Documents: Statement of Principles
1: General Principles of NYSFAAA
- The activities and functions of
NYSFAAA all share the underlying goal of assisting our members, within the
context of their regular occupational responsibilities, to:
financial access to higher education to all the students of New York State, regardless of socio-economic status;
useful, accurate, and timely information to students and families about college
technical assistance, financial counseling, and customer service tailored to
the needs of individual students and their families;
early awareness of college aid programs, financing opportunities and savings
the programs and all other aspects of the profession with the highest level of efficiency,
accuracy, ethics, and professional behavior.
- The goals above will be
achieved through a variety of NYSFAAA activities, including:
direct NYSFAAA scholarships to students within New York State and working
cooperatively with other legitimate scholarship providers and services;
sponsoring, providing, and participating in professional and program
administration training and mentoring to our members and to appropriate third-parties;
sponsoring, providing, and participating in informational and awareness
activities targeted directly to students, prospective students, and their families;
actively with funding providers, regulators, legislators, and others to promote
adequate funding, administrative simplicity, equitable program rules, and
2: Professional Values of Aid Administrators:
- Students and families are the
ultimate focus of our profession. We are bound by a public trust to always
interact with students in the highest ethical and professional context,
and to deal with them honestly regardless of potentially conflicting
- Since students are our primary
focus, we endeavor to coordinate and align the needs of our institutions
and the regulatory agencies with the needs of students. It is possible to
balance the realities of regulatory compliance and enrollment management
with providing exceptional financial services to students and families.
Our members value their roles as advocates for the needs of students
within the confines of these processes.
- Our members never charge a fee
(or honoraria) for providing college financing information or for
assisting students and families with the application process. These
activities are not a “side-job”, they are part of our professional
responsibility. (Reimbursement of travel expenses is not a “fee”).
- “Professional Judgment” is a
serious responsibility that has been granted to assist us to meet our
commitment to access. This responsibility should never be taken lightly,
but neither should it be avoided. Our purpose is to provide a path for
students to achieve their educational objectives, not to provide
roadblocks. Thus, the first consideration in judgments should always be
the best interests of the individual student.
- Our Active Members respect the
role of the Associate Members and their significant contributions to the
achievement of our goals. We will never exploit these relationships for
personal gain, gifts, or other personal benefits; nor will we engage in
behaviors with any vendors that would give the public cause to question
3: Professional Values of Associate Members:
- Our Associate members
understand that NYSFAAA is a professional organization designed to assist,
improve, and advance the profession of collegiate financial aid
administrators. Participation by Associate Members should be based upon
shared values and goals for providing financial services to students and
families, rather than solely upon opportunities to increase business
- Business interests should not
be at odds with ethical service to students and families. It is possible
to do “good” while still doing “well” in business pursuits. Our Associate
Members provide appropriate services to students, families and schools at
reasonable prices and never engage in misleading or unethical business
- Associate members value the
position of the collegiate financial aid professional in providing comprehensive
financial counsel to students and families. Hence, our Associate Members
support the counseling role of the financial aid officer through their
business activities, and will provide collegiate financial services
directly to students/families ONLY as part of a cooperative effort with
the financial aid office. Associate members will never circumvent the
financial aid office or otherwise impair the office’s ability to counsel
students through the vendor’s business or marketing practices.
- Our members never charge a fee
for providing college financing information or for assisting students and
families with the aid application process. Profiting from these
activities is inconsistent with the values of NYSFAAA.
4: Aid Office Administration Philosophy
- The primary purpose of the financial
aid office is to provide financial assistance, advice, information, and
education to students who can benefit from higher education but need financial
services to be able to attend.
- The financial aid office should
publish/provide any and all information necessary for the student to have
a clear understanding of his/her rights and responsibilities regarding
- The college or university
should publish budgets annually indicating total student expenses
including tuition and fees, books and supplies, room and board, and
miscellaneous and personal expenses.
- Financial aid should be offered
only after financial need has been established by means of a consistent
and reasonable need analysis system. The amount of need-based aid
offered should not exceed the amount needed to meet the difference between
the students' total educational expenses and his resources. An equitable
distribution of all financial aid funds should be predicated on
established packaging philosophies and guidelines.
- Parents are expected to assist
their children with educational costs according to their means. Students
are also expected to contribute from their own assets and earnings, from
both summer work and work during the regular term (where appropriate). The
amount and type of self-help assistance expected should be related to the
circumstances of the individual student and family.
- The financial aid office should
review its awarding policies and procedures annually and adjust them to
reflect changes in financial needs and expenses of the students.
- Process and efficiency should
never trump the needs of the individual student. Systems should always be
designed to accommodate exceptional or unusual circumstances.
- Since the amount of financial
assistance awarded reflects the economic circumstances of the student and
his family, the office should refrain from any public announcement of the
amount of need-based aid offered and encourage others to respect the
confidentiality of that information.
- All documents, correspondence,
and conversations between and among the aid applicant, his family, and the
financial aid staff are confidential and entitled to the protection
ordinarily arising from a counseling relationship.
- Financial aid should be administered in such a manner
that other interests, though important, are always balanced against the
needs of the individual student.