The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign has adopted this Student Loan Code of Conduct to serve as the formal guiding principles in insuring the integrity of the student aid process and ethical conduct of employees in regard to student loan practices.
The Student Loan Code of Conduct applies to all employees who work in the Office of Student Financial Aid and all other University of Illinois employees, including agents of the university, who have responsibilities related to educational loans or other forms of student financial aid. The Student Loan Code of Conduct has been established to meet the requirements contained in the 2008 Higher Education Opportunity Act. Items in this Code of Conduct provide additional standards of conduct for employees with responsibility for student financial aid and do not replace any existing or future requirements imposed by the State of Illinois or the University of Illinois related to codes of conduct, conflict of interest policies, ethics training, or other such requirements.
The Student Loan Code of Conduct also confirms that the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign does not have preferred lender arrangements of any kind or a preferred lender list.
- Revenue Sharing—The University of Illinois and its employees will not enter into any type of revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender, guarantor, or servicer.
- Gifts—Employees of the Office of Student Financial Aid are prohibited from soliciting or accepting any gift from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans. Gifts include any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, or other item. This 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 incurred. Gifts to family members of a University of Illinois employee are considered to be a gift to the employee if the gift is given with the knowledge and consent of the employee and there is reason to believe the gift was given because of the official position of that employee.
- Contracting Arrangements—Employees of the Office of Student Financial Aid shall not accept from any lender or affiliate of any lender any fee, payment, or other financial benefit (including opportunity to purchase stock) as compensation for any consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.
- Preferred Lender Status—The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign participates in the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program, which provides student and parent loans through the U.S. Department of Education. Lenders in the private student loan industry will not be given a preferred status. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign does not have any preferred lender arrangements that give any lender an advantage in securing business from our students. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign does not provide students a preferred lender list from which to select a lender for a private student loan. All loans are processed without regard to lender or mode of transmission (i.e., electronic or paper). The University of Illinois will neither recommend a private loan lender nor accept material benefits including revenue or profit sharing to the institution, an officer, or an employee of the institution or an agent.
- Private Loan Certification—The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will not assign a borrower’s private student loan to a particular lender; all decisions will be made by the borrower in his or her independent review of borrower benefits and lender services. The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will not refuse to certify or delay certification of any loan based on the borrower’s selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency.
- Opportunity Pool Loan—The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will 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 University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign providing concessions or promises regarding providing the lender with (i) a specified number of federal loans made, insured or guaranteed; (ii) a specified federal loan volume; or (iii) a preferred lender arrangement for such loans.
- Staffing Assistance—The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign will not request or accept from any lender, guarantor, or servicer of student loans any assistance with call center staffing or financial aid office staffing.
- Advisory Board Compensation—Employees of the Office of Student Financial Aid who serve on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors are 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.