Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct

The Financial Aid Office adheres to the Statement of Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (NASFAA) which is listed below:

NASFAA members are required to adhere to the following Statement of Ethical Principles as a condition of membership.

The primary goal of the financial aid professional is to help students achieve their educational potential by providing appropriate financial resources. Our members are required to exemplify the highest level of ethical behavior in helping students and families find the best ways to pay for college and demonstrate the highest level of professionalism. We take great pride in our essential task of helping our students and families determine the best ways to meet their educational expenses.

The Financial Aid Professional shall:

  1. Be committed to removing financial barriers for those who wish to pursue postsecondary learning.

  2. Make every effort to assist students with financial need.

  3. Be aware of the issues affecting students and advocate their interests at the institutional, state, and federal levels.

  4. Support efforts to encourage students, as early as the elementary grades, to aspire to and plan for education beyond high school.

  5. Educate students and families through quality consumer information.

  6. Respect the dignity and protect the privacy of students, and ensure the confidentiality of student records and personal circumstances.

  7. Ensure equity by applying all need analysis formulas consistently across the institution's full population of student financial aid applicants.

  8. Provide services that do not discriminate on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, religion, disability, age, or economic status.

  9. Recognize the need for professional development and continuing education opportunities.

  10. Promote the free expression of ideas and opinions, and foster respect for diverse viewpoints within the profession.

  11. Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.

  12. Maintain the highest level of professionalism, reflecting a commitment to the goals of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.

NASFAA Code of Conduct For Institutional Financial Aid Professionals

An institutional financial aid professional is expected to always maintain exemplary standards of professional conduct in all aspects of carrying out his or her responsibilities, specifically including all dealings with any entities involved in any manner in student financial aid, regardless of whether such entities are involved in a government sponsored, subsidized, or regulated activity. In doing so, a financial aid professional should:

  • 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.

Standards of Services (Benchmarks)

The Financial Aid Office has become increasingly more efficient and timely with services to our students and families. For example, many student files are complete and awarded in a matter of days after we begin awarding for that year. However, any manual process such as Verification or Review of an Appeal does take a long time. We will respond to your telephone and email inquiries within two business days, except during peak times when it will take us a little longer. The reception desks at the Alabama campuses have knowledgeable and dedicated staff to address your concerns. Global Campus (non Alabama locations) and the eTROY have student financial aid specialists who can assist you. The Call Center answers 99% of financial aid calls and is a great service for students (800) 414-5756.

The standards of service goals that follow are guidelines of what you can expect from our staff to ensure timely processing of information received in the office. If you have not received a response from the office within the applicable time frame (noted below), please contact us and find out why there is a delay.

Be sure to review the most recent Application Check List for the appropriate year to make sure you understand the sequence of processing.

  • Missing Information Letters
    • Beginning in May for the approaching FALL, letters and email are sent every 10 days
    • If you have access to Trojan Web Express, you can view missing items
    • Review your Student Aid Report (SAR) for any comments or requests
    • Our response is faster if all documents are sent together
    • If you need help in understanding what is needed, try calling (800) 414-5756
    • or Check out Missing Information Letter Comments

  • Award Notification
    • Beginning about May for the approaching award year - once a week
    • June through August - every 10 days
    • September through May - once a week
    • Twice a week just before the beginning of a semester or term

  • Phone/Email Messages
    • During the academic year - 2 business days
    • During the month of August and start of each semester - 3 to 5 business days

  • Processing Changes - 10 business days

  • Processing the Partial Year Loan Request/Loan Reactivation Form - 10-15 business days

  • Processing the Parent Loan (PLUS) Form - 10-15 business days

  • Processing the Verification Documents (Your SAR is your first notification to submit documents)
    • Initial review - 30-45 business days (May through October)
    • Corrections - additional 3-5 business days
    • Final review and award - an additional 10 business days

  • Processing Appeals
    • Bankruptcy review - 30-45 business days for initial review
    • Default proof of clearance - 30-45 business days for initial review
    • Proof of Marital Status/Separation - 30-45 business days for initial review
    • Repayment of Grant - 30-45 business days for initial review
    • Satisfactory Academic Progress - 30-45 business days for initial review

  • Funds will be credited to your student account
    • At the beginning of a semester/term - your account will be credited 5-10 days after the first day of class - the day after the last day of free drop/add
    • During the semester/term - every Monday and Wednesday
    • Refund checks of credit balances are mailed by the Cashier's (Student Financial Services) Office starting 3 days after funds are credited to your student account

  • Private Loan Certification Requests - 10 business days beginning in August for approaching semester/term
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