Privacy Policy

Oberlin College’s Commitment to Privacy

The privacy of visitors to our web sites is very important to us. This privacy policy outlines the types of personal information received, collected, and used by Oberlin College through its suite of web sites and online service partners (hereafter referred to as Oberlin College sites and services).

The college adheres to legal requirements prescribed by relevant statutes, such as the (FERPA) Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. Our FERPA document notice may be found online.

This privacy policy should be considered a baseline standard. The privacy policies of individual Oberlin College departments may provide standards that are more rigorous or restrictive. Check individual departmental web pages for any further information on their policies.

1) Information We Collect from Website Visitors

Personally Identifiable Information

Personally Identifiable Information (PII) is information that can be used to identify, contact, or locate an individual, either alone or combined with other information. PII includes data such as your name, e-mail address, phone number, credit card number, or any other information that is not otherwise publicly available. The PII that Oberlin College sites and services collects from you is information that you supply to us, for purposes such as making a donation, completing a purchase, or requesting admissions information.

Aggregate Data

Like other web sites, Oberlin College sites and services make use of log or session files. This is information automatically collected from you each time you visit our site. Log files typically include your Internet Protocol (IP) address, type of browser, Internet Service Provider (ISP), date/time stamp, referring/exit pages, and number of clicks. None of this information, individually or grouped together—referred to in total as “aggregate data”—will be used to identify a specific individual.

Public Forums

If you use the blog or comment functions on our site, any PII you submit can be read, collected, or used by other users of these forums, and could be used to send you unsolicited messages. We are not responsible for the PII you choose to submit in these forums.

2) How We Use Information Collected from Web Visitors

PII and/or aggregate data collected by Oberlin College sites and services may be used for the following:

  • Educational and/or research purposes;
  • Editorial and feedback purposes;
  • Promotional and recruiting purposes, including soliciting philanthropic contributions and contacting prospective students;
  • Statistics analysis of a visitor’s online behavior for web site development;
  • Analysis of trends;
  • Administration of the site;
  • Development of usage statistics;
  • Gathering of demographic information;
  • Web site page/content and layout customization.

In addition, names, postal and e-mail addresses, and phone numbers provided by visitors via online forms may be added to Oberlin’s database(s). This information may be used for correspondence, e-mail, or other uses consistent with Oberlin’s business practices and/or academic mission. Oberlin may also use such information to provide users with notifications concerning College and community events.

3) Cookies

Cookies are small pieces of data automatically stored in a user’s browser when a website is visited. Oberlin College may place cookies on a visitor’s computer to store information about visitor preferences, record user-specific information on pages accessed or visited, customize web page content based on browser type or device, or to present visitors with content or advertisements about Oberlin College on other web pages they subsequently visit.

Users can set their browsers to receive notification when a web site sends them a cookie so they may accept or reject it. Note that some parts of the College web site may not function properly, or may be considerably slower, if cookies are rejected.

Third-Party Use of Cookies

Oberlin College sites and services may place specialized coding on web pages that allows a third party to insert a cookie into a visitor’s browser. These are used for the purposes of presenting a visitor with online advertisements about Oberlin College after leaving our site.

When you use Oberlin College sites and services online, a third-party vendor may automatically receive your IP address. This aggregate information is used to deliver tailored advertising content about Oberlin College, and to measure the effectiveness of advertisements.

A third-party vendor may also collect aggregate information about the number of Oberlin College advertisements viewed and the number of times users click on the advertisements. This type of information is used to track the success of these advertisements, but cannot be used to identify users in any way. (Note: Oberlin College’s privacy policy does not apply to, nor can we control the activities of, other advertisers or web sites.)

Users may control third-party cookies via their web browser preference settings. Users may also opt out of the use of third-party cookies, in general, by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) at As with the College website, other websites may not function properly, or may be considerably slower, if cookies are rejected.

4) Disclosure of Personal Data to Third Parties

Oberlin College occasionally retains the services of third parties to process information or financial transactions. Before providing PII to a third party, Oberlin College will obtain a non-disclosure and confidentiality agreement from the third party. Aggregate data and/or information that is publicly available is not subject to such agreements.

We will disclose personal information when required by law, judicial process, warrant, or subpoena.

5) Our Commitment to Data Security

Oberlin College is firmly committed to data security. To restrict unauthorized access and to ensure data integrity and security, Oberlin College implements physical, electronic, and administrative policies and procedures intended to safeguard information the College collects and/or stores. However, the College cannot assure or warrant absolute data security.

6) Children’s Privacy

Oberlin College does not deliberately collect, or attempt to collect, personal information from children known to be under the age of thirteen (13). The College cannot always determine, however, if a visitor is a child. In general, the subject matter provided on the College’s web site is not directed toward children under the age of thirteen (13).

7) Your Consent and How to Contact Us

By visiting Oberlin College sites and services, you consent to the collection, storage, and dissemination of PII and aggregate data as described above. We reserve the right to modify this privacy policy at any time.

Effective Date

This policy was updated on May 8, 2013.

How to Contact Us

If you have any questions regarding our Privacy Policy, please contact the Oberlin College Office of Communications at (440) 775-8474, or via postal mail to:

Office of Communications
247 W. Lorain St., Suite C
Oberlin, Ohio 44074