Financial Aid Code of Conduct
Pepperdine University is a Christian University committed to the highest standards of academic excellence and Christian values. As members of the Pepperdine community, we act with integrity; we treat others with respect and dignity; we carefully steward the University's resources; we avoid conflicts of interest or commitment; we maintain confidentiality; and we comply with legal and professional obligations. We are individually accountable for our own actions, and we are collectively accountable for upholding these standards of behavior and complying with all applicable laws, policies, standards, and regulations. We constantly strive to meet our ethical expectations and place student needs at the center of the decision making process. Moreover, because the Pepperdine community is composed of many distinct constituencies, we understand that, beyond the general ethical principles outlined in this document, we may be subject to additional rules of conduct specific to our respective roles within the Pepperdine community.
As financial aid professionals, we abide by the following guiding principles of the profession:
- Make every effort to serve students seeking assistance from the Financial Aid Office.
- 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 training, conferences, and continuing education opportunities.
- Be committed to removing financial barriers for those who wish to pursue postsecondary learning.
- Be aware of the issues affecting students and advocate their interests at the institutional, state, and federal levels.
- Promote the free expression of ideas and opinions, and foster respect for diverse viewpoints within the profession.
- Maintain the highest level of professionalism, reflecting a commitment to the goals of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators.
- Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and professionalism and refrain from conflict of interest or the perception thereof.
In accordance with our commitment to avoid conflicts of interest and adhere to ethical standards, we abide by the following:
- We do not accept anything of more than nominal value from any lending institution including gifts, compensation, equipment services, expense paid trips, reimbursement for expenses, meal tickets or other incentives or inducements. We do not engage in revenue sharing and will report to senior administration any lender who approaches us about revenue sharing, lender stock options, or other benefits that could be perceived as a conflict of interest.
- We do not receive anything of value for serving on the advisory board of any lending institution.
- The University's lender lists are based solely on the best interests of the students or parents who may use the list without regard to financial interests of the University. The Financial Aid Office will review and evaluate each lender's performance regularly and no less than annually.
- We will clearly identify and fully disclose the criteria and process used to select lenders. Students are informed that they have the right and ability to select the lender of their choice regardless of the lender list.
- No lender may appear on a lender list if the lender has an agreement to sell its loans to another lender without disclosing this fact. In addition, no lender may negotiate to be a lender with respect to a certain type of loan by providing benefits to a College as to another type of loan.
- We do not allow any employees of a lender to provide staffing assistance in our financial aid offices.