Ethical Principles Adhered to by Student Financial Services
- National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) Statement of Ethical Principles
- Code of Conduct for Institutional Financial Aid Professionals
- SUNY Code of Conduct
The primary goal of the financial aid professional is to help students achieve their educational potential by providing appropriate financial resources. To this end, this statement provides the financial aid professional with a set of principles that serves as a common foundation for accepted standards of conduct. The staff of Student Financial Services at Empire State College follows these principles and the code of conduct outlined by NASFAA.
Statement of Ethical Principles
The financial aid professional shall:
- be committed to removing financial barriers for those who wish to pursue postsecondary learning.
- make every effort to assist students with financial need.
- be aware of the issues affecting students and advocate their interests at the institutional, state and federal levels.
- support efforts to encourage students, as early as the elementary grades, to aspire to, and plan for, education beyond high school.
- educate students and families through quality consumer information.
- respect the dignity and protect the privacy of students, and ensure the confidentiality of student records and personal circumstances.
- ensure equity by applying all need analysis formulas consistently across the institution's full population of student financial aid applicants.
- provide services that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or economic status.
- award only those race-based scholarships that support the institution's mission and do not place a burden on nonminority students.
- recognize the need for professional development and continuing education opportunities.
- promote the free expression of ideas and opinions, and foster respect for diverse viewpoints within the profession.
- commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
- conduct periodic review of all institutional policies to ensure all ethical principles are being met.
- maintain the highest level of professionalism, reflecting a commitment to the goals of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
Adopted April 1999
An institutional financial aid professional is expected to always maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct in all aspects of carrying out his or her responsibilities, specifically including all dealings with any entities involved in any manner in student financial aid, regardless of whether such entities are involved in a government sponsored, subsidized or regulated activity.
The financial aid professional shall:
- refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit.
- refrain from taking any action he or she believes is contrary to law, regulation, or the best interests of the students and parents he or she serves.
- ensure that the information he or she provides is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.
- be objective in making decisions and advising his or her institution regarding relationships with any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
- refrain from soliciting or accepting anything of other than nominal value from any entity (other than an institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the U.S. Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loans, including anything of value (including reimbursement of expenses) for serving on an advisory body or as part of a training activity of, or sponsored by, any such entity.
- disclose to his or her institution, in such manner as his or her institution may prescribe, any involvement with, or interest in, any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
Adopted by Board of Directors, May 2007
Student Loan Practices Code of Conduct: Please note that this pertains to FFELP loans awarded prior to the 2009-2010 school year and to alternative loans. As of the 2009-2010 school year, all Stafford loans are processed through the Direct Loan Program.
Empire State College works diligently to ensure that its officers, employees and agents avoid conflicts of interest in connection with their responsibilities relating to providing and administering student loans for our students. In accordance with state and federal law, you should be aware that the following activities are prohibited. Some of these prohibitions involve technical definitions which can be found by referring to the applicable state and federal law. If you wish to obtain this information, please contact the Financial Aid office.
- Empire State College does not enter into any revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender.
- No officer, employee or agent of Empire State College who is employed in the Financial Aid office or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, will solicit or accept any gift or other thing of value from a lender, guarantor, or loans or servicer of education loans. You should be aware that certain items provided or contributed by lenders are not considered gifts, such as training materials, philanthropic contributions unrelated to education loans, and entrance and exit counseling services.
- No officer, employee or agent of Empire State College who is employed in the Financial Aid office or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans will accept from any lender or affiliate of any lender, any fee, payment, or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
- Empire State College will not, for any first-time borrower, assign, through award packaging or other methods, the borrower’s loan to a particular lender or refuse to certify, or delay certification of, any loan based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency.
- Empire State College will not request or accept from any lender, any offer of funds to be used for private education loans, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, to students in exchange for the campus providing concessions or promises regarding providing the lender with a specified number of loans made, insured, or guaranteed, a specified loan volume, or a preferred lender arrangement for such loans.
- Empire State College does not request or accept from any lender any assistance with call center staffing or Financial Aid office staffing.
- No employee of Empire State College who is employed in the Financial Aid office or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans or other student financial aid and who serves on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors, will receive anything of value from the lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors for such service.
Draft Version adopted November 2008