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SFA Code of Conduct

Code of Conduct for Student Financial Aid Professionals

The Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) requires higher education institutions participating in student loan programs to develop and publish a Code of Conduct. Medical University of South Carolina is an institutional member of the National Association for Financial Aid Administrators.

NASFAA Statement of Ethical Principles

Financial Aid Administrators shall:

  • Advocate for Students
  • Manifest the highest level of integrity
  • Support student access and success
  • Comply with federal and state laws
  • Strive for transparency and clarity
  • Protect the privacy of financial aid applicants

NASFAA members ensure that:

1. No action will be taken by financial aid staff that is for their personal benefit or could be perceived to be a conflict of interest.

a. Employees within the financial aid office will not award aid to themselves or their immediate family members. Staff will reserve this task to an institutionally designated person, to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.

b. If a preferred lender list is provided, it will be compiled without prejudice and for the sole benefit of the students attending the institution. The information included about lenders and loan terms will be transparent, complete, and accurate. The complete process through which preferred lenders are selected will be fully and publicly disclosed. Borrowers will not be auto-assigned to any particular lender.

c. A borrower's choice of a lender will not be denied, impeded, or unnecessarily delayed by the institution, even if that lender is not included on the institution's preferred lender list.

d. No amount of cash, gift, or benefit in excess of a de minimis amount shall be accepted by a financial aid staff member from any financial aid applicant (or his/her family), or from any entity doing business with or seeking to do business with the institution (including service on advisory committees or boards beyond reimbursement for reasonable expenses directly associated with such service).

2. Information provided by the financial aid office is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.

3. Institutional financial aid offers and/or other institutionally provided materials shall include the following:

a. Breakdown of individual components of the institution's Cost of Attendance, designating all potential billable charges.

b. Clear identification of each aid being offered, indicating type of aid, i.e. gift aid (grant, scholarship), work, or loan.

c. Standard terminology and definitions, using NASFAA's glossary of terms.

d. Renewal requirements for each aid being offered.

4. All required consumer information is displayed in a prominent location on the institutional web site(s) and in any printed materials, easily identified and found, and labeled as "Consumer Information."

5. Financial aid professionals will disclose to their institution any involvement, interest in, or potential conflict of interest with any entity with which the institution has a business relationship.
MUSC Code of Conduct

The University also established a Code of Conduct which employees are expected to conduct themselves professionally in the workplace. This is reinforced through annual compliance training and employees sign an annual conflict of interest statement.

For more information, please contact the Student Financial Aid office at finaid@musc.edu or (843) 792-2536.