Financial aid is ﬁnancial assistance provided to eligible students through the Ofﬁce of Student Financial Aid in the form of grants, loans, part-time work, and scholarships to help pay the cost of attending college. Financial aid is routed through federal, state, and local agencies and programs. These may include scholarships, Federal Pell Grants, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grants (FSEOG), Montana Higher Education Grant (MHEG), Montana Tuition Assistance Program (MTAP), Federal Work-Study Program (FWS), and Federal Stafford Loans. Aid eligibility is determined by a formula established by the Department of Education and an analysis of the family’s ﬁnancial information and demonstrated need. Additionally, students must be seeking a degree or certiﬁcate to obtain ﬁnancial aid. Financial Aid Applications can be obtained from the Financial Aid Ofﬁce at Salish Kootenai College.
Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct
Financial Aid Office
Statement of Policy:
The staff of the Salish Kootenai College (SKC) Office of Financial Aid is committed to the highest standards of ethical principle and conduct. All financial aid decisions and/or actions made on behalf of Salish Kootenai College will be in compliance with Department of Education regulations and existing laws at all federal, state, and tribal levels. All financial aid employees of Salish Kootenai College will remain committed to acting in the best interests of the students and ensuring that business practices are consistent with that principle and existing law. The Office of Financial Aid will continue to be committed to the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators Statement of Ethnical Principles adopted in April 1999.
In accordance with the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA), the SKC Office of Financial Aid personnel shall:
- Refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit or that reasonably could appear to be for his or her personal benefit.
- Make every effort to assist students with financial need.
- Protect the privacy of students and assure 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.
- Recognize the need and provide professional development and continuing education opportunities.
- Commit to the highest level of ethnical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
- Maintain the highest level of professionalism, reflecting a commitment to the goals of the National Association of Student
Financial Aid Director
Salish Kootenai College
Statement of Loan Code of Conduct
All Salish Kootenai College (SKC) employees who are in any way responsible for the administration of student educational loans will adhere to the Salish Kootenai College Student Loan Code of Conduct. This includes all Financial Aid staff, supervisors of Financial Aid administrators and Business Office staff who deal with loans and anyone who otherwise has responsibility or authority or are involved in decision making regarding student loans.
The Higher Education Opportunity Act (Public Law 110-315) (HEOA) was enacted on August 14, 2008, and reauthorizes the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA). On October 28, 2009, the Department published in the Federal Register final regulations regarding Institutions and Lender Requirements Relating to Education Loans, to implement requirements relating to education loans that were added to the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended (HEA) by the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA). The Secretary also amends the regulations for Student Assistance General Provisions, the Federal Perkins Loan (Perkins Loan) Program, the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program, and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan (Direct Loan) Program to implement certain provisions of the HEA that involve school-based loan issues and that were affected by the statutory changes made to the HEA by the HEOA. These regulations are effective July 1, 2010.
Because these changes included transfer of all federal lending and servicing activities from the FFEL loan program to the Department of Education Direct Loan Servicing program, Salish Kootenai College no longer certifies any FFEL loans, and there is no longer a preferred lender list for FFEL loans. Also, Salish Kootenai College does not certify any private or alternative student loans, so there is no preferred lender list for private or alternative student loans. The following code of conduct remains in force in general to comply with regulation; i.e., The Higher Education Opportunity Act of August 14, 2008 includes provisions that campuses participating in Federal Student Aid loan programs publish a code of conduct which describes prohibited practices related to loan programs. To avoid any conflict of interest with the responsibilities of Salish Kootenai College employee with respect to student loans, the Salish Kootenai College Code of Conduct prohibits the following:
- SKC employees should receive no personal benefit.No officer, trustee or employee of Salish Kootenai College shall accept anything of more than nominal value on his or her behalf or on behalf of another person or entity from any Lending Institution. For example, cash, stocks, gifts, entertainment, expense-paid trips, etc. should never be accepted from a Lending Institution. Likewise, an individual should never receive payment or reimbursement from a Lending Institution for lodging, meals or travel to conferences or training seminars. However, an officer, trustee or employee of SKC may:
- conduct non-SKC business with any Lending Institution and, subject to state law, receive value in connection with such non-SKC business, so long as such value is not intended to influence the officer, trustee or employee in conducting SKC business;
- conduct SKC business and, subject to state law, receive value on behalf of the SKC that is unrelated to the student loan activities of the Lending Institution;
- attend conferences and meetings of tax-exempt organizations that are funded or sponsored by more than one entity and, subject to state law, receive materials, refreshments, and other things of like value provided at such professional conferences and meetings; and,
- hold membership in, serve on the board of or participate in the activities of any tax-exempt organization and, subject to state law, receive travel reimbursements and other things of like value from the tax-exempt organization for such activities.
- SKC employees should not serve on lender advisory boards for remuneration.No officer, trustee or employee of SKC who makes financial aid decisions for SKC or who is employed in, supervises or otherwise has responsibility or authority over SKC financial aid office shall receive any remuneration for serving as a member or participant of a student loan advisory board of a Lending Institution or any reimbursement of expenses for such service. Any officer, trustee or employee of SKC who serves as a member or participant of a Lending Institution board shall recuse himself or herself from any board discussions regarding the SKC financial aid operations, if any.
- SKC should not provide any advantage to a Lending Institution. SKC shall not accept anything of value from any Lending Institution in exchange for any advantage or consideration provided to the Lending Institution related to its student loan activities, including but not limited to revenue-sharing, printing costs or below-cost computer hardware or software. Likewise, SKC shall not allow any Lending Institution to: (a) staff the SKC financial aid office at any time; or (b) communicate with the SKC students or their parents in such a manner as to create the impression that the Lending Institution is an employee or agent of SKC in connection with SKC student financial aid operations, including through the use of mascots, logos, etc. Finally, SKC shall not enter into any agreement with a Lending Institution to provide alternative (i.e., non-federal or “opportunity”) student loan programs if the provision of such alternative loan programs prejudices other students or parents.
- SKC should make appropriate use of any Preferred Lender Lists.If SKC decides to promulgate a list or lists of preferred or recommended lenders for private or alternative student loans or similar ranking or designation (“Preferred Lender List”), the selection of Lending Institutions for inclusion on the Preferred Lender List shall be based on the best interests of SKC students and their parents without regard to the financial interests of SKC.
In addition, any Preferred Lender List shall clearly explain:
Students and their parents are free to select the Lending Institution of their choice and will suffer no penalty imposed by SKC from using a Lending Institution that is not a “preferred lender”;
Students and their parents are not required to use any of the “preferred lenders”; Where to find information on other Lending Institutions for student loans; SKC will promptly certify any loan from any Lending Institution selected by a borrower, in accordance with U.S. Department of Education regulations; The process SKC utilized to select “preferred lenders,” including but not limited to the criteria used and the relative importance of such criteria; In the event a Preferred lender list for alternative or private loans is established at some future date, any preferred lender on the list must provide to the school and to the students:
- Where to find information on other Lending Institutions for student loans;
- Where to find information on the competitive interest rates, terms, and conditions of federal loans;
- Where to find information on the interest rate, loan servicing or other benefits offered by “preferred lenders”; and,
- Where to find information on any agreements by “preferred lenders” to sell their loans to other Lending Institutions
In the event a Preferred Lender list is established, Salish Kootenai College shall review its Preferred Lender List on an annual basis to determine that the information appearing on the list is accurate and that any website links are still viable. NOTE: Because Salish Kootenai College does not participate in the administration of private or alternative loans, nor does it certify private or alternative loans, Salish Kootenai College does not provide a preferred lender list for private educational loans. In the event that a private or alternative loan is ever certified by SKC, students who choose to borrow privately should contact his or her bank, credit union, or other lender and carefully compare terms and rates.
- Lending Institution is any entity (other than an institution of higher education or a governmental entity such as the U.S. Department of Education) involved in the making, holding, consolidating or processing of any student loans.
- The institution may accept any assistance that is authorized by 34 C.F.R. 682.200(b)(5)(i) (definition of “Lender”).
- The institution also shall not place a Lending Institution of a private or alternative loan on a Preferred Lender List for a particular type of student loan in exchange for benefits provided to SKC, its students or their parents in connection with a different type of student loan.