Illinois Tech's Office of Financial Aid staff is committed to the highest standards of professional conduct. The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires educational institutions to develop and comply with a code of conduct that, among other things, prohibits conflicts of interest for financial aid personnel. All Illinois Tech financial aid officers, employees, and agents who have responsibilities with respect to student educational loans are bound by and must comply with this Code of Conduct. Illinois Tech endorses, adopts and requires adherence by its financial aid officers, employees, and agents to the Code of Conduct. You are invited to contact the Vice Provost for Admissions and Financial Aid if you have any questions regarding the established Code of Conduct.
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Official Code of Conduct
(Modeled After the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) Code of Conduct for Institutional Financial Aid Professionals and modified to comply with the requisite provisions of the HEOA)
All of Illinois Tech's financial aid personnel are expected to always maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct in all aspects within their responsibilities, and includes all dealings with any entities involved 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 will:
- Refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit or that reasonably could appear to be for his or her personal benefit. Employees and agents of the Office of Financial Aid who process loans, scholarships from outside donors, and other monies received for students shall do so in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations, and they shall not solicit, accept, or receive any remuneration or gift from any lender, guarantor, servicer, or agency in connection therewith. Further, Illinois Tech shall not enter into any revenue sharing arrangements with any lender or agency.
For purposes of this Code of Conduct, "gift" means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item having a monetary value of more than a de minimus amount, including services, transportation, lodging, and meals. A gift does not include standard materials, activities or programs related to a loan being provided; food, refreshments, training, or informational materials provided as part of a training session conducted by a lender, guarantor, servicer, or agency intended to improve Illinois Tech's services; favorable terms, conditions, or borrower benefits provided to a student employed by Illinois Tech if comparable terms are provided to all Illinois Tech students; entrance and exit counseling services provided to borrowers as long as Illinois Tech's Office of Financial Aid staff is in control of the counseling and the counseling does not promote one specific lender; philanthropic contributions to Illinois Tech that are unrelated to education loans; or state education grants, scholarships or financial aid funds.
- Refrain from taking any action he or she believes is contrary to law, regulation, or the best interests of the students and parents that he or she serves. The Office of Financial Aid employees' and agents' number one priority is to serve and act in the best interest of Illinois Tech students. In pursuing this goal, employees and agents must remain cognizant of all federal and state regulations and institutional policies and remain in compliance with such regulations and policies, including, without limitation, (i) not accepting any funds to be used for private education loans in exchange for Illinois Tech providing concessions to the private lender, and (ii) not accepting assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing from any lender, guarantor, servicer, or agency, except that Illinois Tech may accept professional development training for its financial aid administrators, counseling, financial literacy, and debt management materials from lenders, guarantors, servicers or agencies as well as short-term, non-recurring staffing assistance during an emergency.
- Ensure that the information he or she provides is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain. Neither the Office of Financial Aid nor any of its employees or agents shall receive personal gain from their interactions with outside lenders, guarantors, servicers, or agencies. To this end, Illinois Tech prohibits receipt of any fees, payments, or other financial benefits for consulting services by any Illinois Tech employee or agent with responsibilities with respect to education loans, provided, however, those Illinois Tech employees and agents not serving in the Office of Financial Aid and having no connections to Illinois Tech's educational loans may serve on the board or directors of a lender, guarantor, servicer or agency.
- Be objective in making decisions and advising Illinois Tech regarding relationships with any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid. Employees shall base their decisions on what is in the best interests of Illinois Tech students as a whole and what is allowable under federal and state law. Again, no employee or agent of the Office of Financial Aid shall solicit, accept, or receive any gifts from any lender, guarantor, servicer, or agency. To this end, Illinois Tech prohibits any employee from assigning a first-time student-borrower's loan to a particular lender, guarantor, servicer or agency and requires authorized Illinois Tech employees to certify, without unnecessary delay, any loan regardless of the lender, guarantor, servicer, or agency a student-borrower selects.
- As a general rule, not serve on any advisory board for any lender, guarantor, servicer or agency that directly relates to student financial aid. Any waiver of this rule must be granted by the Vice Provost for Admissions and Financial Aid. Such a waiver will only be granted if the Vice Provost has determined that such service is in the best interest of Illinois Tech and its students and will not result in a conflict of interest. If a waiver is granted, the individual so serving shall refrain from soliciting, accepting or receiving anything of value from the lender, guarantor, servicers, or agency in connection with the service, except, with the prior approval of the Vice Provost, the reimbursement of reasonable expenses associated therewith may be accepted. The foregoing restriction is not intended to apply to service on boards or committees of other institutions of higher education, associations of institutions of higher education or governmental entities.
- Disclose to Illinois Tech, in the manner required by Illinois Tech's Conflict of Interest and Conflict of Commitment Policy, Procedure No. P-1, any involvement with or interest in any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid. No one in the Office of Financial Aid should have a financial interest in any of the student loan companies in which Illinois Tech does business.
NOTE: The aforementioned provisions are intended to ensure Illinois Institute of Technology's compliance with the federal law [HEOA §§ 487(a)(25), 487(e)].