Confidentiality and Privacy of Financial Aid Information Disclosure Authorization Rights and Responsibilities
Confidentiality and Privacy of Financial Aid Information
FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974)
Under FERPA, educational privacy and access rights apply to any student when she/he turns 18 OR enrolls in a post-secondary institution. The University of the Arts is a post-secondary institution. Persons who have applied to but who have not attended the University as an enrolled student are not covered under FERPA. Under institutional policy, applicants are extended the same privacy and access rights to their financial aid information as students.
Applicants, students, and parents should be aware of the following institutional Financial Aid Privacy policies.
The staff in the Office of Student Financial Services is permitted to discuss or otherwise disclose a student’s financial aid information to the following parties:
- The student.
- The student’s parent(s) whose information appears on the FAFSA.
- Other University officials having a legitimate educational reason to know the student’s financial aid information (e.g. staff in Student Financial Services so that they can manage the student’s account).
- External agencies and organizations such as guarantors, lenders, state grant agencies, and auditors that have a legitimate reason to know the student’s financial aid information (i.e. staff at such agencies authorized to process loans and grants for the student).
- External federal agencies granted such rights under FERPA (e.g. DOE, INS, CSPCA, etc.). Under FERPA, institutions are required to disclose a student’s information (sometimes without notification to the student) in response to commands from the courts (typically subpoenas) and demands from specific federal agencies. The Student Financial Services staff will comply with all lawfully issued demands for information from the entities identified in the FERPA regulations and will (or will not) notify the student as required.
Students and parents should be aware that their signatures on the FAFSA and other financial aid documents (e.g. loan applications) authorize the release of their information to certain federal and state agencies. Please read the FAFSA and other financial aid documents for more information.
Depending upon the scope of the information requested by the student or other authorized parties, the Office of Student Financial Services may require time to present the records requested. When the information requested cannot be produced immediately the Office of Student Financial Services may require such time as is permitted under the University’s FERPA policy to retrieve and present the records requested.
The Office of Student Financial Services staff is not permitted to discuss or otherwise disclose a student’s financial aid information to others including but not limited to:
- The student’s parent(s) or stepparent(s) whose information does not appear on the FAFSA (the non-filing parent) without written permission from the student and the filing parent.
- The student’s parent(s) or stepparent(s) whose information does appear on the FAFSA when the parents have separated or divorced and the other parent has been identified as the custodial parent, without written permission from the student and the custodial parent.
- High school guidance counselors and teachers.
- The student’s spouse.
- Interested relatives, neighbors, and friends.
The Student Financial Services staff is not permitted to discuss or otherwise disclose academic information (which includes but is not limited to scholarship eligibility, financial aid eligibility, grades, grade point average, academic standing, or probationary status) to anyone (except the federal and state agencies responsible for processing the student’s financial aid or having authority under FERPA to access such information) other than the student (whether or not the student is dependent, whether or not the parent pays the invoice) without the student’s written authorization.
When extraordinary circumstances exist that prevent the student from accessing and understanding financial aid and student billing information, the Student Financial Services staff will discuss normally confidential information with the individual(s) that the student designates on the disclosure authorization form. Students may request a disclosure authorization form from the Office of Student Financial Services. Students must complete and sign the disclosure authorization form in the Office of Student Financial Services in the presence of a Student Financial Services staff member. Students can rescind the disclosure authorization at any time. Due to the highly sensitive nature of financial aid, student billing, and academic information facsimiles, photocopies or mailed disclosure authorization forms will not be accepted.
Rights and Responsibilities
The receipt of financial aid is a privilege, which creates both rights and responsibilities.
Students have the right to know the method used to determine their need; the right to have access to information and records used in determining need; and the right to be awarded aid as equitably as funds permit.
Students applying for financial aid are responsible for accurately portraying financial resources and circumstances and notifying the Office of Student Financial Services of any changes in status; for applying in a timely manner; and for maintaining satisfactory academic progress and good standing.
Students who fail to maintain adequate progress may be placed on probation. Failure to correct academic deficiency will result in the loss of financial aid until the required credits and grade point average have been earned.
Students or parents who knowingly provide false information on any financial aid form (financial aid forms include but are not limited to the FAFSA, verification forms, work study time cards and loan applications) will be denied financial aid and will be refused for all subsequent years without the possibility of appeal. Additionally, students so identified will be billed for all aid disbursed and may face prosecution by the Department of Education, which may result in fine, imprisonment, or both.
While the Student Financial Services staff is available to assist students through the application process, it is the student’s responsibility to see to the correctness and completeness of his or her application. If a student receives notification that his/her FAFSA or loan application is incomplete, the student must determine what is necessary to complete the application(s) and submit the required information.
An application for financial aid will have no effect on the decision concerning admission. The admission decision is made without access to financial aid data.