Code of Conduct for Financial Aid Professionals

Introduction:

The financial aid staff at Lake Erie College always attempts to act in the best interest of the students and their families. We attempt to minimize procedural barriers that often frustrate students and parents in their quest for financial resources. We encourage students to handle their financial affairs in a responsible manner and to become financially literate. Our staff works to help students and parents make the best use of all resources available to help them accomplish their goal of attending and graduating from Lake Erie College. The Office of Financial Aid, in partnership with federal, state and other organizations, coordinates the administration of student financial assistance to ensure equitable and timely delivery of funds to students.

Lake Erie College personnel are expected to comply fully with all relevant laws, as well as with the College's own high standards of integrity and quality. In addition to complying with specific laws or regulations that govern business activities, standards of fairness, honesty and respect for the rights of others will govern the College's conduct at all times.

Lake Erie College financial aid personnel also adhere to the NASFAA Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct which contains principles specific to the financial aid profession.

Consistent with the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act and the NASFAA Statement, Lake Erie College has adopted this Code of Conduct for financial aid professionals.

Code of Conduct Principles:

  1. Neither Lake Erie College nor any employee of Lake Erie College who has responsibilities with respect to financial aid shall enter into any revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender.
  2. Neither Lake Erie College nor any employee of Lake Erie College who has responsibilities with respect to financial aid, nor any members of their families, shall accept any gift from a lender, guarantor or servicer of educational loans. For this purpose, a "gift" means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan or other item having more than de minimus value. However, an employee who serves on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor or group of lenders or guarantors may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in serving on such advisory board, commission or group.
  3. No employee of Lake Erie College who has responsibilities with respect to financial aid shall accept from any lender any fee, payment or other financial benefit as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement.
  4. The preferred lender list offered to our students is chosen based on the best interests of our students and parents who may use the list without regard to the financial interests of the College. Students and parents have the right to select a lender of their choice, regardless of whether such lender appears on the College's lender list.
  5. Lake Erie College shall 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.
  6. Lake Erie College shall 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 institution providing concessions or promises to the lender regarding a number of loans, loan volume, or a preferred lending arrangement for such loans.
  7. Lake Erie College shall not request or accept from any lender any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing.
  8. In addition, Lake Erie College employees who have responsibilities with respect to financial aid shall:
    1. Refrain from taking any action for their personal benefit.
    2. Refrain from taking any action they believe is contrary to law, regulation or the best interests of the students and parents they serve.
    3. Ensure that the information provided is accurate, unbiased and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.
    4. Be objective in making decisions and advising their institution regarding relationships with any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
    5. Refrain from soliciting or accepting anything other than nominal value from any entity (other than an institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loan, including anything of value for serving on an advisory body or as part of a training activity of or sponsored by any such entity.
    6. Disclose to the Director of Financial Aid any involvement with or interest in any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.