Names, Social Security numbers exposed on student loan website


The private information of potentially thousands of Minnesota college students was made vulnerable to outside viewing due to a coding error, multiple outlets report.

The Minnesota Department of Higher Education said Friday a University of Minnesota student viewing an online financial aid counseling program over Labor Day weekend was able to see the personal information of other students – such as names, Social Security numbers, addresses and more, the Star Tribune reports.

The error occurred in an online counseling portion of the state's Student Education Loan Fund (SELF) program website.

The student who stumbled into the info alerted the university, which in turn told higher education officials. The coding error has been fixed, and there's no evidence the information was taken or used maliciously, KSTP reports.

Still, the Department of Higher Education is notifying students who may have been affected, the station says.

It's not clear how many students' information was vulnerable, but Commissioner of Higher Education Larry Pogemiller told the Pioneer Press about 10,000 SELF loans were issued last year – not all the recipients of which were necessarily affected.

The Pioneer Press reports officials say students' financial information was not on the site, but identity theft is a possibility because of the information that was visible.

Pogemiller told the Star Tribune it's likely the glitch was there for months. A total of 87 colleges and universities use the website, the paper says.

Next Up

Minneapolis police

Vehicle runs over 2 people in downtown Minneapolis brawl

Two suspects have reportedly been identified.

Jorge Alcala

Rare night for Twins' bullpen fuels victory over Cardinals

The Twins scored five runs in the third inning in an 8-1 victory.

Bisi Johnson

Report: Bisi Johnson tears ACL, will miss 2021 season

Johnson suffered the injury during Friday's practice.

Mike Zimmer

Frustrated Zimmer sounds off after Vikings' positive COVID test

"I’m frustrated, not just with my football players who didn’t get vaccinated, but I’m frustrated with everybody [who didn't]."

Kirk Cousins

Report: Kellen Mond has COVID, Cousins among players out of practice

The team is scheduled to practice on Saturday night.

USPS packages

Two Ramsey County men sentenced in mail theft scheme

Sonny Vang Xiong was sentenced to three years in prison, while Davis Her was sentenced to six and a half years in prison.

Jeff Gladney

Jeff Gladney's ex-girlfriend files $1 million civil lawsuit

The civil lawsuit accuses Gladney of assaulting the woman for over two hours.

vaccine, covid

St. Paul care home group will mandate COVID vaccines for staff

It comes amid reports of COVID outbreaks at homes where residents are all vaccinated, but staff are not.

Jail handcuffs arrest

Starbuck man charged with uploading, sharing child pornography

The 47-year-old was arrested after a tip from the National Center of Missing and Exploited Children.


Boy, 11, seriously injured after 'fall' that police now suspect was abuse

It was initially reported that the boy slipped and fell.