duties of the Student Services Associate include, but are not limited to:

Customer Support – approx. 70%

• Serve as the primary point of contact for student enrollment and customer service

• Provide support to parents, students, staff, and faculty regarding course offerings and curriculum sequencing, programming, billing, scholarship, and financial aid awards

• Consult with families to formulate payment plans when needed

Database Management – approx. 20%

• Collect and maintain accurate student records through ASAP (Merit's student database) for onsite students as well as offsite students in our Merit Music in Communities program

• Lead the process of creating class offerings and course codes for online registration within ASAP

• Liaising with ASAP Customer Support to learn best practices and troubleshoot items

• Running reports in ASAP to use data to answer questions

General Student Services Team Expectations – approx. 10%

• Calculate and adjust student accounts for changes in class schedules and applications of awarded financial aid and scholarships

• Facilitate communication with families with past-due accounts

• Supporting open office hours on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 3:30 PM until 6:30 PM

• Attending recruitment events as assigned to provide registration assistance (mainly during the end-of-semester concert season)

• Participation in Merit-provided professional development training, including anti-bias and management training

• Participation in cross-departmental committees as assigned

Personal Skills, Attributes, & Qualifications

The ideal candidate would possess the following qualifications:

• Prior administrative or customer-facing experience preferred

• Data entry and database maintenance experience preferred

• Comfort listening to Merit's customers, identifying their needs, and providing solutions to their problems in a timely and satisfying manner is required

• Ability to maintain the confidentiality of sensitive student information

• Well-organized and detail-oriented

• Many of our families connect with Merit exclusively by speaking Mandarin or Spanish. These language skills are strongly preferred in this role to better support direct communication with our families.

• Background in music is welcome but not required

• Hubspot (or other CRM) experience is a plus

Educational Requirements

Bachelor's Degree or 1-3 years' administrative support and customer-facing experience preferred.


37.5 hours per week; weekday evenings and Saturday morning/afternoon availability required. Merit School of Music is currently operating in a hybrid model wherein the student services team is expected onsite at Merit on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays to support Merit families at the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center.

COVID-19 Precautions

Merit School of Music requires all employees to provide proof of vaccination and booster shots against COVID-19. Please plan accordingly. Face masks are recommended throughout the Joy Faith Knapp Music Center. Merit invested heavily in its HVAC system to improve ventilation throughout the building.


Merit offers a comprehensive employee benefits package, including the following items:

• Compensation is commensurate with experience and based on a starting salary of $40,000 annually.

• You will be eligible to participate in Merit's employee benefits package on the first of the month of employment following 30 days of employment.

• Merit offers a robust healthcare package including BCBS medical (HMO and PPO options), Delta Dental (HMO and PPO), employee-paid EyeMed vision care, and employee-paid voluntary life insurance coverage.

• One (1) day of paid time off (PTO) earned each month and seven paid holidays in addition to a paid winter break (approximately one week). This will increase to 1.5 PTO days earned per month beginning September 1, 2023

• 401(k) eligibility begins on the first day of the new calendar quarter following one year of employment

Further information on our benefits package and employee policies is available upon request.

How to Apply

To apply, please upload your resume detailing your relevant experience and qualifications for this role using this link. Applications will be accepted through December 11, 2022. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat PDF.

ALAANA/BIPOC people, trans, and gender non-conforming people, and women are encouraged to apply.

For more information about the Merit School of Music, please visit

Merit School of Music is committed to enhancing the diversity of our musical community, recognizing that by providing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environment for our students, we are preparing them for personal and professional success in an increasingly multicultural and global society. The Merit community recognizes that it has a responsibility to create and sustain a learning and working environment where difference is valued and where equity and inclusion are practiced.

Contact Info:
Andrew Levine
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL