Northern State University, as a member of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), adheres to the NASFAA Statement of Ethical Principles. Northern also has adopted a Code of Conduct used to administer federal financial aid programs.
NASFAA Statement of Ethical Principles
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:
• 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.
• 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.
• Maintain the highest level of professionalism, reflecting a commitment to the goals of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
Northern State University Financial Aid Code of Conduct
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires educational institutions to develop and comply with a code of conduct that prohibits conflicts of interest for financial aid personnel [HEOA § 487(a) (25)]. Any Northern State University officer, employee, or agent who has responsibilities with respect to student educational loans must comply with this code of conduct. The following provisions bring Northern State University into compliance with the federal law [HEOA § 487(e)]:
Revenue Sharing: Neither Northern State University as an institution nor any individual officer, employee or agent shall enter into any revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender.
Gifts: No officer or employee of Northern State University who is employed in the financial aid office or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, or agent who has responsibilities with respect to education loans, or any of their family members, shall solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans.
• For purposes of this prohibition, the term “gift” means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan or other item having a monetary value of more than a nominal value.
• Gifts and favorable terms and benefits do not include: a brochure, workshop or training using standard materials relating to a loan, default aversion, or financial literacy, such as a part of a training session. Entrance and exit counseling as long as the institution’s staff are in control of the counseling and the counseling does not promote the services of a specific lender.
Consulting Arrangements: An officer or employee of Northern State University who is employed in the financial aid office or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, or an agent who has responsibilities with respect to education loans, shall not 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.
Interaction with Borrowers: Northern State University 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.
Offers of Funds for Private Loans: Northern State University 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 regarding providing the lender with:
• a specified number of loans made, insured, or guaranteed under Title IV;
• a specified loan volume of such loans; or
• a preferred lender arrangement for such loans.
Staffing Assistance: Northern State University shall not request or accept from any lender any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing.
Advisory Board Compensation: Any employee 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, shall be prohibited from receiving anything of value from the lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors, except that the employee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in serving on such advisory board, commission, or group.