Limiting the Use of Student Social Security Numbers Procedures

Limiting the Use of Student Social Security Numbers Procedures


Office of Academic Affairs


College Registrar


Information Security and Technology



Effective Date:


Implementation History:



Social Security Number, COLLEAGUE ID, DOCPAK

Background Information:


State legislation was enacted in the 2000 session that limits the use of student social security numbers by all levels of public and private educational institutions.  The statement below defines the prohibition of the use of social security number and appropriate use of the social security number at the college.



  1. The development of the Student and Employee ID Card system in 2001 utilizing the (DATATEL) COLLEAGUE ID number as the official identification number of the individual was in direct response to this requirement.
  2. The SSN legislation has further implications, related to electronic and paper reports. The following practice was developed in consultation with the SUNY Counsel’s Office.

    A student’s SSN cannot be used in DOCPAK. The COLLEAGUE ID should be displayed for all student documents and electronic views.

    The student summaries available via the web display only the COLLEAGUE ID. Any paper or electronic reports also display only the COLLEAGUE ID number, not the SSN. (This includes mentor rosters, enrollment reports, etc.)

    The exception to the above is financial aid and business reports that require a unique and non-sequential student number. The law does allow for the use of the SSN if it can be justified. The SUNY Counsel’s Office indicated that the SSN could be used for these purposes so that money isn't put on the wrong account (either aid or payments).

    The cover page of the official transcript will also have the SSN. The law allows this as well. This falls in the domain of creating documentation that makes the individual identifiable no matter where the credential is presented. The SSN will do this.

  3. Students cannot be asked to identify themselves on sign-in sheets, or other similar documents, by using SSNs.

Applicable Legislation and Regulations

Education Law of the State of New York
Article I
Section 2

S 2-b.

Use of student social security numbers restricted. No public or private elementary or secondary school or college as defined in section two of this article shall display any student’s social security number to identify such student for posting or public listing of grades, on class rosters or other lists provided to teachers, on student identification cards, in student directories or similar listings, or, unless specifically authorized or required by law, for any public identification purpose.

Related References, Policies, Procedures, Forms and Appendices