Financial Aid and Scholarships Code of Conduct
North Dakota State University, Student Financial Services, is committed to the highest standards of professional conduct. As active institutional members of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), Student Financial Services staff members prescribe and adhere to NASFAA’s "Statement of Ethical Principles" and "Code of Conduct". Staff members are committed to providing our students and parents with unbiased loan and financial information. These "rules" are intended to help guide financial aid professionals in carrying out their obligations, particularly with regard to ensuring transparency in the administration of the student financial aid programs, and to avoid the harm that may arise from actual, potential, or perceived conflict of interest.
Statement of Ethical Principles
The Statement of Ethical Principles provides that the primary goal of the institutional financial aid professional is to help students achieve their educational potential by providing appropriate financial resources. To this end, this Statement provides that the financial aid professional shall:
Code of Conduct
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. In doing so, a financial aid professional should:
Recently, the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 legislated requirements which prohibits a conflict of interest with the responsibilities of an officer, employee, or agent of the school regarding Title IV loans.
The term "employees" refers to any of the school’s officers, employees and agents who are employed in Student Financial Services or who have responsibilities with respect to student loans or who have responsibilities with respect to student loans related to Title IV education loans or private loans for educational purposes.
The Code of Conduct establishes that:
Employees shall not enter into any revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender where the lender provides or issues a Title IV loan to the student or student’s family in exchange for the school recommending the lender or the lender’s loan products in exchange for a fee or material benefit including profit or revenue sharing that benefits the school or a school’s employee or agent.
Employees shall not solicit or accept any gift in the form of a gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, service, transportation, lodging, meals, reimbursement, or other item having a monetary value of more than a nominal amount from a lender, guarantor, or servicer.
Employees must not accept any fee, payment, or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) from a lender as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender.
The school shall not request or accept funds from any lender for private education loans including funds for an opportunity pool loan to it students in exchange for the school providing promises of a specified loan number or volume or a preferred lender arrangement for educational loans.
Employees shall not assign, through award packaging or other methods, a first-time borrower’s loan to a particular lender or refuse or delay processing of a loan based on the borrower’s selection of a lender or guarantor.
Employees shall not accept or request any assistance with call center or financial aid office staffing from any lender except as allowed by law.
Employees who serve on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors, shall be prohibited from receiving anything of value from the lender, guarantor, group of lenders or guarantors. However, the employee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in serving on the advisory board, commission, or group.