Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct
The Minot State University Financial Aid Office has adopted the NASFAA (National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators) statement of Ethical Principles as their Code of Ethics and Code of Conduct.
Code of Ethics
The Statement of Ethical Principles provides that the primary goal of Minot State University’s financial aid professionals 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 post secondary learning.
- Make every effort to assist students with financial need.
- Be aware of the issues affecting students and advocate their interest 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 financial aid profession.
Code of Conduct
Financial aid professionals do not function in a vacuum. First and foremost, they accept an obligation to their institution, and especially its students and families, to manage and interpret the complexities of the student financial assistance process. They must also work collaboratively with state and federal agencies and with private entities such as student loan providers to promote college access and improve student service. Finally, every student financial aid professional must continually be involved in training and professional development to ensure that he or she can provide efficient service that is in strict compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
Institutions employing financial aid professionals increasingly are bound under federal and state law, or voluntarily adopted code of institutional conduct, that bear on the administration of the student financial aid programs in general and the student loan programs in particular. While financial aid professionals cannot dictate institutional conduct, they can and must abide by their own professional standards. Ensuring ethical behavior through established standards and guidance is the most important core principle for self-governance in any profession in order to assure the public of the profession’s integrity. This is a responsibility we embrace.
In consideration of the complexity of the tasks confronting institutional financial aid professionals, the NASFAA Board of Directors has promulgated this Code of Conduct to further guidance respecting the Statement of Ethical Principles. The Code is intended to help guide financial aid professionals in carrying out these 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 conflicts of interest.
The Financial Aid Professionals are 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:
- Refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit.
- Refrain from taking any action he or she believes in 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 a 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 November, 2007