1. What information will
be collected for the system?
In general we collect
information to determine if you meet the eligibility requirements
for federal student aid. The following describes the specific
A. Student Demographics and Eligibility
Personal demographic information is used to
identify you (the student) in our system. In addition to
demographics information, questions also are asked to determine
your eligibility for aid. This information includes:
- Full Name
- Social Security Number
- Date of birth
- Telephone number
- Driver's license information
- E-mail address
- Citizenship information
- Marital status information
- State of legal residence information
- If you are male, have you registered with Selective
- Highest school your parents completed
- High school completion status
- If you are a high school graduate, what is the name of your high school?
- Will you have your first bachelor's degree?
- Grade level
- Degree or certificate you will be working on
- Interest in being considered for work-study
B. Dependency Status Information:
status questions on the FAFSA determine whether your parents'
information needs to be included on the FAFSA.
following are the current dependency status questions:
- Were you born before January 1, 1992?
- Are you married?
- At the beginning of 2015-2016 school year, will you be
working on a master's or doctorate program (such as an MBA, MD,
JD, or PhD, etc.)?
- Are you currently serving on active duty in the U.S.
Armed Forces for purposes other than training?
- Are you a veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces?
- Do you now have or will you have children who will receive more than half of
their support from you between July 1, 2015, and June 30, 2016?
- Do you have dependents (other than your children or
spouse) who live with you and who receive more than half of
their support from you, now and through June 30, 2016?
- At any time since you turned age 13, were both your
parents deceased, were you in foster care, or were you a
dependent or ward of the court?
- Are you or were you an emancipated minor as determined
by a court in your state of legal residence?
- Are you or were you in legal guardianship as determined
by a court in your state of legal residence?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2014, did your high
school or school district homeless liaison determine that you
were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2014, did the director
of an emergency shelter or transitional housing program funded
by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development
determine that you were an unaccompanied youth who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being homeless?
- At any time on or after July 1, 2014, did the director
of a runaway or homeless youth basic center or transitional
living program determine that you were an unaccompanied youth
who was homeless or were self-supporting and at risk of being
If you answer "Yes" to any of the above
questions, you are considered "independent" for federal
student aid purposes and parental information is not required on
the FAFSA. If you answer "No" to all of the questions,
you are considered "dependent" for federal student aid
purposes and parental information is required.
C. Parent Demographics Information:
students, demographic information for the parent is also
collected. Parent demographic information includes:
- Parent(s) last name
- Parent(s) first name initial
- Parent(s) date of birth
- Parent(s) Social Security Number
- Parent(s) e-mail address
- Parent(s) marital status information
- Parent(s) state of legal residence information
D. Financial Information:
is used to determine the types and amounts of aid that you
qualify for once we determine your eligibility for aid. The
following describes the types of financial questions that are
asked. For dependent students, these financial questions are
asked of the parents and student. For independent students, these
financial questions are asked only of the student.
- Completed an income tax return?
- Type of tax return filed
- Adjusted gross income
- Income tax
- Exemptions claimed
- Earnings from work
- Balance in cash/savings/checking accounts
- Net worth of investments
- Net worth of businesses and/or investment farms
- Other financial information such as education credits,
child support paid, taxable grant or scholarship aid received,
- Untaxed income such as tax-deferred pension payments,
child support received, untaxed portions of IRA distributions,
- Parents' number of family members (dependent students
- College students in parents' household (dependent
- Number of family members (independent students only)
- College students in household (independent students
- Receiving other federal benefits such as Supplemental
Security Income (SSI), Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), Free or Reduced Price School
Lunch, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), or
Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and
- Dislocated worker status
E. School Selection Information:
We will send your
FAFSA data and processed results to each of the schools that you
list on your FAFSA. The application allows up to ten federal
school codes to be listed on your application at one time. The
application also allows you to select your housing plans for each
F. Signing and Submission:
You are required to
sign your FAFSA on the Web application. If you are a
dependent student, your parent must also sign the application.
Signing the application certifies that you or your parent will
not violate the regulations governing Federal Student Aid. The
signature confirms that the signer understands and agrees that:
- You will use federal
and/or state student financial aid only to pay the cost of
attending an institution of higher education;
- You are either not in
default on a federal student loan or have made satisfactory
arrangements to repay it;
- You do not owe money
back on a federal student grant or have made satisfactory
arrangements to repay it;
- You will notify your
school if you default on a federal student loan; and
- You will not receive
a Federal Pell Grant from more than one school for the same
period of time.
G. Non-personal information we record (use of
No persistent cookies or other tracking technology are
used on the Web site. Persistent cookies are small programs placed on the
user's computer that track the user's whereabouts. The Web site does use session
cookies, which are only used to distinguish you from other users of the Web site.
Session cookies do not contain any personal data, and are automatically deleted when
you close your browser.
The Web site does collect some non-personal information. During your visit, our system will record:
- The Internet domain for your Internet service, such as
"xcompany.com" or "xcompany.net" if you use
a private Internet access account, or "yourschool.edu"
if you connect from a college or university domain.
- The type of browser (such as "Internet Explorer
version x" or "Firefox version x") that you are
- The type of operating system that you use (such as
Macintosh, UNIX, or Windows).
- The date and time you visited our site, and the Web
pages you visit on our site.
- The address of the previous Web site you were visiting,
if you linked to us from another Web site.
H. Financial Aid Administrator information:
the Financial Aid Administrator at your school creates or
modifies your record, your record will contain personal Financial
Aid Administrator information that is entered when your Financial
Aid Administrator accesses the Web site. The privacy information
of the Financial Aid Administrator will not be viewable by you.
I. Information from e-mail you send to us:
is not a secure method of communicating personal information. Do
not send us personally identifying information in your e-mail. If
you decide to send us an electronic mail message that includes
information you send to Customer Service regarding a problem, the
message may contain your return e-mail address. If you include
personally identifying information in your e-mail because you
want us to address issues specific to your situation, the
information will not be used, but will be destroyed.
Also, information that you e-mail to our customer service
Web site is not secure against interception. Do not send us
personally identifying information in your e-mail. If your
communication is sensitive, or includes personal information such
as data from your tax return or student loan account, mail it by
postal mail to:
Federal Student Aid Information Center, P.O. Box 84,
Washington, D.C. 20044
J. Links to Other Sites:
2. Why is this information being collected?
Our policy discloses the
privacy practices for FAFSA on the Web. The Department
is not responsible for information you provide when you link to
any non-Department of Education Web sites.
Under the Higher Education Act of 1965, as amended we are allowed
to ask for the information on this form so that we can determine
whether you are eligible for aid, and, if so, how much.
Application information submitted on FAFSA on the Web
collected from you, as the student, your parents, and financial
aid administrators to determine your EFC (used to establish your
eligibility for federal, state, and institutional student aid), to
identify the schools to which your processed record is to be sent;
and to collect your certification that the information is correct
and that you agree to comply with federal regulations. See #1
above to identify the specific data elements used for each
purpose. 3. Am I required to provide all of
the information requested?
Providing information is voluntary; however, if you do not
give us all of the information we need to process your FAFSA, your
aid may be delayed or denied. If you want federal student aid
only, you do not have to answer certain questions. See Questions
You Don't Have to Answer
for more information. Of course, if you
want to apply for state financial aid, you must answer all the
4. How will FSA use this information?
Information in this system will be used by Federal Student
Aid to create a unique record, determine your dependency status,
calculate your EFC, identify the schools to which the processed
record is to be sent, and collect your certification that the
information is correct and that you agree to comply with federal
regulations. See #1 above to identify the specific data elements
used for each purpose.
5. Will this information be shared with any other agency
or entity? If so, with which agency or agencies/entities?
Yes. ED may disclose information in this system, without the
consent of the individual, in accordance with the provisions of
the Privacy Act. This includes disclosures under the routine uses
listed in the Privacy Act System of Records notice if the
disclosure is compatible with the purposes for which the record
was collected. Specific routine use disclosures include the
- To the postsecondary institution that the applicant
designates on the application
- To state agencies having agreements with the Secretary
for the purposes of coordinating student aid and counseling
students on FAFSA completion and postsecondary education
- To parent(s) of a dependent applicant or an applicant's
- To local educational agencies for the purposes of
coordinating student aid and counseling students on FAFSA
completion and postsecondary education
- To secondary schools for the purposes of coordinating
student aid and counseling students on FAFSA completion and
- For Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) Advice
Disclosure, to the Department of Justice and the Office of
Management and Budget
- For Contract Disclosure
- For Litigation and Alternative Dispute Resolution
- For Research Disclosure
- For Congressional Member Disclosure
- For Disclosure for Use By Other Law Enforcement
- For Enforcement Disclosure
- For Employment, Benefit, and Contracting Disclosure for
decisions by the department and for decisions by other public
agencies and professional organizations
- For Employee Grievance, Complaint, or Conduct Disclosure
- For Labor Organization Disclosure
- For Disclosure to OMB for Federal Credit Reform Act
- For Disclosures to third parties through legally
authorized computer matching programs
- For Disclosure to DOJ
- For Disclosure to Consumer Reporting Agencies
- For Disclosure to third parties in the course of
responding to breach of data
These disclosures may be made on a case-by-case basis.
Where a computer matching agreement has been authorized, ED,
consistent with the requirements of the Privacy Act, may disclose
personally identifying information to another agency designated
in the computer matching agreement.
If you request us to do so, in order to enable you to
obtain information from other Federal agencies' records that will
assist you in completing the FAFSA online we may disclose
information from this system of records to other Federal
agencies, such as the Internal Revenue Service. However, without
your specific consent, we will not disclose your information for
Records will only be disclosed in accordance with the
provisions of the Privacy Act. Any contractor responsible for the
operations of this Web site is held to the privacy and security
requirements of the Department of Education in the handling of
information collected through the Web site.
A link to the Privacy Act Statement is provided on the home
page of the Web site.
6. Describe the notice or opportunities for consent
that would be or are provided to individuals about what
information is collected and how that information is shared with
A Privacy Act Statement is incorporated into the FAFSA
for collecting personal information that will be maintained and
retrieved by name or identifier from a Privacy Act system of
records, the mandatory or voluntary nature of the information
collected and the uses of the information. A link to the Privacy
Act Statement is provided on the FAFSA on the Web home
As a government agency Web site accessed by students,
appropriately posted for all Web site users. This is a general
policy, which applies to the handling of any information
collected at the site. The policy highlights the voluntary nature
of information collected, and explains which data elements are
necessary in order to fully consider an application. The notice
advises that if a student does not provide all of the information
needed to process the student's FAFSA, federal student aid may be
delayed or denied. Users are notified that providing the
information constitutes consent to all of its uses, and they are
given no option affirmatively to consent to certain limited uses.
In addition, the policy notifies customers about the automatic
recording and potential uses of any non-personal information
about a visit (i.e., site management data).
7. How will the information be secured?
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requires the
completion of a system security plan in Circular A-130,
"Management of Federal Information Resources," Appendix
III, "Security of Federal Automated Information
Resources," and Public Law (P.L.) 100-235, "Computer
Security Act of 1987." The Web site's System Security Plan
and Configuration Management Plan demonstrating its compliance
with the Information Technology requirements mandated by federal
law and policy are included in ED's Central Processing System
(CPS) security plan. The security plan contains details regarding
the Risk Assessment conducted for the Web site, as well as the
security controls (hardware/software/facilities/personnel) in
place to mitigate any identified risks to the information
collected on the Web site. Management, operational, and technical
security controls are in place for the Web site, encompassing
personnel, physical environment access, contingency plans,
disaster recovery, and identification and authentication
procedures. The Web site is currently in the
operations/maintenance phase of the life cycle. As such, the
following functions are being performed: security operations and
administration, operational assurance, audits and monitoring.
There is a System Security Officer (SSO) for the Web site.
8. Is a system of records being created or updated
with the collection of this information?
Yes, a system of records has been created for this
collection of information. Users are provided notice of rights
under the Privacy Act via links to the agency Privacy Act
regulations (5 C.F.R. Part 5b.) and to the Privacy Act system of
records notice for the Web site. The original notice entitled,
"Federal Student Aid Application File (18-11-01)" was
published in the Federal Register on June 4, 1999 (64 FR 30159).
This notice was subsequently amended on: December 27, 1999 (64 FR
72407), March 2, 2000 (65 FR 11294), April 11, 2001 (66 FR 18758),
and December 2009 (74 FR 68802).
9. List the Web addresses (known or planned) that