Joe Russo was appointed director of financial aid at the University of Notre Dame in 1978 after serving in two similar capacities in upstate New York. In 2005, he became the director of student financial strategies for the University. He is a graduate of Le Moyne and Syracuse University and was named an honorary alumnus of Notre Dame in 1992. Mr. Russo retired from the University at the end of March, 2012.
Mr. Russo, who is now in his 47th year as a financial aid administrator, has served as a consultant for a number of organizations, including the College Board and the U.S. Department of Education, and was the editor of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Journal of Student Financial Aid for 21 years. He was a charter member of the NCAA Committee on Financial Aid and Amateurism and has testified before the U.S. Congress on major public policy issues related to student aid. Mr. Russo has been involved in training throughout his entire career. In 2004 he was named to the College Scholarship Service Hall of Fame by the College Board. He also serves on the Board of Directors for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, Scholarship America, and the Independent 529 Program. He has published two books on student aid for Random House and in the summer of 2006 he served as a fellow at New College of Oxford University as a consultant for higher education pricing and student aid policies for the United Kingdom. Another book entitled Student Financial Aid: Lessons for the UK from the US was published in 2007 by the Centre for Higher Education Studies at Oxford. In October 2007, Mr. Russo was appointed by the White House to a federal commission charged with advising Congress on matters of access to and affordability of American higher education.