3.27 Financial Aid Code of Conduct

The Board of Trustees believes opportunities for higher education should not depend upon a student’s financial circumstances and that when students choose to take advantage of available financial assistance programs, they should fully understand and be provided assistance to self-manage their financial information. Therefore, the board authorizes the president to establish regulations governing the administration of financial aid to students.
Procedures (Adopted 12/7/2015):
3.27.1 Conflict of Interest
No action will be taken by financial aid staff that is for their personal benefit or that could be perceived to be a conflict of interest.
a. Employees within the financial aid office will not award aid to themselves or their immediate family members. Staff will reserve this task to an institutionally designated person to avoid any conflict of interest or the appearance of a conflict of interest.
b. If a preferred lender list is provided, it will be compiled without prejudice and for the sole benefit of the students attending the institution. The information included about lenders and loan terms will be transparent, complete, and accurate. The complete process through which preferred lenders are selected will be fully and publically disclosed. Borrowers will not be auto-assigned to any particular lender.
c. A borrower’s choice of a lender will not be denied, impeded, or unnecessarily delayed by the institution, even if that lender is not included on the institution’s preferred lender list.
d. No amount of cash, gift, or benefit in excess of $25 or combination of gifts from one source over the course of a one-year period which totals more than $25 shall be accepted by a financial aid staff member from any financial aid applicant (or his/her family), or from any entity doing business with or seeking to do business with the institution (including service on advisory committees or boards beyond reimbursement for reasonable expenses directly associated with such service).

3.27.2 Information Provided
Information provided by the financial aid office shall be accurate, unbiased, and shall not reflect preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.

3.27.3 Award Notifications
Institutional award notifications and/or other institutionally provided materials shall include the following:
a. A breakdown of individual components of the institution’s Cost of Attendance, designating all potential billable charges.
b. Clear identification of each award, indicating type of aid, i.e. gift aid (grant, scholarship), work, or loan.
c. Standard terminology and definitions, using the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators’ glossary of award letter terms.
d. Renewal requirements for each award.

3.27.4 Consumer Information
All required consumer information shall be displayed in a prominent location on the institutional web site(s) and in any printed materials, easily identified and found, and labeled as “Consumer Information.”

3.27.5 Disclosure
Financial aid professionals will disclose to the College any involvement, interest in, or potential conflict of interest with any entity with which the College has a business relationship.

(Adopted 12/7/2015)