(a) (1) Except for residents of the Federated States of Micronesia, the Republic of the Marshall Islands, and the Republic of Palau, the Secretary attempts to confirm the social security number a student provides on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) under a data match with the Social Security Administration. If the Social Security Administration confirms that number, the Secretary notifies the institution and the student of that confirmation.
(2) If the student's verified social security number is the same number as the one he or she provided on the FAFSA, and the institution has no reason to believe that the verified social security number is inaccurate, the institution may consider the number to be accurate.
(3) If the Social Security Administration does not verify the student's social security number on the FAFSA, or the institution has reason to believe that the verified social security number is inaccurate, the student can provide evidence to the institution, such as the student's social security card, indicating the accuracy of the student's social security number. An institution must give a student at least 30 days, or until the end of the award year, whichever is later, to produce that evidence.
(4) An institution may not deny, reduce, delay, or terminate a student's eligibility for assistance under the title IV, HEA programs because verification of that student's social security number is pending.
(b) (1) An institution may not disburse any title IV, HEA program funds to a student until the institution is satisfied that the student's reported social security number is accurate.
(2) The institution shall ensure that the Secretary is notified of the student's accurate social security number if the student demonstrates the accuracy of a social security number that is not the number the student included on the FAFSA.
(c) If the Secretary determines that the social security number provided to an institution by a student is incorrect, and that student has not provided evidence under paragraph (a)(3) of this section indicating the accuracy of the social security number, and a loan has been guaranteed for the student under the FFEL program, the institution shall notify and instruct the lender and guaranty agency making and guaranteeing the loan, respectively, to cease further disbursements of the loan, until the Secretary or the institution determines that the social security number provided by the student is correct, but the guaranty may not be voided or otherwise nullified before the date that the lender and the guaranty agency receive the notice.
(d) Nothing in this section permits the Secretary to take any compliance, disallowance, penalty or other regulatory action against—
(1) Any institution of higher education with respect to any error in a social security number, unless the error was the result of fraud on the part of the institution; or
(2) Any student with respect to any error in a social security number, unless the error was the result of fraud on the part of the student.
(Authority: 20 U.S.C. 1091)
Title 34 published on 2012-07-01
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