Our Commitment to Student Data Privacy
Our Commitment to Student Data PrivacyCollege Board Communications
When students take a College Board assessment, they have every right to know what information they choose to provide, why we ask for it, and how we may share that information.
Here’s the first thing to know: The College Board collects personal information only to administer tests and deliver educational opportunities to students.
Here’s the second thing: The College Board gives students and families complete discretion as to how much additional information they disclose, beyond the minimum information needed to connect students with college success, including registering for the SAT or saving college lists.
During the registration process, we ask students for information needed to score the test. Students also complete a questionnaire, which include a series of optional questions. For instance, students can provide their race or ethnicity, and by doing so, help the College Board evaluate the fairness of the test and ensure that it is fair and accurate for all students. By sharing their course preference and potential college major, counselors and college admission officers can help students make plans for the future. Students can indicate if they come from a military family in order to be connected to unique information and resources.
As we make clear to students, they don’t have to respond to these and other optional questions, but we recommend they do because it helps us and our members best deliver programs and opportunities to serve students.
We are in constant dialogue with students, parents, educators, and state and district partners in order to evaluate our policies and procedures. As a result of this engagement, we regularly enhance student privacy. For example, just recently, we announced:
- We will no longer collect Social Security numbers from students who participate in our assessment and instruction programs. (Effective August 2018)
- The question about religious preference or affiliation on the questionnaire will change from "Indicate your religious preference or affiliation" to "Are you interested in religious colleges or religiously affiliated campus clubs/activities? If yes, select a religion below." (Effective August 2017)
The College Board has a deep respect for student privacy, and we are committed to protecting it. We are a signatory, with more than 200 K-12 school service providers and education leaders, of the Pledge to Safeguard Student Privacy, a public commitment for the responsible collection and use of student data. You can learn more here, including about the principles that ensure our commitment to privacy.
Additionally, here are answers to some questions we frequently receive.
Q: Does the College Board sell student data?
The College Board does not sell student data. Through Student Search Service, students may participate in a voluntary program that connects students with information about educational and financial aid opportunities from nearly 1700 colleges, universities, scholarship programs and educational organizations. When students take the SAT, PSAT/NMSQT and PSAT 10, they are asked if they want to participate. By opting in, they give the College Board permission to share their name and limited information with college and scholarship programs looking for students like them. The College Board never shares social security number, actual test scores, self-reported parental income, disabilities, or phone numbers as part of Student Search Service. Participation is completely voluntary and students can opt out at any time. Eligible institutions sign a license agreement with the College Board, and the College Board consistently monitors their use of student information for compliance. After a five year term, the institutions must permanently destroy the data.
Q: Does the College Board make unsolicited phone calls or send unsolicited texts?
We do not send students text messages or emails or call them on the phone unless they specifically opt in to the communication.