Confidentiality, FERPA and Fraud Policy
CONFIDENTIALITY AND PRIVACY OF FINANCIAL AID INFORMATION FERPA
(FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT OF 1974)
Under FERPA* (also called the Buckley Amendment) educational privacy and access rights accrue to the student when she/he turns 18 or enrolls in a postsecondary institution. Camden County College is a post-secondary institution. FERPA controls the institution’s ability to disclose student information. Individuals who have applied to, but who have not attended the College as an enrolled student, are not covered under FERPA. Under institutional policy, applicants are extended the same privacy rights to their financial aid information as students. Applicants, students and parents are governed by the following institutional Financial Aid Privacy Policies. The Financial Aid Staff 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 college officials having a legitimate educational reason to know the student’s financial aid information (i.e. staff in the billing office, 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 educational 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
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 Office of Financial Aid must, and 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 (i.e. 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 Financial Aid may require time to present the records requested. When the information requested cannot be produced immediately, the Office of Financial Aid may require such time as is permitted under FERPA regulations to retrieve and present the records requested.
SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBER POLICY
In compliance with the Privacy Act of 1974 (P.L. 93-579): disclosure of an applicant’s Social Security number is required on applications for financial aid. The applicant’s Social Security number will be used to identify the student’s account, verify the student’s identity during the period of attendance, and to ascertain that there is no improper, simultaneous funding under other federal financial aid programs. As above, applicants are required by federal law to provide their Social Security numbers (SSN) on the FAFSA. Provision of the College’s Colleague Student ID or SSN (as specified on the individual document) is required on all supporting documents used to apply for financial aid. The SSN will be used for the College’s system of student records, for compliance with federal and state reporting requirements, as well as for debt collection. The College will not disclose the SSN to anyone outside the institution except as required by law, and will make every effort to protect the applicant’s privacy.
FRAUD, FORGERY AND OTHER CRIMINAL MISCONDUCT
Students, parents, spouses, college staff and all others are responsible for accurately portraying information submitted on the FAFSA, and in all supporting documents to the financial aid application process. Such documents include, but are not limited to, the FAFSA, verification forms, time sheets, signature pages, appeal applications, correspondence, et cetera.
Falsification of financial aid documents is an extremely serious offense. Students and others who fraudulently complete financial aid documents will be subject to disciplinary action, which may include loss of eligibility for all financial assistance, termination from all College employment programs, and referral to the U. S. Department of Education for criminal prosecution. Students so identified will also be referred to the Dean of Students for disciplinary action, which may include expulsion from the College. All monies paid to a student that are determined to have been the result of fraud will be immediately due the College. If not repaid, this debt will be referred to a collection agency for collection and legal action, and may also be referred to the U. S. Department of Education. Debts that are referred to a collection agency are subject to fees for the costs associated with collecting the debt, including attorney fees and court costs. Students, or their paying agents, will be responsible for all collection costs and attorney fees. When the College has credible information that suggests that an individual has engaged in fraud or other criminal misconduct, the case will be reported to the Regional Office of the Inspector General and, if applicable, the state or local law enforcement agencies as specified by the U.S. Department of Education under section 668.14(g) of the General Provisions Regulations.
Any fraud that the College refers to the Department of Education may result in criminal prosecution. Criminal prosecution may result in a fine of up to $20,000, imprisonment for up to five years, or both.