The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) enacted August 14th 2008, established a requirement that an institution participating in a Title IV Loan program must develop, publish, administer, and enforce a code of conduct. The Code of conduct applies to the officers, employees, and agents of the institution. Violation of this code may result in termination. The Code of Conduct as it applies to members of the Financial Aid and Scholarships office is as follows.
Staff members in the Financial Aid and Scholarships office at the University of Utah will not engage in:
- Revenue-sharing arrangements with any lender. This is defined as any arrangement between a school and a lender that results in the lender paying a fee or other benefits, including a share of the profits, to the school, it's officers, employees or agents, as a result of the school recommending the lender to its students or families of those students. Receiving of gifts from any lender, guaranty agency or loan servicer. This is not limited to just those providers of Title IV loans. The statutory language refers to lender of "educational loan." thus, private education loans offered to students at our institution are covered in this provision as well. The law does provide for some exceptions related to specific types of activities or literature, which include:
- Brochures are training material related to default aversion of financial literacy.
- Food, training of informational materials as part of training as long as training contributes to the professional development of those individuals attending the training.
- Entrance and exit counseling as long as the institution's staff are in control and they do not promote the services of a specific lender.
- Philanthropic contributions lender, guarantee agency or servicer unrelated to education loans.
- State education grants, scholarships, or financial aid funds administered by or on behalf of the state.
- Contract arrangements whereby any employee of the University of Utah Financial Aid and Scholarships office accepts any fee payment of financial benefit as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or contract to provide services to or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
- Steering borrowers to particular lenders, or delay loan certification.
- Requesting or accepting offers of funds for private loans. This includes any offer of funds for loans to students at the institution, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, in exchange for providing concessions of promises to the lender for a specific number of loans, or inclusion on a preferred lender list.
- Requesting or accepting any assistance with call center staffing, or financial aid
office staffing. However, the law does not prohibit schools from requesting or accepting
assistance form a lender related to:
- Professional development training for financial aid administrators.
- Providing educational counseling material, financial literacy material, or debt management material to borrowers, provided that such material disclose to borrowers the identification of any lender that assisted in preparing or providing such materials.
- Staffing services on short-term, nonrecurring basis to assist the school with financial-aid related functions during emergencies, including state declared or federally declared natural disasters, and other localized disasters and emergencies identified by the Secretary.
- Receiving anything of value from a lender, guarantor, or group in exchange for service on an advisory board or the like. They may however accept reimbursement for reasonable expenses incurred while serving in this capacity.
- Awarding and/or processing of financial aid or scholarship funds to oneself or family members(s).