News

St. Pete Times: Student’s personal data given to lender

Several University of Miami students received unsolicited letters over the summer that contained personal information such as Social Security Numbers, driver’s license numbers and birth dates, the St. Petersburg Times reported Thursday. Letters were sent from the loan company Sallie Mae, which offered Federal Stafford loans to students.

The Times also reported the following:

It would be a violation of federal law if UM shared private data without student authorization, or if Sallie Mae initiated unprompted loan applications, the article said.

Normally, the Federal Educational Rights Privacy Act protects students’ information from being sent to lenders without authorization. However, there is a loophole in the law.

Barmak Nassirian, deputy director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admission Officers, told the Times that schools can skirt the law on a technicality if they send the private information to lenders after students are accepted to the university but before they enroll and the federal privacy rules take effect.

Sallie Mae never initiates loan applications without the express permission from the school, which would come in the form of a federal “school certification” document that includes privileged information, said Martha Holler, managing director for corporate communications at Sallie Mae.

Salle Mae issued at least 96 percent of loans at UM in 2006, reported Student Marketmeasure, a company that compiles federal aid data.

Letters were sent to sutreferencing loan applications “initiated on your behalf” by the university, it prompted many ethical questions.

Unsolicited loan applications aren’t in students’ best interests, said Luke Swarthout, higher education advocate for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

“It’s disturbing that students would have their information released without their approval…” Swarthout told the Times. “We want students to think hard about taking on debt, and not just be shoehorned into federal student loans.”

Kelly Herson may be contacted at k.herson@umiami.edu.

To read the article from the St. Pete Times visit:
www.sptimes.com/2007/09/27/State/University_of_Miami_s.shtml

October 1, 2007

Reporters

The Miami Hurricane

Student newspaper at the University of Miami


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • HurricaneSports

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst sat on a stage poolside at the ...

Seeking a college experience within a diverse community, this graduate found her home away from home ...

Graduating with Comedic Timing ...

The top graduate from UM's School of Education and Human Development shines in the classroom. ...

‘Part-Time Junior’ Sculpts Her Way to a B.F.A. ...

Students in University of Miami’s School of Communication’s Orange Umbrella Student Consultancy garn ...

Hurricanes earn highest ranking since March 2013. ...

Walker IV recorded a career-high 26 points, seven rebounds in the win over Boston U. ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team earned an impressive 65-54 win over No. 20/23 K ...

After its longest break of the season thus far, the University of Miami women's basketball team ...

Miami senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios, a double major in finance and entrepreneurship, was name ...

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.