The personal financial details of as many as 5,000 college students were temporarily laid bare for other students to view on the Education Department's direct loan website earlier this month, an education official testified Tuesday.
The students' information was available during a 67-minute window as officials were making a reconfiguration involving 11.5 million borrowers, said James Runcie, the Education Department's federal student aid chief operating officer. The change was designed to improve the website's performance times.
Runcie said students who logged on during the trouble period saw the personal details of other students.
Those whose information was exposed have been notified and offered credit monitoring services, Runcie said. The department shut down the website while the problem was resolved. "We responded as quickly as we could," he said.