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

They both returned to earn their degrees and finish their college football careers with their brothe ...

Court adjourned at United States v. James Gatto on Monday, but not before one last piece of good new ...

Add former five-star running back recruit Lorenzo Lingard to the growing list of injured Miami Hurri ...

Here’s our story on the big news of the day: Mark Richt admonishing N’Kosi Perry for posting a video ...

University of Miami redshirt freshman quarterback N’Kosi Perry has been reprimanded for posting a vi ...

Fresh off fall break, News@TheU catches up with students to learn what foods make them feel at home. ...

UM’s annual Food Day celebration will highlight the need to eat sustainable, locally sourced foods ...

A new study by University of Miami psychology researchers of anonymous interactions suggests that hu ...

University of Miami changes program title of Women’s and Gender Studies to Gender and Sexuality Stud ...

Two families with deep ties to Miami—the Millers and Fains— celebrate two endowed faculty chair appo ...

The Hurricanes head to Chestnut Hill, Mass., for a for a nationally-televised game against a rough a ...

A trio of University of Miami men's tennis student-athletes will continue to make a run at the ...

The Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame announced the 14 semifinalists for the 2018 Paycom Jim Thorpe Award ...

The Miami Hurricanes volleyball team kept its Sunday win streak alive by defeating Georgia Tech, 3-1 ...

The University of Miami men's tennis team continues to have success in the Main Draw, as a pair ...

TMH Twitter
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.