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Code of Conduct

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) adds to the Program Participation Agreement a requirement that an institution participating in a Title IV federal loan program develop, publish, administer and enforce a Code of Conduct.  The Code of Conduct applies to all officers and staff in the financial aid office and officers, staff, directors or trustees who have any duties with respect to education loans.

Code of Conduct

Ban on Revenue-Sharing Arrangements

The College of Idaho shall not enter into any revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender.  The term "revenue-sharing arrangement" means an arrangement between an institution and a lender under which

  1. A lender provides or issues a loan that is made, insured, or guaranteed under this title to students attending The College of Idaho or to the families of such students; and
  2. The College of Idaho recommends the lender or the loan products of the lender and in exchange the lender pays a fee or provides other material benefits, including revenue or profit sharing, to The College of Idaho, an officer or employee of The College of Idaho or an agent.
Ban on Gifts

No officer or employee of The College of Idaho who is employed in the financial aid office or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, or agents who have responsibilities with respect to education loans, shall solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor or servicer of education loans.  The term "gift" means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan or other item having a monetary value of more than a de minimus amount. The term includes a gift of services, transportation, lodging or meals, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance or reimbursement after the expense has been incurred.

The term "gift" does not include

  1. Standard material, activities, or programs on issues related to a loan, default aversion, default prevention or financial literacy, such as a brochure, a workshop or training;
  2. Food, refreshments, training or informational material furnished to an officer or employee of an institution, or to an agent, as an integral part of a training session that is designed to improve the service of a lender, guarantor or servicer of education loans to The College of Idaho, if such training contributes to the professional development of the officer, employee or agent;
  3. Favorable terms, conditions and borrower benefits on an education loan provided to a student employed by The College of Idaho if such terms, conditions or benefits are comparable to those provided to all students of The College of Idaho;
  4. Entrance and exit counseling services provided to borrowers to meet The College of Idaho’s responsibilities for entrance and exit counseling as long as The College of Idaho’s staff are in control of the counseling, whether in person or via electronic capabilities and such counseling does not promote the products or services of any specific lender;
  5. Philanthropic contributions to an institution from a lender, servicer or guarantor of education loans that are unrelated to education loans or any contribution from any lender, guarantor or servicer that is not made in exchange for any advantage related to education loans;
  6. State education grants, scholarships or financial aid funds administered by or on behalf of a State.

A gift to a family member of an officer or employee of an institution, to a family member of an agent, or to any other individual based on that individual’s relationship with the officer, employee or agent, shall be considered a gift to the officer, employee or agent if the gift is given with the knowledge and acquiescence of the officer, employee or agent, and the officer, employee or agent has reason to believe the gift was given because of the official position of the officer, employee or agent.

Ban on Staffing Assistance

The College of Idaho shall not request or accept from any lender any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing except for

  1. Professional development training for financial aid administrators;
  2. Providing educational counseling materials, financial literacy materials or debt management materials to borrowers, provided that such materials disclose to borrowers the identification of any lender that assisted in preparing or providing such materials; or
  3. Staffing services on a short-term, nonrecurring basis to assist The College of Idaho with financial aid-related functions during emergencies, including State-declared or federally declared natural disasters, federally declared national disasters and other localized disasters and emergencies identified by the Secretary.
Prohibition on Contracting Arrangements

An officer or employee who is employed in the financial aid office of The College of Idaho 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.

The following arrangements are not prohibited under this policy:

  • An officer or employee of an institution who is not employed in The College of Idaho’s financial aid office and who does not otherwise have responsibilities with respect to education loans, or an agent who does not have responsibilities with respect to education loans, from performing paid or unpaid service on a board of directors of a lender, guarantor or servicer of education loans;
  • An officer or employee of The College of Idaho who is not employed in the financial aid office but who has responsibility with respect to education loans as a result of a position held at The College of Idaho, or an agent who has responsibility with respect to education loans, from performing paid or unpaid service on a board of directors of a lender, guarantor or servicer of education loans, if the institution has a written conflict of interest policy that clearly sets forth that officers, employees or agents must recuse themselves from participating in any decision of the board regarding education loans at The College of Idaho;
  • An officer, employee,or contractor of a lender, guarantor or servicer of education loans from serving on a board of directors, or serving as a trustee, of an institution, if The College of Idaho has a written conflict of interest policy that the board member or trustee must recuse themselves from any decision regarding education loans at The College of Idaho.
Prohibition on Offers of Funds for Private Loans

The College of Idaho shall not request or accept from any lender any offer of funds to be used for private education loans as defined in section 140 of the Truth in Lending Act, including funds for an opportunity pool loan, to students in exchange for The College of Idaho providing concessions or promises regarding providing the lender with

  1. A specified number of loans made, insured or guaranteed under this title;
  2. A specified loan volume of such loans; or
  3. A preferred lender arrangement for such loans.
Interaction with Borrowers

For any first-time borrower The College of Idaho will not assign, through award packaging or other methods, the borrower’s loan to a particular lender not refuse to certify, or delay certification of, any loan based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency.

Advisory Board Compensation

Any employee who is employed in the financial aid office of The College of Idaho, or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans or other student financial aid of The College of Idaho, 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.