Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Down Go the Financial Aid Officers

The investigation of conflicts of interest in the financial aid offices at colleges and universities has started to cost some officials their jobs.  A story in the Columbia Daily Spectator (here) states that the financial aid director at Columbia University has been fired after receiving stock in Student Loan Xpress while putting the company -- which is now part of CIT -- on the school's preferred lender list.  The University of Texas fired its financial aid director who also owned stock in the company, and agreed to a Code of Ethics with the State Attorney General's office under which school employees can neither solicit nor accept gifts from lenders, and must report to the University's president the offer of any gift (see AP story here).  At Johns Hopkins University, the financial aid director resigned after the revelation that she received $65,000 from Student Loan Xpress and had consulting arrangements with other lenders (see Washington Post story here).  No criminal charges yet in any of the cases, most likely because there is no clear criminal prohibition on the conduct.  Just give it time, though -- legislatures love to pass new laws. (ph)

Investigations | Permalink

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