The purpose of the federal student loan program is to provide the best possible loan terms for students and parents who borrow to help finance higher education. ASU Students and families receive trustworthy, reliable guidance from our institution about financial aid. The university’s first priority in conducting business with student loan providers is to ensure they have services that provide for the best interests of student and parent borrowers.
The following guidelines are a framework to provide the best possible loan servicing and terms for the students served by ASU and to avoid conflicts or the appearance of conflicts of interest.
- Arkansas State University is prohibited from receiving anything of value from any lending institution in exchange for any advantage sought by the lending institution. This prohibits any inappropriate financial arrangements between lenders and the university and specifically prohibits "revenue sharing" arrangements. Lenders cannot pay to get on the university’s recommended lender list.
- ASU employees are prohibited from accepting anything of more than nominal value from any lending institution. This includes a prohibition for financial aid officers and other university officials from trips, catered meals, golf outings, etc paid for by lenders.
- Financial Aid personnel do not participate on lender advisory boards, but may certainly discuss student loan services and products for ASU students and parents with lenders.
- The university’s list of recommended lenders must be based solely on the best interests of the students or parents who may use the list, without regard to financial interests of the university. This ensures that lenders will be those the university has determined offer the best loan services that are compatible with the needs of students/parents and the university’s automated student loan systems. The recommended lender list should be prominently displayed on the campus website.
- The process by which lenders are selected must be fully disclosed to students. The process should be prominently displayed on the campus website. Students should also be informed that they have the right to use a lender of their own choosing. ASU will continue to ask students to name their preferred lender at the onset of the student loan process for each new borrower.
- The university must ensure that employees of lenders never identify themselves to students as employees of the university. No employee of a lender may ever work in or provide staffing assistance to the university’s financial aid office.
- I affirm that I have not purchased stocks or been given stocks from banks that provide student loans to ASU students.
- ASU Departments and affiliated organizations should not enter into any contractual preferred student loan consolidation arrangement with any lender, servicer or guarantor.