OFA Code of Conduct
As representatives of Armstrong State University and the State of Georgia, it is vital that all employees in the Office of Financial Aid maintain the trust of current and future students as well as their parents and the public in general. To fulfill that obligation it is vital that this office and the staff employed in it functions in a manner consistent with the highest ethical standards.
In carrying out the official duties and obligations each of us must work for the public good and avoid even the appearance that our actions are motivated by private or personal interest. We must use our authority to further the public interest and not for any financial or other personal benefit beyond the salary compensation and employer-provided benefits we are entitled to receive.
All staff members of the Office of Financial Aid must safeguard their ability to make objective, fair, and impartial decisions and therefore should not accept benefits of any sort under circumstances in which it could be inferred by a reasonable observer that the benefit was intended to influence a pending or future decision or to reward a past decision.
All staff members of the Office of Financial Aid must avoid any conduct, whether in the context of business, financial, or social relationships, which might undermine the public trust, whether that conduct is unethical or presents the appearance of ethical impropriety. To ensure that staff members in the Office of Financial Aid uphold the highest standards of conduct, the following activities are prohibited. This is not intended to be an all-inclusive list and should be considered guidelines which reflect inappropriate activities which should not be undertaken. Activities which are not listed but are unethical or appear to be unethical are also prohibited.
In compliance with the requirements of the Higher Education Opportunity Act (H. R. 4137) as signed into law on August 14, 2008, the following is the Code of Conduct regarding student loans for the Office of Financial Aid at Armstrong State University.
Armstrong State University:
- Does not require students to use a particular lender or in any way limit the choice of lenders for students.
- Does not recommend external lenders to students or their parents, and does not maintain a list of lenders that are preferred over other lenders (we do provide a list of lenders as possible suggestions — which in no way should be recognized as preferring one over another).
- Processes loan applications through any lender a student or parent chooses.
- Does not solicit or accept anything of value from any lender in exchange for any advantage sought by the lender to make educational loans to students enrolled at, or admitted to, the University.
- Prohibits employees of the financial aid office, or any employee who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to educational loans, from taking from any lender any gift worth more than nominal value.
- Prohibits employees of the financial aid office, or any employee who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to educational loans, from entering into any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide to a lender services relating to educational loans.
- Prohibits employees of the financial aid office, or any employee who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to educational loans, who serves on an advisory board (or commission or group) relating to educational loans established by a lender or group of lenders from receiving anything of value from the lender or group of lenders in connection with serving on such advisory board (or commission or group).
- Prohibits external lenders' employees, representatives, or agents from providing staffing services to the financial aid office.
- Prohibits external lenders' employees, representatives, or agents from identifying themselves to students of the University or their parents as employees, representatives or agents of the financial aid office.
- Does not assign for any borrower, through award packaging or other methods, a loan to a particular lender, and does not refuse to certify or delay certification of any loan based on the borrower's selection of a particular lender or guaranty agency.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The intent of this legislation is to protect the rights of students and to ensure the privacy and accuracy of education records. The Act applies to all institutions that are the recipients of federal aid administered by the Secretary of Education. Additional details regarding FERPA can be found at www.ed.gov.
Annual Notice of Privacy
Armstrong State University is covered by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) which is designed to protect the student's rights with regard to educational records maintained by the institution. Under this Act, a student has the following rights:
- The right to inspect and review education records maintained by this institution that pertain to the student;
- The right to challenge the content of records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading or a violation of privacy or other rights; and
- The right to control disclosures from the education records with certain exceptions.
"Education Record" means generally any record maintained by and for Armstrong State University which contains information directly related to the student. However, the records listed in the following category are excluded.
The following records are considered restricted and are not included in the "Education Records" noted above. They are not available for inspection by the student or his representative except as noted.
- Records kept by education personnel which remain in the sole possession of the maker.
- Law enforcement records maintained by Public Safety.
- Employment records which relate exclusively to employment.
- Records of professionals providing medical or psychological treatment to the student. However, the student may have an appropriate professional review of such records.
Student Right to Access of Records
Any student, regardless of age, who is or has been in attendance at Armstrong State University has the right to inspect and review his or her "Education Record" within a reasonable period of time after requesting to do so (not to exceed 45 days). However, the student shall not have access to:
- Financial records of parents.
- Confidential letters or recommendation concerning admissions placed in the record prior to January 1, 1975.
- Letters of recommendation concerning admission, application for employment or honors for which the student has signed a waiver.
- Transcripts received from other institutions. Students may inspect transcripts from other institutions but may not obtain copies of these records. Students may request personal copies of these records from the institutions that issued them.
Any student desiring to inspect his "Education Record" should consult the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official designated as responsible for that part of his record to be inspected.
Release of Information in Education Record
Release of personally identifiable student information will not be allowed without the written consent of the student except as follows:
- Armstrong State University personnel, where such persons have a legitimate educational interest and demonstrate a need to know to the official responsible for the record.
- Officials of other schools where the student seeks to enroll. The student will be notified of the release of such information and will be provided a copy of the record if requested.
- Representatives of Federal Agencies authorized by law to have access to education records, and state education authorities.
- Appropriate persons in connection with a student's application for receipt of financial aid.
- State and local officials to whom information must be released pursuant to a state statute adopted prior to November 19, 1974.
- Organizations conducting studies for the institution.
- Accrediting organizations.
- Parents of a dependent student, as determined by the Internal Revenue
Code of 1954, as amended.
- Necessary persons in emergency situations to protect health and safety.
- Persons designated in subpoenas or court orders. (Records will be released in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. However, every reasonable effort will be made to notify the student in advance of