2021-2022 Catalog

Code of Conduct – Student Loan Programs

Berkshire Community College has adopted the following Code of Conduct which has been set forth by the Massachusetts Board of Higher Education to ensure the integrity of education lending practices of Massachusetts public colleges. It also formalizes long-standing codes of conduct practiced by public institutions of higher education in their efforts to provide affordable access to higher education.

Code of Conduct

The primary goal of Berkshire Community College and its financial aid staff is to help students achieve their educational potential by providing appropriate financial resources. Berkshire Community College’s financial aid professionals commit to a set of principles that serves as a common foundation for an acceptable standard of conduct.

Berkshire Community College and its financial aid professionals shall:

  • Maintain the highest level of professionalism;
  • Commit to the highest level of ethical behavior and refrain from conflicts of interest whether actual, potential or perceived;
  • Respect the dignity and protect the privacy of students and ensure the confidentiality of student records and personal circumstances; and
  • Provide information about lenders that have proven to offer the best combination of price, access and service to our students and families.

Further, Berkshire Community College shall ensure that all officers, trustees, directors, employees or agents (of the College) and financial aid professionals adhere to the following:

  • Refrain from accepting gifts, meals, travel or anything other than nominal value from student loan providers in connection with the College’s student loan programs;
  • Refrain from accepting (from a lending institution) money, equipment, printing services or anything of value that may suggest an advantage or preferred status;
  • Refrain from accepting anything of value in exchange for service as a member of a lending institution’s advisory board;
  • Annually review lender choices and clearly and fully disclose the criteria and process for selecting preferred lenders;
  • Disclose information regarding any lender on the preferred lender list that has an agreement to sell loans to another lender;
  • Make clear to students and families that they have the right to borrow through any lender of their choice regard- less of a preferred lender list; and
  • Refrain from linking or otherwise directing students and families to any electronic loan process or master promissory note that promotes or suggests preferred status for any lending institution.