- The Washington Times - Monday, May 21, 2007

BALTIMORE (AP) — The director of student financial services for Johns Hopkins University has resigned after the disclosure a student loan company paid her consulting fees and helped pay her graduate school tuition, the university announced yesterday.

The director, Ellen Frishberg, submitted her resignation Friday, according to a press release.

Miss Frishberg had been on paid administrative leave since April 9, the day Hopkins learned that CIT Group Inc., the parent company of Student Loan Xpress Inc., paid her $65,000 in fees and tuition payments.

The transactions, uncovered as part of an investigation by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, took place from 2002 to 2006. During those years, SLX was included on lists of preferred lenders that Miss Frishberg’s office distributed.

A university investigation found no evidence that a student or parent borrower was harmed financially because of any arrangement between Miss Frishberg and a lender, Hopkins said.

Miss Frishberg had been the head of student financial services since 1989, directing financial-aid matters for full-time undergraduate and graduate students in the university’s schools of arts and sciences and engineering.

The investigation found that she did not submit written reports disclosing the SLX consulting or tuition payments, according to the university. Failing to disclose that relationship and accepting the tuition payments “was inconsistent with the university’s ethics and conflict of interest policies,” the university said.

The university also found that Miss Frishberg worked as a consultant in 2002 with another lender, American Express, at a time when her office recommended American Express as a lender. Based on the evidence the university reviewed, it said, Miss Frishberg didn’t disclose that relationship “in a manner consistent with the university’s conflict of interest policy.”

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