Universities that participate in Title IV loan programs must adopt a code of conduct with respect to such loans with which the university's officers, employees, and agents must comply. This code of conduct prohibits a conflict of interest between the responsibilities of an officer, employee, or agent of the university and financial institutions with respect to such loans and includes the following provisions:
A revenue-sharing arrangement is defined as an arrangement between a university and a lender under which the lender pays a fee or provides other material benefits, including revenue or profit sharing to the university, or an employee or agent of the university and in exchange, the university recommends the lender or distributes the lender's loan products and the lender makes Title IV loans to the students and parents of the students attending the university.
A gift is defined as gratuity, entertainment, loan hospitality, discount, lodging, meals, favor, or any other item having monetary value more than the minimum amount. However, the university is not prohibited from accepting certain items and services that are specifically exempt from the definition of gift such as:
Also, a gift to a family member of the university's employee shall be considered a gift if the employee was aware of the gift and believed it was given to the family member on behalf of the employee's position at the university.
The university's employees with education loan responsibilities will not accept any financial benefits, including the opportunity to attain stock, from any lender for compensation for any type of arrangement or contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender.
Exceptions to the rule are:
The university shall not request or accept funds from any lender for private education loans including funds for an opportunity pool loan to its students in exchange for the university providing concessions or promises to the lender regarding the number or volume of Title IV loans or a preferred lender arrangement.
For any first-time borrower, the University of the South will not assign a first-time borrower's loan to a particular lender or refuse to certify or delay certification of any loan based on the borrower's selection of particular lender or guarantor.
Professional development training for financial aid administrators, educational counseling/financial literacy/debt management materials for borrowers that disclose the identification of the lender that assisted in preparing and providing the materials, or staffing services on a short-term, non-recurring basis during State or federally declared natural disasters, federally declared natural disasters, and other localized disasters and emergencies identified by the Department of Education are not prohibited.
Any university employee, in the financial aid office or with responsibilities regarding education loans or financial aid, who serves on an advisory board, commission, or group established by a lender, guarantor, or group of lenders or guarantors shall be prohibited from receiving anything of value from the lender, guarantors, or group of lenders or guarantors. However, the employee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in serving on the advisory board, commission, or group.