GLBA and the Impact on Higher Ed Policies: How FormAssembly Can Help


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Whether you’ve studied at or been employed by a college or university, you know how vital it is to safeguard sensitive student information. University staff members are responsible for protecting and securing the data they collect, which often includes information about a student’s personal, financial, or health history. Due to potential privacy concerns, some steps in the higher ed data collection process are regulated by specific policies and legal guidelines.

The Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLBA) is one example of an important regulatory standard that colleges and universities must follow if they offer financial aid or distribute financial assistance. In this article, we’ll shed light on how the GLBA affects higher education policies and how FormAssembly can help. You’ll even learn how the University of Michigan uses FormAssembly to improve processes, streamline administrative efforts, and stay in compliance.

What is the Gramm-Leach Bliley Act (GLBA)?

The Gramm-Leach Bliley Act is a regulation under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) that requires financial institutions, or any company that offers comparable services such as loans, to be forthcoming about information sharing practices. The GLBA also makes it mandatory for these organizations to safeguard sensitive data.

Although the GLBA is immediately relevant to banks and other financial institutions, it also applies to any type of institution that collects, maintains, or shares customer financial data. Under the broader scope of the act, colleges and universities, automotive dealers, and other institutions must maintain compliance.

How does it affect colleges and universities?

According to Educause, the GLBA regulates certain actions that colleges and universities engage in frequently. This includes activities such as collecting applications, processing tuition payment records, storing student financial data, and more.

The GLBA also has two components—the Privacy Rule and the Safeguard Rule—which apply to higher education institutions in particular. Typically, if an institution is in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the school also satisfies the standards of GLBA.

How FormAssembly helps with GLBA compliance

Complying with GBLA standards often means that financial institutions and universities are at a lower risk of fines, penalties, and damages. This is especially critical for protecting reputation and professional integrity as well. To comply with GLBA, higher education officials should be confident that they have systems in place to:

  • Protect all confidential student information against unauthorized access
  • Notify students, parents, or other stakeholders of any information-sharing practices
  • Track user activity, including the unauthorized access of passwords and login attempts

FormAssembly’s robust Compliance Cloud plan is compliant with GLBA and other important financial and privacy regulations, making it an ideal solution for higher education and financial institutions.

FormAssembly for higher education

FormAssembly is trusted by hundreds of higher education institutions all over the world. No matter the size of your campus or student population, FormAssembly can help you streamline your data collection processes with security and reliability.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can engage, connect, and inspire students, staff, and alumni with better data, don’t miss our case study with the University of Michigan.

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