Ethics for Financial Aid Professionals
The Montana Tech, Financial Aid Office Statement of Ethical Principles provides that the primary goal of the institutional financial aid professional is to help students achieve their educational goals through financial support and resources. Financial Aid Professionals are required to exemplify the highest level of ethical behavior and demonstrate the highest level of professionalism. To this end, this Statement provides that the financial aid professional shall:
Advocate for Students
- Remain aware of the issues affecting students and continually advocate for their interest at the institutional, state and federal levels.
- Support federal, state and institutional efforts to encourage students, as early as the elementary grades, to aspire to and plan for education beyond high school.
- Make every effort to assist students with financial need.
Manifest the highest level of integrity
- Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
- Deal with others honestly and fairly, abiding by our commitments and always acting in a manner that merits the trust and confidence others have placed in us.
- Respect the dignity and protect the privacy of students, and ensure the confidentiality of student records and personal circumstances.
- Promote the free expression of ideas and opinions, and foster respect for diverse viewpoints within the profession.
- Maintain the highest level of professionalism, reflecting a commitment to the goals of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, the Rocky Mountain Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Montana Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
Support student access and success
- Be committed to removing financial barriers for those who wish to pursue postsecondary learning and support each student admitted to our institution.
- Without charge, assist students in applying for financial aid funds.
- Provide services and apply principles that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age or economic status.
- Understand the need for financial education and commit to educate students and families on how to responsibly mange expenses and debt.
Comply with federal and state laws
- Adhere to all applicable laws and regulations governing federal, state and institutional financial aid programs.
- Actively participate in ongoing professional development and continuing education programs to ensure ample understanding of statues, regulations and best practices governing the financial aid programs.
- Encourage colleagues to participate in the financial aid professional associations available to them at the state, regional or national level and offer assistance to other aid professionals as needed.
Strive for transparency and clarity
- Provide our students and parents with the information they need to make good decisions about attending and paying for college.
- Educate students and families through quality information that is consumer-tested when possible. This includes (but is not limited to) transparency and full disclosure on award notices.
- Ensure equity by applying all need analysis formulas consistently across the institution’s full population of student financial aid applicants.
- Inform students and parents of any changes in financial aid programs that could affect their student aid eligibility.
Protect the privacy of financial aid applicants
- Ensure that student and parent private information provided to the financial aid office by financial aid applicants is protected in accordance with all state and federal statues and regulations, including FERPA and the Higher Education Act, Section 483(a)(3)(E) (20 U.S.C 1090).
- Protect the information on the FAFSA from inappropriate use by ensuring that this information is only used for the application, award, and administration of aid awarded under Title IV of Higher Education Act, state aid, or aid awarded by eligible institutions.