Summary of Federal Laws
Miscellaneous Laws Affecting Universities
|Associate Director of Enrollment Management Systems|
Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 (the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act)
The Commission also received several comments from colleges and universities and their representatives requesting that institutions of higher education be excluded from the definition of financial institution. The Commission disagrees with those commenters who suggested that colleges and universities are not financial institutions. Many, if not all, such institutions appear to be significantly engaged in lending funds to consumers. However, such entities are subject to the stringent privacy provisions in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA"), 20 U.S.C. 1232g, and its implementing regulations, 34 CFR part 99, which govern the privacy of educational records, including student financial aid records. The Commission has noted in its final rule, therefore, that institutions of higher education that are complying with FERPA to protect the privacy of their student financial aid records will be deemed to be in compliance with the Commission's rule.
Accordingly, the final regulations provide, in 16 CFR § 313.1:
Any institution of higher education that complies with the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA"), 20 U.S.C. 1232g, and its implementing regulations, 34 CFR part 99, and that is also a financial institution subject to the requirements of this part, shall be deemed to be in compliance with this part if it is in compliance with FERPA.
However, institutions are not exempt from the safeguarding regulations. The final rules on Safeguarding Customer Information contained at 67 Fed. Reg. 36484 (May 23, 2002) do not exempt educational institutions, and thus institutions must adopt an information security program. Key compliance requirements include designating an employee to coordinate an information security program, identifying risks to the security of customer information (including a risk assessment of computer information systems), and contractually requiring service providers to implement and maintain safeguards.
updated 5-7-14 mlo