HESC Internet Privacy Policy

Thank you for visiting the New York State Higher Education Services Corporation (HESC) Web site. This Web site is designed to make it easier and more efficient for individuals and businesses to interact with HESC. HESC recognizes it is critical for individuals and businesses to be confident their privacy is protected when they visit HESC's Web site. 

Consistent with the provisions of New York's Internet Security and Privacy Act, Freedom of Information Law and Personal Privacy Protection Law, and applicable federal laws, this policy describes HESC's privacy practices regarding information collected from users of this Web site. This policy describes what information is collected and how that information is used. Because this privacy policy applies only to this Web site, you should examine the privacy policy of any Web site, including other state agency Web sites, that you access while using this Web site. In particular, you can initiate transactions from our site on the "New York's College Savings Program" Web site and the "New York Mentor" Web site. You can also initiate credit card loan payments on HESC's Web site. HESC will link you to the Web site of "Virtual Merchant", the credit card service provider, for processing of these transactions. When you link from HESC's Web site, please refer to the linked site's own privacy policy before you volunteer any personal information. 

For purposes of this policy, "personal information" means any information concerning a person that, because of name, number, symbol, mark, or other identifier, can be used to identify that person. 

Information Collected Automatically When You Visit This Web Site

When you visit this Web site, HESC automatically collects and stores the following non-personal information about your visit:

  • The Internet Protocol Address and domain name used, but not the e-mail address. The Internet Protocol Address is a numerical identifier assigned either to your Internet service provider or directly to your computer;
  • The type of browser and operating system you used;
  • The date and time you visited this site;
  • The Web pages or services you accessed at this site;
  • The Web site you visited before coming to this site;
  • The Web site you visit as you leave this site;
  • If you downloaded a file, the file that was downloaded; and
  • Any server error messages you may receive while using our site.

The information that is collected automatically is used to improve this Web site's content and to help HESC understand how users are interacting with the Web site. This information is collected for statistical analysis, to determine what information is of most and least interest to our users, and to make it easier to use the material on the Web site. The information is not collected for commercial marketing purposes and HESC does not sell or disclose this information for commercial marketing purposes. 


Cookies are simple text files stored on your Web browser to distinguish among users of this Web site. The use of cookies is a standard practice among Internet Web sites. To better serve you, we use "session cookies" to enhance or customize your visit to this Web site. Session cookies can be created automatically on the device you use to access HESC's Web site. These session cookies do not contain personal information and do not compromise your privacy or security. We may use the cookie feature to store a randomly generated identifying tag on the device you use to access this Web site. A session cookie is erased during operation of your browser or when your browser is closed. 

The software and hardware you use to access HESC's Web site allows you to refuse new cookies or delete existing cookies. Refusing or deleting these cookies may limit your ability to take advantage of some features of this Web site. 

Information and Choice

As noted below, HESC does not collect any personal information about you during your visit to this Web site unless you voluntarily provide that information by sending an e-mail or conducting an online transaction. If you choose not to participate in these activities, your ability to receive specific services or products through this Web site may be limited, but it will not prevent you from requesting some of our services by other means, nor will it affect your ability to take advantage of other features of the Web site, including browsing or downloading publicly available information. 

The New York State Internet Security and Privacy Act

The collection of information through this Web site and the disclosure of that information are subject to the provisions of the state's Internet Security and Privacy Act. HESC will collect or disclose personal information through this Web site only if you have consented to the collection or disclosure of personal information. By using the HESC Web Site, you give HESC permission to collect, use and disclose the information you voluntarily provide. 

However, HESC may collect or disclose personal information without user consent if the collection or disclosure is: (1) necessary to perform the statutory duties of HESC, or necessary for HESC to operate a program authorized by law, or authorized by state or federal statute or regulation; (2) made pursuant to a court order or by law; (3) for the purpose of validating the identity of the user; or (4) of information to be used solely for statistical purposes that is in a form that cannot be used to identify any particular person. 

HESC may disclose personal information to federal or state law enforcement authorities, or use this personal information to enforce HESC's rights against unauthorized access or attempted unauthorized access to HESC's information technology assets. 

Information Collected When You E-mail This Web Site

During your visit to this Web site you may send an e-mail to HESC. Your e-mail address and the contents of your message will be collected. The information collected is not limited to text characters and may include audio, video, and graphic information formats included in the message. Your e-mail address and the information included in your message will be used to respond to you, to address issues you identify, to improve this Web site, or to forward your message to another state agency for appropriate action. Your e-mail address is not collected for commercial purposes and HESC does not sell or disclose your e-mail address for commercial purposes. 

Access to and Correction of Personal Information Collected Through This Web Site

Any user may request HESC's privacy compliance officer to determine if personal information pertaining to that user has been collected through this Web site. Request shall be made in writing to the address below and must be accompanied by reasonable proof of identity of the user. Reasonable proof of identity may include verification of a signature, inclusion of an identifier generally known only to the user, or similar appropriate identification. The address of the privacy compliance officer is:

NYS Higher Education Services Corporation
Privacy Compliance Officer
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, New York 12255

The privacy compliance officer shall, within five (5) business days of the date of the receipt of a proper request: (i) provide access to the personal information; (ii) deny access in writing, explaining the reasons therefore; or (iii) acknowledge the receipt of the request in writing, stating the approximate date when the request will be granted or denied, which date shall not be more than thirty (30) days from the date of the acknowledgment. 

If HESC has collected personal information pertaining to a user through the state agency Web site and that information is to be provided to the user pursuant to the user's request, the privacy compliance officer shall inform the user of his or her right to request that the personal information be amended or corrected under the procedures set forth in Section 95 of the Public Officers Law. 


The information provided in this privacy policy should not be construed as giving business, legal, or other advice, or warranting as fail proof, the security of information provided through this Web site. 

Contact Information

For questions regarding this Internet privacy policy, please contact: 

NYS Higher Education Services Corporation
Privacy Compliance Officer
99 Washington Avenue
Albany, NY 12255