John Wood Community College (JWCC) is committed to providing the best possible educational opportunity with excellent customer service to our students and their families. It is our goal to provide accurate information and advice, in keeping with federal requirements, and keep in mind the best interests of our students and their parents. To ensure students and their families continue receiving sound and impartial advice from the financial aid personnel, and to avoid the potential for, or appearance of, conflicts of interest regarding student loans, JWCC shall abide by this Code of Conduct in its relationships with lenders, guarantors and servicers of education loans. It is the intention of JWCC that this Code of Conduct comply with all the letter and spirit of the Higher Education Act, as amended by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008. Any questions regarding interpretation of, or definitions used in, this Code of Conduct should be interpreted in light of this intention.
A. Prohibition of Gifts and Certain Remuneration
B. Limitations on JWCC Personnel Participating in Contracting Arrangements
1. No JWCC official, employee, or agent with education loan responsibilities, shall receive any remuneration from a lender 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. Note that there are some exceptions to this rule:
a. An official or employee of JWCC who is not employed in the Financial Aid Office and who does not have responsibilities related to education loans, may perform paid or unpaid service on a board of directors of a lender, guarantor, or servicer of educational loans;
b. An official or employee of JWCC who is not employed in the Financial Aid Office but who does have responsibility related to education loans may perform paid or unpaid service on a board of directors or a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans, based on conflict of interest policy stating that officers, employees, or agents must excuse themselves from participating in any decision of the board regarding education loans at JWCC.
c. An official or employee of JWCC who is employed in the Financial Aid Office, or who otherwise has responsibilities related to education loans or other student financial aid, 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. However, the employee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in serving on the advisory board, commission, or group.
C. Prohibition of Revenue-Sharing Arrangements.
1. JWCC will not enter into revenue-sharing arrangements with any lenders. A “revenue-sharing arrangement” is an arrangement whereby an educational institution recommends a lender of educational loans, and then in exchange, the lender pays a fee or provides other material benefits, including revenue or profit-sharing, to the institution, an officer or employee of the institution, or an agent.
D. Preferred Lender Lists
1. For any year that JWCC promulgates a list of preferred or recommended lenders or similar ranking or designation (“Preferred Lender List”), on at least an annual basis, the College shall compile, maintain and make available the Preferred Lender List for students attending the College, and the families of such students. In compiling, maintaining and making available the Preferred Lender List, the College shall:
a. Prominently disclose the method and criteria used by the College to select the lenders of the Preferred Lender List, and ensure that such lenders are selected on the basis of the best interest of borrowers;
b. Exercise a duty of care and a duty of loyalty in compiling the Preferred Lender List for the sole benefit of students attending the College, and the families of such students;
c. Clearly and fully disclose the reasons for which the College entered into an agreement with each lender on the Preferred Lender List, including the terms, conditions or provisions favorable to the borrower;
d. Clearly and fully disclose that students attending the College and the families of such students do not have to borrow from a lender on the Preferred Lender List;
e. Ensure that the College does not assign any first-time borrower’s education loans to a particular lender;
f. Ensure that the College does not deny or otherwise impede a borrower’s choice of a lender, or cause unnecessary delay in loan certification for borrowers who choose a lender that is not included on the Preferred Lender list;
g. Ensure that the College does not deny or otherwise impede a borrower’s choice of a guaranty agency, or cause unnecessary delay in loan certification for borrowers who choose a specific guaranty agency;
h. Comply with the provisions of the Higher Education Opportunity Act that relate to ensuring the appropriate number of unaffiliated lenders on the Preferred Lender List; and
i. Comply with any other requirements as the United States Department of Education may prescribe.
E. Prohibition of Lender of Education Loans Staffing of College Financial Aid Offices
a. professional development training for financial aid administrators;
b. providing educational counseling, financial literacy, or debt management materials for borrowers, provided that such materials disclose to borrowers the identification of any lending institution that assisted in preparing or providing the materials.
F. Prohibition of Opportunity Loans
Compliance to the provisions of this rule shall occur no later than August 14, 2008.