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Code of Conduct for Employees Offering Student Financial Assistance

Code of Conduct for Employees Offering Student Financial Assistance

Authority: 
Academic Affairs and Enrollment Management
Date enacted or revised: 
Enacted January 2016

Purpose:

McNeese State University recognizes that many of its students seek, and rely upon, financial aid and scholarships to achieve their educational goals. Therefore, the University is committed to complying with federal regulations, state laws, and best practices related to administering student financial assistance programs. To this end, the University has adopted this code of conduct for employees offering student financial assistance and expects from all employees the highest level of ethical behavior.
 
Policy:
 
     1. All employees will comply with the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) Statement of Ethical Principles located at   
         www.nasfaa.org/Statement_of_Ethical_Principles and Code of Conduct located at www.nasfaa.org/Code_of_Conduct.
     2. No financial assistance action will be taken by University staff that is for their personal benefit or could be perceived to be a conflict of interest.
  1. Employees will not award aid to themselves or their immediate family members. Staff will refer this task to an institutionally designated person to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
  2. The University does not provide a preferred student loan lender list.
  3. A borrower's choice of a lender will not be denied, impeded, or unnecessarily delayed by the institution.
  4. No amount of cash, gift, or benefit in excess of a de minimis amount shall be accepted by an employee from any applicant, student, 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. Information provided by the financial aid and scholarships offices is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.
     4. 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, or the web address where that information is located.
                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 NASFAA's glossary of award letter terms.
                d. Renewal requirements for each award.
      5. All required consumer information is displayed in a prominent location on the institutional web site and in any printed materials and is labeled as "Consumer Information."
      6. All employees will disclose to their institution any involvement, interest in, or potential conflict of interest with any entity with which the institution has a business relationship.
      7. To ensure the integrity of the student loan program:
                a. University employees will not accept cash, gifts, or benefits from lenders, guarantors, or servicers doing business with, or anticipating doing business with, the university, other than  
                    promotional items of nominal value or food and beverages consumed in the presence of a lender, guarantor, or servicer.
                b. University employees are prohibited from receiving anything of value, including trips, for serving on the advisory board for a lender, guarantor, or servicer.
                c. The University and its employees will not accept financial benefits in return for providing a lender, guarantor, or servicer a competitive advantage or preferential treatment.
                d. The University and its employees will not accept financial benefits from a lender, guarantor, or servicer in return for being placed on a school's lender list.
 
Communication:
 
This information is communicated through the Administrative Advisory Council, the Academic Advisory Council, and the University Policy Page.