HEOA DISCLOSURES

Student Loan Activities Code
Code of Conduct Related to Student Loan Activities


Policy Statement

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, as a participant in federal loan programs, is required to have a code of conduct applicable to the institution’s officers, employees, and agents. The code of conduct requirements are set forth in the Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA) signed into law on August 14, 2008.

PCOM has adopted a general Code of Conduct applicable to all members of the PCOM community, but the Code of Conduct Related to Student Loan Activities is an additional requirement specific to certain transactions and activities related to financial aid matters. In addition, the HEOA includes requirements related to publication of the code and annual disclosures.

Reason for Policy

The HEOA program participation agreement, which must be executed by all institutions participating in Title IV financial aid programs including student loan programs, requires a code of conduct with which the institution’s officers, employees, and agents shall comply. Such code must prohibit a conflict of interest with the responsibilities of an officer, employee, or agent of an institution with respect to such loans, and include the provisions set forth in the HEOA related to conflicts. The law further specifies that the code shall be displayed prominently on the institution’s website and that all institutional officers, employees and agents with responsibilities related to such loans be annually informed of the provisions of the code of conduct.

Scope

The Student Loan Activities Code is applicable to all PCOM officers, employees and agents and, with respect to provisions of this code dealing with decisions of the Board of Trustees of PCOM regarding education loans, to the members of the Board of Trustees.

The Student Loan Activities Code shall be distributed annually to all PCOM trustees, and to all officers, employees and agents with responsibilities related to student loan activities.

Student Loan Activities Code

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine hereby adopts the following provisions from the HEOA, Section 493 as its Code of Conduct Related to Student Loan Activities and will annually inform all PCOM officers, employees, and agents with responsibilities for student loan activities and decisions of the provisions of this code. This code is supplemental to existing PCOM policies related to conflicts of interest and conduct.

(1) BAN ON REVENUE-SHARING ARRANGEMENTS

(A) Prohibition - PCOM shall not enter into, and no officer, employee or agent of PCOM shall cause or permit PCOM to enter into any revenue-sharing arrangement with any lender.

(B) Definition - For purposes of this paragraph, the term ‘revenue-sharing arrangement’ means an arrangement between an institution and a lender under which:

(i) a lender provides or issues a loan that is made, insured, or guaranteed under this title to students attending the institution or to the families of such students; and

(ii) the institution recommends the lender or the loan products of the lender and in exchange, the lender pays a fee or provides other material benefits, including revenue or profit sharing, to the institution, an officer or employee of the institution, or an agent.

(2) GIFT BAN

(A) Prohibition - No officer or employee of PCOM who is employed in the financial aid office of PCOM or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, or agent who has responsibilities with respect to education loans, shall solicit or accept any gift from a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans.

(B) DEFINITION OF GIFT

(i) In General - In this paragraph, the term ‘gift’ means any gratuity, favor, discount, entertainment, hospitality, loan, stock, or other item having a monetary value of more than a de minimus amount ($25 per year). The term includes a gift of services, transportation, lodging, or meals, whether provided in kind, by purchase of a ticket, payment in advance, or reimbursement after the expense has been incurred.

(ii) Exceptions - The term ‘gift’ shall not include any of the following:

(I) Standard material, activities, or programs on issues related to a loan, default aversion, default prevention, or financial literacy, such as a brochure, a workshop, or training.

(II) Food, refreshments, training, or informational material furnished to an officer or employee of an institution, or to an agent, as an integral part of a training session that is designed to improve the service of a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans to PCOM, if such training contributes to the professional development of the officer, employee, or agent of PCOM.

(III) Favorable terms, conditions, and borrower benefits on an education loan provided to a student employed by PCOM if such terms, conditions, or benefits are comparable to those provided to all students of PCOM.

(IV) Entrance and exit counseling services provided to borrowers to meet PCOM’s responsibilities for entrance and exit counseling as required by subsections (b) and (l) of section 485, as long as —

(aa) PCOM’s staff are in control of the counseling, (whether in person or via electronic capabilities); and

(bb) such counseling does not promote the products or services of any specific lender.

(V) Philanthropic contributions to PCOM from a lender, servicer, or guarantor of education loans that are unrelated to education loans or any contribution from any lender, guarantor, or servicer that is not made in exchange for any advantage related to education loans.

(VI) State education grants, scholarships, or financial aid funds administered by or on behalf of a State

(iii) Rule for Gifts for Family Members — For purposes of this paragraph, a gift to a family member of an officer or employee of PCOM, to a family member of an agent, or to any other individual based on that individual’s relationship with the officer, employee, or agent, shall be considered a gift to the officer, employee, or agent if —

(I) the gift is given with the knowledge and acquiescence of the officer, employee, or agent; and

(II) the officer, employee, or agent has reason to believe the gift was given because of the official position of the officer, employee, or agent.

(3) CONTRACTING ARRANGEMENTS PROHIBITED

(A) Prohibition — An officer or employee who is employed in the financial aid office of PCOM or who otherwise has responsibilities with respect to education loans, or an agent who has responsibilities with respect to education loans, shall not accept from any lender or affiliate of any lender any fee, payment, or other financial benefit (including the opportunity to purchase stock) as compensation for any type of consulting arrangement or other contract to provide services to a lender or on behalf of a lender relating to education loans.

No officer, employee, or agent of PCOM who performs paid or unpaid service on a board of directors of a lender, guarantor or servicer of education loans may participate in any decision of the Board of Trustees of PCOM regarding education loans at PCOM. No officer, employee or contractor of any lender who serves on the Board of Trustees of PCOM may participate in any decision of the Board of Trustees of PCOM regarding education loans at PCOM.

(B) Exceptions — Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as prohibiting —

(i) an officer or employee of PCOM who is not employed in PCOM’s financial aid office and who does not otherwise have responsibilities with respect to education loans, or an agent who does not have responsibilities with respect to education loans, from performing paid or unpaid service on a board of directors of a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans;

(ii) an officer or employee of PCOM who is not employed in PCOM’s financial aid office but who has responsibility with respect to education loans as a result of a position held at PCOM, or an agent who has responsibility with respect to education loans, from performing paid or unpaid service on a board of directors of a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans; or

(iii) an officer, employee, or contractor of a lender, guarantor, or servicer of education loans from serving on the Board of Trustees of PCOM.

Sanctions

Violations of PCOM policies, including the failure to avoid a prohibited activity or disclose a conflict of interest in timely manner, will be dealt with in accordance with applicable PCOM policies and procedures, which may include disciplinary actions up to and including termination.

History

This policy was created in 2009 and restated in 2010 to comply with the HEOA Act of 2008.