On April 9, Johns Hopkins released the following
statement about Student Loan Xpress, one of several
institutions on a list of suggested lenders maintained by
The Johns Hopkins University was contacted today by
the parent company of Student Loan Xpress Inc. about
consulting fees and travel expenses paid to a Johns Hopkins
student financial aid official.
The parent company, CIT Group, Inc., told Johns
Hopkins this morning that the official had been paid about
$65,000 in consulting fees and $1,200 in travel expenses
The official, Ellen Frishberg, director of student financial services at the
university's Homewood campus, was placed this afternoon on
paid administrative leave pending an inquiry by the
university into the circumstances of the payments.
Student Loan Xpress does not handle Johns Hopkins
University's guaranteed student loans. Johns Hopkins is a
direct lending institution, meaning that it arranges
federally guaranteed loans directly with student
Student Loan Xpress, however, is one of several
lenders on lists Johns Hopkins maintains of suggested
lenders for the federal PLUS and private loan programs,
which can provide educational loans to parents and graduate
students beyond what is borrowed under the direct lending
CIT Group informed Johns Hopkins that it had paid
approximately $65,000 in consulting fees to Frishberg since
2002. Of that, about $43,000 was in the form of direct
payments and about $22,000 was in tuition payments for a
doctoral program in which Frishberg was enrolled at another
institution. Johns Hopkins understands that the consulting
relationship ended in 2005.
Frishberg also serves on a Student Loan Xpress
advisory board. Johns Hopkins understands that the travel
expenses were reimbursed in regard to that service.
Later today, the university received a letter from the
office of the attorney general of New York State requesting
information. The university is committed to operating its
financial aid program in compliance with the highest
ethical standards and will, of course, cooperate with the
attorney general's request.