Privacy Policy

Date Last Revised: November 1, 2016

1. Privacy Policy Overview

Peterson’s Nelnet, LLC (“we”, “our”, or “us”) operates the Peterson’s mobile device application(s) and the Website petersons.com (the "Website") and versions of the Website, including co-branded and/or framed versions of the site with third parties that refer to this Privacy Policy in a link (collectively, “Services”). This Privacy Policy is designed to inform you of the types of information we collect from users via the Website and from users of the Peterson’s mobile device application(s), as well as how we use that information, and the circumstances under which we will share it with third parties.

This Privacy Policy does not apply to your use of any other websites or services (whether or not operated by us) that do not refer or link to this Privacy Policy, including any websites to which we provide links or websites of our business partners, or to any activities which are not online. This Privacy Policy pertains to information collected through the Services and does not apply to personal information collected from offline resources and communications (for instance, if you send us a postal letter or call us). By using our Services, you acknowledge and agree to the practices and procedures described in this Privacy Policy and Peterson’s Terms of Use as last revised. This Privacy Policy applies to users who are located in the U.S. when using our Services.

Please note that in some instances we utilize framing techniques, which make it appear that you are on our Website when you are actually on a third party website. The privacy policies that governs the collection and use of the information will be present on these pages so you always know whose privacy practices govern the collection and use of the information that you submit.

This Privacy Policy is subject to change from time to time, so be sure to check back occasionally to ensure you have read the most current version. It is effective as of the date listed above and applies to our Services that link to this policy. Even if you read and/or agreed to a prior privacy statement, you need to review this updated version. We reserve the right, at any time, and in our sole discretion, to revise this Privacy Policy. If any such changes or modifications are made, we will update the “Date Last Revised” appearing at the top of this page. Such changes or modifications shall be effective immediately, and supersede any prior versions of this Privacy Policy.

2. Children's Privacy

Our Services are not structured to attract children under 13, and we do not intend to collect personally identifiable information from anyone we know to be under 13 years of age. If you are under 13, please do not use our Services. If we find out we have unknowingly collected personally identifiable information about a child under 13, we will take all reasonable measures to delete that information from our system as soon as possible.

3. Information We Collect

We collect information so we can identify you as our customer, to establish, manage, and protect your account, to complete your transactions, to create and offer you products and services you may be interested in, and to comply with various legal and regulatory requirements.

Non-Identifying Information

We may collect Non-Identifying Information information from your use of our Services, as part of the registration and administration of your account, or to personalize and improve upon your experience. Non-Identifying Information is anonymous and includes information such as IP addresses, web pages which have been viewed, search queries that have been submitted, education interests, date and time, domain type, and responses by a visitor to an advertisement, and content delivered by us or a third party advertising or technology vendor. We and our business partners may use different types of technologies to collect this type of information, including cookies and web beacons (1x1 pixels).

Additionally, when registering for the site or requesting education information from one of our business partners on our Services, we may collect additional non-identifying information about the individual. Examples of the non-personally identifiable data that may be requested include gender, ethnicity, military status, education background, geographic location and other information. None of this information (collectively referred to as "non-identifying information"), by itself, or together with other non-identifying information, can by its nature be matched with a specific individual. We have no access or control of third party tracking technologies.

During the course of the visitor's use of our Services, we automatically collect certain information through cookies, web beacons, log files, and other common data collection techniques, and we receive information from third parties.

Website Cookies: The Services may place "cookies" on a visitor's device. Cookies are small text files. Our Cookies save anonymized data about individual visitors, allowing our Services to recognize information about a visitor and help deliver personalized content and other services and functions. Cookies make your Internet experience quicker and more convenient. The Services use both session cookies, which terminate when a user closes his or her browser, and persistent cookies, which remain on the user's device until they expire or are manually deleted. The Services also contain coding from our business and technology partners which generates third party cookies. Third party cookies allow our business and technology partners to store non-Identifying Information they can access when you visit this or other websites. Accepting a cookie from a web or device browser does not give us access to any Personally Identifiable Information.

Most website and mobile device browsers allow you to control cookies, including whether or not to accept them and provide the ability to remove them. You may set most browsers to notify you if you receive a cookie, or you may choose to block cookies with your browser. Blocking cookies may result in a lower quality experience for you while you are using our Services.

Device and Connection Information: When you use our Services, we will identify the Internet Protocol (IP) address of your computer or handled device. The IP address doesn’t identify you personally, but it lets us identify the device you are using. We store IP addresses in case we need to track a connection for security purposes. We may also collect other device-specific information about the device you are using, including what type of device it is and hardware model, what operating system you are using, device settings, unique device identifies, geo-location data, and crash data. Whether we collect some or all of this information often depends on what type of device you are using and its settings. Check the policies of your device manufacturer or software provider to learn more about what information your device makes available to us.

Web Beacons (1x1 Pixels or GIFS): Our Services contain coding known as Web Beacons that use 1x1 pixel images to capture and transmit the online activity of users on our Services. These Web Beacons typically transmit information about form completions and other activities in order to measure advertising effectiveness or store analytics information. In addition, we may use Web Beacons in HTML-based emails. This allows us to evaluate the effectiveness of our email communications and our marketing campaigns by showing how many emails recipients have opened.

Log Files: Our servers also utilize log files. Log files store information including internet protocol (IP) addresses, browser type, internet service provider (ISP), referring/exit pages, platform type, date/time stamp, and number of clicks. Log files are used to analyze trends, administer the Services, track users' movement in the aggregate, and gather broad demographic information for aggregate use. We use log file information at times to help identify you as you browse and to gather broad technical and demographic information on who uses our Services.

Google Analytics Advertising Features

We use Google Analytics to collect information about the use of the Services. Google Analytics collects information such as how often users visit the Services, what pages they visit when they do so, and what other sites they used prior to coming to our Services. We use the information we get from Google Analytics only to improve the Services. Google Analytics collects only the IP address assigned to you on the date you visit the Services, rather than your name or other identifying information. We do not combine the information collected through the use of Google Analytics with Personally Identifiable Information. Although Google Analytics plants a permanent cookie on your web browser to identify you as a unique user the next time you visit this site, the cookie cannot be used by anyone but Google. Google’s ability to use and share information collected by Google Analytics about your visits to this site is restricted by the Google Analytics Terms of Use and the Google Privacy Policy. You can prevent Google Analytics from recognizing you on return visits to this Website by disabling the Google Analytics cookie on your browser. You can also view and change the currently available opt-outs for Google Ads.

We also use the Google AdWords remarketing service to advertise on third party websites (including Google) to previous visitors of our Services. This could be in the form of an advertisement on other websites or on the Google search results page. Third party vendors, including Google, use cookies to serve ads based on someone’s past visits to the Website. Any data collection will be used in accordance with our own Privacy Policy and Google’s privacy policy. You can set preferences for how Google advertises to you using Google’s Ads Settings. Alternatively, you can opt-out of a third party vendor’s use of cookies by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative opt-out page.

Do Not Track Signals: Do Not Track is a feature in your web or device browser, which enables you to opt-out of the third party tracking of your online activities over time and across third party websites. We do not process or comply with any web or device browser’s “do not track” signal or other similar mechanism that indicates a request to disable online tracking of individual users who use our Services.

Third Party Information: We may receive information about you from other sources. For example, we may receive updated or corrected contact information from third party vendors as part of vendors' fraud detection services. We may also receive information about you from third-party accounts. On some of our Services, you can log in to our site using sign-in services such as Facebook Connect or an Open ID provider. These services will authenticate your identity and provide you the option to share certain personal information with us such as your name and email address to pre-populate our sign up form. Services like Facebook Connect give you the option to post information about your activities on our Services to your profile page to share with others within your network. All information received from these third party sources is utilized in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

4. Personally Identifiable Information

Personally Identifiable Information, as used in this Privacy Policy, means any information or set of information that can be used to trace or identify a specific individual, either alone or when combined with other personal or identifying information that is linked or linkable to a specific individual. Examples of personally identifiable data that may be requested include name, address and email address, and phone numbers (home, mobile, office, and/or fax numbers). We generally collect this information on our Services to match you with educational opportunities, personalize content and to allow the user to request contact from educational institutions. We may share or sell your personal information with or to third parties, but if we do so, it will be as described in this Privacy Policy. Providing your personal information is always voluntary, and you can always choose not to provide your personal information by choosing not to use our Services. By providing your personal information, you acknowledge and consent to our use of such information in accordance with this Privacy Policy. If you would like to opt-out of having your personally identifiable information disclosed or distributed with or to third-parties, contact us at privacy@petersons.com.

We also collect information that you provide to us when you register for an account on our Services, including username and passwords, request information about a particular school or educational program, or otherwise voluntarily provide information about yourself and/or your educational interests. Most commonly, our Services provide users the opportunity to request information from schools and to learn about various education opportunities. These information request pages require users to provide us with contact information (name, address, phone numbers [home, work and mobile], email address, age, work experience, military history, etc.) as well as information about their interest in one or more of our education or business partners (universities, colleges, test preparation companies, financial aid providers, etc.). We collect this information that you provide and may use it to make your future requests from our Services easier by pre-populating contact forms with the information that you have provided. We may sell or share this contact information that you provide with the education or business partner that you requested information from and that information usage is covered by their privacy policy.

Testimonials

From time to time, we post customer testimonials/comments/reviews on our Services which may contain personally identifiable information. We do obtain the customer's consent via email prior to posting the testimonial to post their name along with their testimonial.

Public Forums

Our Services offer publicly accessible blogs. You should be aware that any information you provide in these areas may be read, collected, and used by others who access them. To request removal of your personal information from our blog or community forum, contact us at privacy@petersons.com or the mailing address provided at the end of this document. In some cases, we may not be able to remove your personal information, in which case we will let you know if we are unable to do so and why.

Social Plug-Ins: In addition, we do utilize social plug-ins from social networking sites (e.g. YouTube, Google+) that connect our Services with the social plug-ins' platform, so you have a more integrated user experience. These social plug-ins collect information from you when you visit our Services. The type of information and use of this information is governed by each social-plugins' respective terms of use and privacy policy. For more information, please consult the relevant policy for the respective social networking site. Further, we may share Non-Identifying Information and Personally-Identifying Information with such integrated social media sites.

5. How We Use and Share Information

In addition to the uses listed in other sections of this Privacy Policy, the information you provide to us and the automatically-collected information (both Personally Identifying and Non-Identifying Information) is used and shared to provide a number of different functions and services on our Services and in coordination with our technology and business partners. This utilization includes, but is not limited to, the following:

  • We may provide you targeted advertising via electronic delivery and/or postal mail.
  • We may contact you for feedback on Service features and functionality, and improving the content and layout of our Services via electronic delivery and/or postal mail.
  • Statistical analysis of your behavior, demographics and interests.
  • We utilize web beacons to enable us or third parties to provide you with advertisements, both on our Services and on third-party websites, which are tailored to your educational interests.
  • We may use your geography to provide you with localized services, such as matching you with local education providers for some of the matching services we provide (e.g., educational opportunities or products or services available locally).
  • We may use your physical mailing address, email address, mobile phone number, or other phone number to provide you with certain information or updates (such as our email newsletters, text messages, and phone calls) if requested by you or matches you with participating education providers in areas where you have requested information.
  • We may use the account information to manage your account, facilitate the use of certain features of our Services (e.g., personalized education recommendations, suggestions of content that may be of interest to you, and creation of your educational interest lists) and to send you information about our company, services and products or offers from our business partners.
  • We may use information about your use of our Services, such as your searches or browsing history and the education requests or interests, to make recommendations or suggestions to you and to provide you with advertising that is more relevant and interesting for you.
  • If you have requested information from a service provider (such as an educational institution), we may use information about you to match you with additional appropriate service providers in our system.
  • We use cookies in a number of ways to make your use of our services more useful. We create cookie files on your device and use them, for example, to save information on your username, ZIP Code, Website preferences, preferred educational categories, and requested education opportunities. We do this so you can avoid re-entry of this information each time you visit our Services, and to display certain usage information that may be helpful for you, such as your recent searches and/or recently viewed items. Cookies also allow us to deliver content and advertisements specific to your interests. For example, we may use cookies to collect anonymous information about your use of our Services (including your browsing history, the terms you searched, the schools you viewed, etc.) and your interaction with our advertisements that are served on the Services or other websites. We also may provide your anonymous use and browsing information to third parties to allow them to provide you with advertisements that are tailored to your interests. You may decline our cookies or our third-party partner cookies if your web or device browser software permits, although this may prevent you from accessing certain features on our Services.
  • We also utilize Web Beacons and Cookies and uses third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you use our Services. Third party advertising companies may also be utilized by us to target display advertising to you once you leave the Services. These companies may use non-personally identifiable information about your visits to our Services in order to provide advertisements about goods and services that may be of interest to you. It is solely your obligation to review and understand the privacy practices and policies of these advertisers and their associated third parties. These advertisers and their associated third parties are independent entities over which we exercise no control. We are not responsible for, and will not be liable for, their conduct, actions, omissions, or information handling or dissemination practices. If you wish to not have this information used for the purpose of serving you targeted ads, you may opt-out by clicking here. Please note this does not opt you out of being served advertising. You will continue to receive generic ads.
  • In addition to the uses described above, we may use your personal information for any of the following:
    • To contact you via postal mail, email, phone, or text message regarding the status of your inquiries relating to services or products listed on our Services or to recommend additional service providers.
    • To contact you via postal mail, email, phone, or text message regarding account status, changes to this Privacy Policy or other terms applicable to your use of the Services.
    • To contact you via postal mail, email, phone, or text message to confirm your education inquiry, to confirm, complete or update your registration information, or for any other business reason related to your use of our Services.
    • To contact you via postal mail, email, phone, or text message in response to a customer service question from you, or in relation to any issue arising in respect of the agreement between us and you, or to resolve or attempt to resolve a dispute between users or between us and you.
    • To assist law enforcement or other governmental agencies investigating cases of possible illegal activities by third parties.
    • To enforce or apply our Terms of Use or other agreements, and protect the rights, property or safety of our users or others.
    • To improve the experience of using our Services, improve the our products and services, improve marketing and promotion of our products and services, customize our Service contents and layout, and generally improve the Services to meet your needs better.
    • Certain information that you provide, such as your educational interest lists, is publicly available on our Services unless you choose to make it private. You may control some of the information that is publicly available by signing into your account and adjusting your settings.
    • We aggregate personal information into statistics about users, their usage of the Services, traffic patterns, and demographics. We may provide third parties with such statistics, but not in a way that would make that information personally identifiable.
    • We allow sharing of information with third parties through your use of "Share", "Like", or other social interaction widgets on our Services. Widgets support functions that require that you disclose certain personally identifiable information given the user's choice of participation. This information is collected in many different ways such as: forms, surveys, contests, forums, subscribing or unsubscribing to mailings and correcting or updating personally identifiable information and are only used for the purpose in which they were collected.
    • If you choose to submit to us your contact information as part of a request to be contacted by education institutions or service providers, we will supply to those third parties your information, and those institutions or providers may contact you using your information regarding the specific query that you have provided. Upon receiving your request, we or the third party may contact you regarding requested or related products and/or services via phone, fax, email, postal mail, or text message regardless of your status on opt-out lists such as Do Not Call registries or previously unsubscribing from their messages or exercising the opt-out described in this Privacy Policy. We do not have direct control over the use of your information once provided to third party education institutions and service providers, and your rights in respect of their treatment of your information will be governed by their own policies.
    • We may occasionally use external service providers to facilitate, improve, or outsource elements of our service or operation of the Services, including processing transactions, sending emails, and providing marketing assistance or analysis. We may provide your information to, or exchange your information with, these service providers for use in their provision of services to us, such as fraud protection, compliance monitoring, or marketing analysis. These external service providers may have access to personal information needed to perform their functions or services to us, but may not use it for other purposes including their own marketing.
    • We may share your information with companies that are affiliated with us, such as our direct or indirect subsidiaries or parent or sister companies. As we continue to develop our business, we might buy or sell companies, subsidiaries, or business units. In such transactions, user information is generally one of the transferred assets but remains subject to the promises made in any pre-existing Privacy Policy. In the event that we, or substantially all of our assets, are acquired, your information may be one of the transferred assets and we may share it with an actual or potential acquirer.
    • We may release information from or about you to cooperate with law enforcement officials and third parties to enforce all applicable laws, including but not limited to, laws relating to intellectual property rights, fraud, and other rights. We also may release information from or about you without a subpoena, court order, or other substantially similar legal procedure to law enforcement entities or third parties when we believe release is necessary to comply with the law; to protect our rights, property, or the integrity of the Services, or the rights or property of our merchants/service providers, customers, users, or third parties; or to prevent or investigate illegal activities, suspected fraud, situations involving potential threat to the physical safety of any person, or violation of our Terms of Use or other agreement between you and us. Further, we can (and you authorize us to) disclose information from or about you to consumers who have alleged fraud or any other consumer dispute relating to their transactions and/or communications with you.
6. Control of Third Party Data Usage

While the Company undertakes efforts to see that any third party with whom we share personal or other information is under contractual obligation to use it solely for the purposes for which the information was disclosed and in accordance with the terms of this Privacy Policy, such parties are independent third parties over which we exercise no direct control. We are not responsible for, and will not be liable for, their conduct, actions, omissions, or information handling or dissemination practices.

7. Accessing and Changing Your Personal Information

We provide a number of different opportunities to review and change information in your profile or that we have stored about you. For example, you can log into your account to make desired changes.

To request information that was previously voluntarily provided be removed from our database, or to deactivate your account, send us a request using the Contact Information below. We will attempt to delete such information, where feasible, after we receive a request from you. We will respond to a request for access within 30 days.

In accordance with this Privacy Policy, we may have forwarded personal information to our business partners. In the event we have shared your information with our business partners, including educational institutions, we no longer have control over the removal of such information, and we will not be able to remove your information from their systems.

Please be advised that by requesting that your data be removed from our database, or deactivating your account, you will be removed from our Services. Also note that the information removal request does not carry forward, and any subsequent return to the Services will result in additional information capture and sharing in accordance with this Privacy Policy.

Notwithstanding any request from you, we may retain a record of your information that is necessary to comply with applicable law or as necessary to manage your account.

8. Links to Third Party Websites

The Services, as well as the electronic messages sent by us, may contain links to other sites or services. We are not responsible for the privacy practices or the content of such third party sites. If you have a question about the privacy policy of those other sites, please contact them directly.

9. Email Opt-Out Policy

By completing a registration, filling out school information request forms, or otherwise providing your email address on one of our pages you consent that we may send email to you regarding our products and services or those of our business partners.

We understand you may not want to receive email from us or from our business partners. You can choose to opt out of receiving email communications from us by following the unsubscribe instructions in the email communication you receive from us, or by contacting us directly using the Contact Information below.

In accordance with this Privacy Policy we may have shared your email address with our business partners, including educational institutions. When that occurs we no longer have direct control over the use of such information, and your rights regarding such use will be governed by our partner's policies. You will have to contact them directly with any email opt-out request.

10. Security Measures to Protect Your Information

We have implemented technical, administrative, and physical security measures and other generally accepted industry standards designed to protect your information from unauthorized access and improper use. We review our security procedures on a regular basis to consider new or updated and appropriate technology and methods. Please be aware, however, that no method of transmission of information over the Internet, or method of electronic storage of information, is 100% secure. Therefore, while we strive to use commercially-acceptable means to protect your information, we cannot guarantee its absolute security. If you have any questions about security on our Web site, you can send email us using the Contact Information below.

11. Your California Privacy Rights

California has passed legislation requiring certain disclosures be made available to California residents who use the Internet and provide information that may be used for marketing purposes. It requires any business that discloses a customer's personal information to any third party for direct marketing purposes to provide the customer a method for obtaining the names, addresses and certain other specified details of anyone who might have received that personal information. If you are a California resident, you may request this information by requesting it using the Contact Information below.

12. Contact Information

If you have any questions about this Privacy Policy, the collection and sharing practices of our Services, or your use of the Services, please contact us at:

Address:
Attention: Privacy Policy Administrator - Peterson’s Nelnet, LLC
121 S 13th St.
Lincoln, NE 68508
Email: privacy@petersons.com

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