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Financial Aid Statement Of Ethical Principles & Code Of Conduct
Statement of Ethical Principles
The primary goal of Urbana University’s Financial Aid office is to help students fulfill their educational goals by providing access to appropriate financial resources. The following statement, based on that of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA), serves as a common foundation for accepted standards of conduct.
The Financial Aid Professional shall:
- Be committed to removing financial barriers for those who wish to pursue postsecondary learning.
- Make every effort to assist students with financial need.
- Be aware of the issues affecting students and advocate their interests at the institutional, state, and federal levels.
- Support efforts to encourage students, as early as the elementary grades, to aspire to and plan for education beyond high school.
- Educate students and families through quality consumer information.
- Respect the dignity and protect the privacy of students, and ensure the confidentiality of student records and personal circumstances.
- Ensure equity by applying all need analysis formulas consistently across the institution's full population of student financial aid applicants.
- Provide services that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or economic status.
- Recognize the need for professional development and continuing education opportunities.
- Promote the free expression of ideas and opinions, and foster respect for diverse viewpoints within the profession.
- Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
- Maintain the highest level of professionalism, reflecting a commitment of Urbana University's Values: Excellence, Lifelong Learning, Service, Integrity, and Respect for Others.
Financial aid professionals work within vastly differing institutional environments and share decision-making authority regarding financial aid policy, practices, and procedures. NASFAA strongly encourages each financial aid professional to engage his or her institutional colleagues so that there is common understanding regarding the conduct of their respective obligations.
Code of Conduct
Financial Aid professionals are expected to maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct in all aspects of their work including all dealings with any entity involved (in any manner) in student financial aid. Such entities may include that which are involved in a government sponsored, subsidized, or regulated activity.
The Financial Aid Professional shall:
- Refrain from taking any action for his or her personal benefit.
- Refrain from taking any action he or she believes is contrary to law, regulation, or the best interests of the students and parents he or she serves.
- Ensure that the information he or she provides is accurate, unbiased, and does not reflect any preference arising from actual or potential personal gain.
- Be objective in making decisions and advising his or her institution regarding relationships with any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
- Refrain from soliciting or accepting anything of other than nominal value from 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, including anything of value (including reimbursement of expenses) for serving on an advisory body or as part of a training activity of or sponsored by any such entity.
- Disclose to his or her institution in such manner as his or her institution may prescribe any involvement with or interest in any entity involved in any aspect of student financial aid.
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Other Financial Aid-related forms can be obtained by contacting the Financial Aid Office. These forms include:
- Dependency Override Appeal
- Homeless/At-Risk Form
- Legal guardianship/Emancipated Minor Form
- Non-Degree Statement of Purpose for Post-Baccalaureate
- Permanent Disability Discharge Form
- Parental Non-disclosure Application Form
- Proof of Prior Aid Cancellation Form
- Special Circumstances Appeal
- Unusual Enrollment History Appeal
- Ward of Court/Orphan Form
Entrance counseling is required by federal regulations for all first-time borrowers at a school. It gives an overview of the Federal Loans Program and discusses specific topics related to types of loans, interest rates, borrower rights and responsibilities, etc. This counseling session can provide tips and tools for you to develop a budget for managing educational expenses. Loan Entrance Counseling documents can be accessed from the Documents & Forms page.
Exit counseling is federally mandated when you have stopped attending school or have dropped below half-time, regardless of whether you intend on returning. Student Loan Exit Counseling can be accessed from the Documents & Forms page.
Both Subsidized and Unsubsidized Direct Federal Loans are funded through the Federal Direct Loan program and administered by the federal government.
- Subsidized Loan - the federal government pays the interest on your Subsidized loan while you are enrolled at least half-time. Eligibility for Subsidized Loans is determined by financial need, are for a limited eligibility period, and are available to students seeking an undergraduate degree.
Unsubsidized Loan - you are responsible for your Unsubsidized loan while enrolled in school. You have the option to pay the interest or defer the payment until after graduation. Eligibility for Unsubsidized loans is available to both undergraduate and graduate level students.
Yes. There are federally mandated aggregate limits that you cannot exceed, dependent on grade level and dependency status. For more information see Types of Aid.
No. While all grant funds are automatically accepted for you, you are able to accept a reduced amount of funds based on your discretion. Please note the following stipulations:
- The funds must be divided evenly over all of the packaged terms in an academic year.
- The minimum loan amount you can accept is $200.
- All subsidized funds must be accepted before accepting/reducing unsubsidized loans.
In order to reduce funds, you need to indicate the revised amount on your award letter or notate a full decline of a loan. Please contact a Financial Aid Counselor if you have any questions about reducing your loan amounts.