This page explains our policies to safeguard your information.
If you want to know more about how we record nonpersonal information about your visit or how we use information that you voluntarily submit (via our survey), read on.
Otherwise, enjoy your visit!
Nonpersonal Information We Record
If you do nothing during your visit but browse through the website, read pages, or download information, our Web server will automatically record some general information about your visit.
During your visit, our web server will record the following:
- 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
- Type of browser (such as "Mozilla Firefox version x" or "Internet Explorer version x") that you are using
- Type of operating system that you use (such as Macintosh, Unix, or Windows)
- Date and time you visit our site, and the Web pages that you visit on our site
- Address of the previous website you were visiting, if you linked to us from another website
We use this information for statistical analysis, to help us make our site more useful to visitors. This tracking system does not record information about individuals.
Links to Other Sites
Our policy discloses the privacy practices for the Financial Aid Toolkit (FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov). However, the Financial Aid Toolkit provides links to other websites. When you leave FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov, you will be going to sites that are beyond our control. We try to ensure that links that leave our site are clearly labeled. These other sites may send their own cookies to users, collect data, or solicit personal information.
The privacy policies and procedures described here for FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov do not apply to any external links. We encourage you to read the privacy policies of any site you link to from ours, especially if you share any personal information. Be informed. You are the person best qualified to protect your own privacy.
How will the information collected be used?
We collect personal information only when you submit it voluntarily on our Contact Us page or the site survey.
Information from the Contact Us Page
If you decide to send us an e-mail, the message will 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, we may use that information in responding to your request. This information is not maintained in a Privacy Act system of records.
Also, e-mail is not necessarily secure against interception. Please send only information necessary to help us process your request.
Information from the Site Survey
The Site Survey form helps us determine the effectiveness of FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov as a customer service tool and its potential role in improving the delivery of Federal Student Aid's information and services. To the extent that you provide personally identifying information voluntarily, the agency will not retain that information in a system of record.
It should take you approximately 5 minutes to complete the site survey, including reading instructions, gathering information, filling out the form, and reviewing it. Completing the form is entirely voluntary. Our authority to collect the information is under OMB control number 1845-0045.
The completion of system security plans is a requirement of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Circular A-130, "Management of Federal Information Resources," Appendix III, "Security of Federal Automated Information Resources," and Public Law 100-235, "Computer Security Act of 1987." FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov has completed a system security plan demonstrating its compliance with the IT requirements mandated by federal law and policy. The security plan contains details regarding the Risk Assessment conducted for the website, as well as the security controls (hardware/software/facilities/personnel) in place to mitigate any identified risks to the information collected on the website. Management, operational, and technical security controls are in place for the website, encompassing personnel, physical environment access, contingency plans, disaster recovery, and identification and authentication procedures. The following functions are being performed: security operations and administration, operational assurance, audits, and monitoring.
For site security purposes and to make sure this service remains available to all users, this government computer system employs software programs to monitor network traffic to identify unauthorized attempts to upload or change information, or otherwise cause damage. Unauthorized attempts to upload or change information on this site are strictly prohibited and may be punishable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and the National Information Infrastructure Protection Act. Server logs are scheduled for regular destruction in accordance with the National Archives and Records Administration General Schedule 20.