Student Financial Aid Services, Inc.
Effective Date: April 4, 2013
If you wish to opt out of any continued communication (direct mail, telephone, fax
or e-mail communications), please click here.
Student Financial Aid Services is committed to protecting your personal data.
We adhere to the highest industry standards and work with recognized security industry leaders including VeriSign, McAfee and TRUSTe to ensure your information is protected.
We maintain a culture of security awareness through employee training and strict enforcement of security policies.
We make critical investments in state-of-the-art tools for monitoring our systems both internally and externally, including using software that performs comprehensive analysis of real-time data movement to detect intrusions.
We do not provide any personal information to any third-party that may offer related or supplemental products and services unless you have provided consent.
For more detailed information about how we keep your data secure, please click here.
1. Our Commitment to Privacy
Student Financial Aid Services, Inc.
("SFAS") respects the privacy of our clients. As an individual who is
a user of our website,
("Site") or otherwise as a user of the Services provided by SFAS,
you should know what information we collect from you, as well as how that information
is used, disclosed, and protected. For the purposes of this Agreement, "Services"
means the services provided by SFAS, or third parties designated by SFAS, through
use of the Site or by phone, in connection with the provision of student aid advisory
or preparation services, including the preparation, completion and submission of
the federal government’s Student Financial Aid Forms (commonly referred to as the
our privacy practices and policies.
our Services. By using the Site, you are accepting the practices described in this
2. The Information we Collect and How we Collect It
We collect various types of information from our clients and users of the Site.
We may collect personal information that can identify you, such as your name, e-mail
address, address, phone number, Social Security number and driver’s license number.
We also collect other personal information that you provide, such as, but not limited to, date of birth,
date you became a resident of your state, number of family members, number of family
members in college, veteran status, equity, income and other financial information
as well as other information that does not identify you. We also collect behavioral information.
Behavioral information is non-personally identifiable information regarding how you use the Site,
the areas of the Site that you visit, what services you access, and information about your computer hardware
and software including your IP address, geolocation, browser and operating system type, domain names,
access times and referring Web site addresses. This information may be used to analyze the allocation of resources for troubleshooting problems,
for preventing fraud and/or for improving our services. Some of this information
is collected when you register for and opt to use one of our Services, while other
information is collected automatically. With your authorization, we may also collect
credit report information about you from credit reporting bureaus.
- Information You Provide. We may collect and store any personal information
you enter on the Site or provide to us in some other manner. This personal information includes information
provided to us when you request to use any of our Services directly via the Site
or through e-mail, chat, or phone options, and also includes information regarding your progression through the application questions.
On the Site, you may register for our
Services for the purposes of creating an account within our database, as required
to complete your FAFSA, that may include such personal information as your name,
e-mail address, Social Security number, driver’s license number, income and other
- Information About Others. We may also collect and store personal information
that you provide to us about other people, including their name, address, phone
number, Social Security number, financial information, or other personal information.
- Information Collected Automatically. We automatically collect certain types
of information from your browser when you visit the Site. For example, when you
visit www.FAFSA.com, our systems automatically
collect your IP address and the type of browser you use, as well as the page or
address that you may have clicked through to the Site. When you visit the Site,
we may also assign your computer one or more cookies to facilitate access to the
Site, to personalize your online experience, to record and analyze information about
your visit to the Site, and to otherwise administer and improve the Site for your
use. SFAS also contracts with third-party service providers who use cookie technology
to track and analyze usage and compile statistical information, and to monitor responses
to e-mail and advertising campaigns on behalf of SFAS.
A cookie is a small piece of information that is sent to your browser and stored
in your computer's hard drive. The purpose of a cookie is to remember certain user
inputs on the Site. Through the use of a cookie, we collect information about your
online activity on the Site, such as the web pages you visit, the links or advertisements
you click, or the other actions you take while on the Site.
SFAS uses both "session" and "persistent" cookies on this Site.
Session cookies are temporary bits of information that are erased once you exit
your web browser or turn off your computer. Persistent cookies are more permanent
bits of information that are placed on the hard drive of your computer and stay
there unless you delete the cookie. They store information on your computer for
a number of reasons, such as retrieving certain information you have previously
provided (e.g., username and password), helping to determine what areas of the Site
you find most valuable, and customizing the Site based on your preferences. Persistent
cookies placed on your computer by this Site do not store any personal information.
Most browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser
setting to decline cookies. If you choose to decline cookies, please note that you
may not be able to sign in or use some of the interactive features offered on the
- Information Collected by Third Parties. We may allow third parties to display
advertisements on our site. SFAS and these companies may use tracking technologies,
such as cookies, to collect information about users who view or interact with these
advertisements and connect to the Site. We do not provide any personal information
to these third-parties unless you have provided consent. This information allows
SFAS and these companies to deliver targeted advertisements and gauge their effectiveness.
Some of these third party advertising companies may be advertising networks that
are members of the Network Advertising Initiative, which offers a single location
to opt out of advertisements targeting from member companies.
3. The Way we Use Information
We use the information you provide about yourself when subscribing to our Services
to complete the FAFSA, to carry out any additional transactions you have requested
and to provide you with our Services and support. With your consent, we may also share certain
information with third parties that offer supplemental products and services that you indicate are of interest to you.
We use the information collected
to send communications to you, such as your account and transaction status. We may
also use the information to provide you with information about other services available
that may be of interest to you, and/or to request
that you respond to a survey. We use e-mail addresses (a) to answer e-mails we
receive from you; (b) to notify you that your FAFSA has been submitted; (c) to provide
helpful reminder notices about the FAFSA renewal process; (d) to send you additional
information about our Services and the products and services of third parties that may be relevant to you; and (e) for other communications, as described below. We
may also use your home or business address or telephone numbers provided by you
to make similar notifications. We also use information we collect to customize,
analyze, adjust and improve the Site and Services (including any communications
with you) to meet our users' needs and expectations. We use the information to enforce
information to prevent fraud and other prohibited or illegal activities. We may
use the information for other legally permissible purposes.
4. With whom we Share your Information
We want you to understand when and with whom we may share personal or other information
we have collected about you or your activities on the Site or while using our Services.
- Personal Information. We share your information for the purposes
of providing Services to you or as indicated below. We may share information collected as outlined above:
- in response to a subpoena or similar investigative demand, a court order, or a request
for cooperation from a law enforcement or other government agency; to establish
or exercise our legal rights; to defend against legal claims; or as otherwise required
by law. In such cases, we may raise or waive any legal objection or right available
- when we believe disclosure is appropriate in connection with efforts to investigate,
prevent, or take other action regarding illegal activity, suspected fraud or other
wrongdoing; to protect and defend the rights, property or safety of our company,
our users, our employees, or others; to preserve the security of our systems;
to comply with applicable law or cooperate with law enforcement; to enforce the
terms and conditions or other agreements or policies for the Site; or to collect
payments you owe to us.
- in connection with a substantial corporate transaction, such as the sale of our
business, a divestiture, merger, consolidation, or asset sale, or in the event of
- with third parties or corporate affiliates (such as the Department of Education; credit
card processor, billing, shipping and marketing services; and web analytics, web hosting, and other services),
so that such
third parties may (a) assist us in providing Services; (b) carry out any
transactions that you may request; or (c) make our business more responsive;
or for the purpose of aggregate and trend data analysis.
- upon your consent with other third parties that offer related or supplemental products and services that you may be interested in.
With your consent, we may supply your contact and other information to third parties for the purpose of sending you e-mail or
otherwise communicating with you about their goods and services, or for evaluation of appropriate products or services.
We may use data we have about you to determine whether you might be interested in the opportunities, products or services of a
particular third-party. These third parties may include colleges, universities, data aggregators, marketers and other organizations.
In order to provide Services to you, we share personal information with college and school administrators
(such as college financial aid offices), educational or governmental organizations, as well as the U.S. Department of
Education's ("ED") Central Processing System ("CPS"), which
then transmits data and information via ED software ("EDExpress") to the
school student aid administrators to whom you request the information be sent. We
may respond to questions from any of those parties about your application. We may
also share information as necessary with our lawyers, accountants, auditors, and
- Aggregated and Non-Personal Information. We may share aggregated information
(i.e., information about you and other clients collectively, but not specifically
identifiable to you) and other non-personal information we collect under any of
the above circumstances. We may also share it with third parties to develop and
deliver targeted advertising on the Site and on websites of third parties. We may
combine non-personal information we collect with additional non-personal information
collected from other sources. We may also share aggregated information with third
parties, including advisors, advertisers and investors, for the purpose of conducting
general business analysis. For example, we may tell our advertisers the number of
visitors to the Site and the most popular features or Services accessed. This information
does not contain any personal information and may be used to target advertising
and to develop content for the Site and Services that we hope you and other users
will find of interest.
5. Third-Party Websites
There may be places on the Site where you may click on a link to access
click on an advertisement or a search result on the Site, you may be taken to a
website that we do not control. These third-party websites may independently solicit
and collect information, including personal information, from you and, in some instances,
provide us with information about your activities on those websites. We recommend
that you review the privacy statements of all third-party websites you visit.
6. Your Rights, our Obligations
Our company respects the privacy of your personal information. We will provide
you with Privacy Notices and Opt-Out Notices as may be required by applicable laws.
You may access these Notices at www.FAFSA.com/Privacy.
If you tell us that
you do not wish to have information used as a basis for further contact with
you, we will respect your wishes (except to the extent that we need to communicate
with you about closing or settling your account with us). You can also choose not
to provide us with certain information, but that may result in your being unable
to use certain features of the Site, because such information may be required in
order for you to obtain Services from SFAS.
You may instruct SFAS to stop sending you certain promotional materials (e.g., e-mail
messages, catalogues, postcards and letters) by following the unsubscribe instructions
provided in those materials. However, we may continue to contact you to provide
service to your account.
If you wish to opt out of any continued communication, please click here. We
will process an opt-out request as soon as reasonably practicable. If you choose
to opt out of further communications, we will keep your contact information on file for the purpose of continuing to honor your opt-out request.
If you wish to speak to a representative about your privacy choices, please call
You may also write to us at:
Student Financial Aid Services
Attention: Privacy Administrator
PO Box 278990
7. Data Security
We maintain a variety of physical, electronic, and procedural safeguards designed
to protect your personal information from unauthorized access and disclosure. For
example, we use accepted tools and techniques to protect against unauthorized access
to our systems. In addition, we work to protect the security of your personal information
when utilizing a Service via the Site by using well-known Internet encryption technologies,
such as Secure Sockets Layer (SSL). If you contact us by phone regarding your FAFSA,
we will endeavor to validate your identity prior to sharing any personal information
about you or information about your FAFSA. You should be aware that SFAS has no
control over the security of other sites on the Internet that you might visit or
interact with, or from which you may buy Services, even when there is a link to
said site from ours.
SFAS is a licensee of the TRUSTe Web Privacy Seal Program. TRUSTe is an independent,
non-profit organization whose mission is to build user’s trust and confidence in
the Internet by promoting the use of fair information practices. This privacy statement
covers the Web site www.FAFSA.com. To demonstrate our commitment to your privacy, we have disclosed
our information practices and have had our privacy practices reviewed for compliance
If you have questions or concerns regarding this statement, you should first contact
SFAS by calling us at 1.866.514.5948 or via email at
clientservice@FAFSA.com. If you do not receive acknowledgement of your inquiry
or your inquiry has not been satisfactorily addressed, you should contact TRUSTe
at: http://www.truste.org/consumers/watchdog_complaint.php TRUSTe
will then serve as a liaison with us to resolve your concerns.
We want you to feel confident using the Site. However, no system can be completely
secure. Therefore, although we take steps to secure your information, we do not
promise, and you should not expect, that your personal information, searches, or
other communications will always remain secure. In the event of a breach of the
confidentiality or security of your personal information, we will notify you as
necessary so that you can take appropriate protective steps. We may notify you under
such circumstances using the e-mail address(es) we have on record for you, or if
you did not provide an e-mail address, by regular mail. Users should also take care
with how they handle and disclose their personal information. Please refer to the
Federal Trade Commission’s website at
for information about how to protect yourself against identity theft.
8. Our Services are Not for Use by Children
The Site is a general audience site, and we do not knowingly market to, solicit
information about, or accept service from children under the age of 13. If a child
under 13 submits personal information to us through any part of our Site or Services,
and we become aware that the person submitting the information is a child, we will
attempt to delete this information as soon as possible. We require that only persons
18 years of age and older use our Site or our Services. If you are a person under
the age of 18, please have your parent or guardian assist you in accessing our Site
or using our Services.
9. How You Can Access or Correct your Information
You will receive a copy of the information submitted on your student aid applications
(called a Summary Report). You will also receive from the ED a Student Aid Report
("SAR"), which is the primary document to use to make changes or corrections
to your FAFSA record. You may correct factual errors in your personally identifiable
information maintained by us by contacting us at
or via e-mail at
. For more information about making changes to your SAR, visit our Site or contact
the federal processing center at 1.800.433.3243. You may also request a SAR on which
corrections may be made by calling 1.800.433.3243.
We will take reasonable steps to verify your identity before granting access or
making corrections. This may be done by verifying your Social Security number and/or
date of birth, or by other means.
10. How Long we Keep your Information
One feature of our service is that after submitting the requisite information the
first time, we keep this information in our files, which speeds up the FAFSA application
process in subsequent years. SFAS will maintain a client’s records, including confidential
Information, for a period of at least five years following completion of the initial application,
or as otherwise required by law. If you have questions about the length of time
your file is kept, please contact us at
or by sending an e-mail to
11. Other Information about our Privacy Practices
- California Residents. If you are a resident of California, in addition to
from us regarding the manner in which we share certain categories of personal information
with third parties for their direct marketing purposes. As stated above, we do not
share such information with such parties unless you have requested us to do so or
have otherwise consented, and you retain the right to opt out of sharing your personal
information for third-party marketing purposes.
- Visiting Our Website from Outside the United States. Our Site is hosted in
the United States. Our Site and our Services are therefore governed by United States
law. If you are visiting the Site from outside the United States, please be aware
that your information may be transferred to, stored, and processed in the United
States, where our servers are located and our central database is operated. The
data protection and other laws of the United States and other countries might not
be as comprehensive as those in your country. By using our Services, you consent
to your information being transferred to our facilities and to the facilities of
by third parties.
Policy to reflect changes in our practices and Services. We recommend that you check the Site from time
Student Financial Aid Services, Inc.
PO Box 278990,
Sacramento, California 95827