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Protecting Your Privacy

The Financial Aid Office honors the privacy and confidentiality of students, parents and spouses. We protect the integrity of confidential information about students and their parents and spouses on FAFSAs and other financial aid applications and documents that are required to determine students' financial aid eligibility.

Adhering to Protocol

To protect the privacy and confidentiality of this information and to minimize the risk of identity theft, the Financial Aid Office has the following comprehensive protocol to confirm the identity of individuals who come into, call or email the Financial Aid Office and ask questions regarding students' financial aid eligibility, awards, applications, satisfactory academic progress, and other confidential information directly or indirectly related to the financial aid process.

Answering Basic Questions

When Financial Aid Office staff confirm the identity of (1) a student, (2) a parent whose information is on a dependent student's FAFSA, or (3) any individual authorized by a student for full academic and staff access via SIS, staff can answer questions specific to a student's financial aid information. However, we will not disclose confidential FAFSA information to any individual other than a student and a parent whose income and demographic information is on a dependent student's FAFSA. If the identity of an individual is not confirmed, Financial Aid Office staff will only answer general financial aid questions.

Methods of Communication

The three primary methods of communication between Financial Aid staff and students, parents, and other individuals are:

  • In-person communication and virtual meetings
  • Phone calls
  • Emails

Confirming the Identity

Below we summarize the process for confirming identify for each communication method.

  • Note that ‘student’ is defined as a current, former, or prospective Pennsylvania College of Technology student.
  • Only general information will be provided to parents and others whose information is not on a dependent student’s FAFSA and are not authorized by a student for full academic and staff access via SIS, even if we confirm their identity via the process below.
  • The processes below are guidelines. If Financial Aid Office staff have reason to question the authenticity of any individual asking questions specific to a student’s financial aid information, we reserve the right to withhold information to protect the integrity of confidential information detailed above.

Process Per Method

Students must:

  • State their full legal name
  • Show a valid picture ID card, either issued by Penn College or a government source
  • State their 9-digit Penn College ID number, if one exists and they do not present a valid Penn College ID card

Parents or others without their student present must:

  • State their full legal name and the full legal name of their student
  • State their relationship to their student
  • Show a valid picture ID card from a government source, or from Penn College, if a Penn College employee or student
  • State the student’s 9-digit Penn College ID number or social security number

Students must state:

  • Their full legal name
  • Their 9-digit Penn College Student ID number or, via phone, social security number
  • Their date of birth

Parents or others without their student present must state:

  • Their student’s full legal name and 9-digit Penn College ID number or, via phone, social security number
  • Their student’s date of birth
  • The caller’s full legal name and relationship to their student

Students must provide:

  • Their full name
  • Their 9-digit Penn College Student ID number, if one exists

If the message appears to be from someone other than the student, we will follow the procedure listed below in this section for parents or others.

For messages that originate from any email account other than a student’s Penn College account, Financial Aid Office staff will respond to the message to state that we will respond to the student’s Penn College email account. If no Penn College email account exists, staff will suggest a phone or in-person conversation.

Parents, spouses, and others must provide:

  • Their student's 9-digit Penn College ID number
  • Their full legal name and the full name of their student
  • Their relationship to the student

Financial Aid Office staff will copy students’ Penn College email accounts on our replies.

The processes above are guidelines. If Financial Aid Office staff have reason to question the authenticity of any individual asking questions specific to a student’s financial aid information, we reserve the right to ask for additional identifying information or to withhold information to protect the integrity of confidential information detailed above.

Only general information will be provided to parents and others whose information is not on a dependent student’s FAFSA and are not authorized by a student for full academic and staff access via SIS, even if we confirm their identity via the processes above.

Exception for Release of Info to Third-Parties

Section 312 of the Education Appropriations Act, 2019 (H.R. 6157: Public Law No: 115-245) permits colleges to provide FAFSA data to the following entities with a student’s explicit written consent:

  • Scholarship granting organizations
  • Tribal organizations
  • An organization assisting a student in applying for and receiving federal, state, local or tribal financial assistance

The law states that organizations that receive this information must not sell or otherwise share this information.

Thank you for your appreciation and understanding of the necessity for this Privacy and Confidentiality Policy. Contact the Financial Aid Office with any questions.

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Financial Aid

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