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, 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 "Chrome 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 covers the privacy practices for the Financial Aid Toolkit. However, the Financial Aid Toolkit provides links to other websites. When you leave FinancialAidToolkit.ed.gov, you will often 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.
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 or via the "Was this page helpful?" tile that appears on several pages of the site. The following sections describe how we use your information.
Information from the "Contact Us" Page
If you decide to send us an email, the message will contain your return email address. If you include personally identifying information in your email 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, email is not necessarily secure against interception. Please send only information necessary to help us process your request.
Information From the "Was this page helpful?" Tile
Certain pages on the Financial Aid Toolkit include a section or "tile" on the right-hand side where you can indicate if the page content was helpful. A text box also is provided so you can share additional information or feedback. Once the feedback is submitted, this information is stored in order to help identify possible future improvements to the site. No personal information will be collected unless you provide it in the text box and click the "Submit" button. However, if you would like to send us information so we can address an issue specific to your situation, then please send us an email.
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.