Financial Aid Code of Conduct
Westminster College Financial Aid Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct
As members of the Westminster community, we act with integrity; we give first consideration to the objectives and policies of our Institution; we maintain confidentiality; and we comply with legal and professional obligations.
Each member of our community is accountable for his/her own actions, and we are collectively accountable for upholding these standards of behavior and complying with all applicable laws, policies, standards, and regulations. We place the needs of our students at the center of our decision making process.
We abide by the following guiding principles of the financial aid profession. As financial aid professionals, we:
- Serve students seeking assistance from the Financial Aid Office.
- Respect the dignity and protect the privacy of each student and ensure the confidentiality of student records and personal circumstances.
- Provide services that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or economic status.
- Are aware of the issues affecting students and advocate their interests at the institutional, state and federal levels.
- Maintain the highest level of professionalism and ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
We strictly adhere to the Westminster’s Conflict of Interest Policy, and in accordance with our commitment to avoid conflicts of interest and adhere to ethical standards, we abide by the following Code of Conduct:
- We refrain from taking any action or participating in any activity for personal benefit.
- We refrain from taking any action believed to be contrary to law, regulation, or not in the best interests of the students we serve.
- We ensure that the information we provide is accurate, without bias, and without preference linked with actual or potential personal gain
- We ensure equity by applying all need analysis formulas consistently across the institution’s total population of financial aid applicants.
- We do not accept anything of more than nominal value from any lending institution including gifts, compensation, equipment services, expense paid trips, reimbursement for expenses, meal tickets or other incentives or inducements.
- The College’s lender lists are based solely on the best interests of the students or parents who may use the list. We clearly identify and fully disclose the criteria and process used to select lenders. The Financial Aid Office will review and evaluate each lender’s performance regularly and no less than annually.
- We inform students that they have the right and ability to select the lender of their choice regardless of the lender list.
Many of these guiding principles have been articulated in the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (“NASFAA”) “Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct For Institutional Financial Aid Professionals” (revised May 2007)