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Why We Need Your Social Security Number

We have a legitimate business need to get Social Security information for individuals who request admission to our university. This info helps us manage identity records for the campus community, match documentation, and reduce the incidence of duplicated records, which can result in your data being exposed to unauthorized individuals.

Disclosure of your Social Security number (SSN) is requested for the Student Records system and for compliance with federal and state reporting requirements. Federal law requires that you provide your SSN if you’re applying for financial aid.

Also, to comply with the Tax Payer Relief Act of 1997, we must obtain your correct SSN to file returns with the IRS and to furnish a statement to you. The returns that we file must contain information about qualified tuition and related expenses. The Privacy Act of 1974, section 6109 of the Internal Revenue Code, requires that you give your correct SSN to agencies that must file information returns with the IRS. The IRS uses your SSN for identification and to verify the accuracy of your tax return. For more information, please refer to Internal Revenue Code section 6050S.

How We Use Your Social Security Number

You must provide your SSN upon submitting your admission application. We will only ask for your SSN once on the admission application to ensure we create a unique record for you in our student information system. Providing a valid SSN is the best way to be sure your records are properly maintained. Your SSN will never be used as your student ID number.

When you enroll, transfer credit, request a transcript, or have any information sent to us from other institutions, the primary means for connecting all these individual bits of information with you is your SSN. Not providing your SSN may take longer to verify what documents belong to you. It could even delay or prevent your registration with the university. You also will not be able to claim education tax credits on your tax return.

Your SSN will be used for mandated business functions, such as tax reporting to federal and state government agencies required to file information regarding assessment of qualified tuition and fees (IRS Form 1098-T) with the IRS, and the IRS requires us to furnish the SSN if available. The last four digits of the SSN are included on your transcript and might be required for background investigations and verifications of enrollment, since the SSN is the common identifier used by higher education institutions and government entities.

How We Protect Your Social Security Information

The SSN is part of your confidential record. Your SSN will be treated as a confidential piece of information used only to match documents to your account or to process loans or financial aid if applicable. Only university staff whose responsibilities require them to have access, such as those who process incoming documents like transcripts will have access to the full SSN.

Your SSN will be used for mandated business functions such as tax reporting to federal and state government agencies required to file information regarding assessment of qualified tuition and fees (IRS Form 1098-T) with the IRS, and the IRS requires us to furnish the SSN if available. In addition, the last four digits of the SSN are included on your APUS transcript and might be required for background investigations and verifications of enrollment, since the SSN is the common identifier used by Higher Education Institutions and government entities.

In addition, SSNs are encrypted in the database so that it is not directly viewable by anyone. Our websites are secured with Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure (HTTPS) therefore, no information can be read by anyone other than the intended recipient. We also follow procedural practices that will enhance SSN security – such as the secure disposal of documents containing SSNs.