Private companies looking to sell or market products to college students are buying information about them directly from their schools.
The Assistant Director of Student Services at UW Marathon County Annette Hackbarth-Onson says federal law allows colleges to sell information about their students.
She says companies are often looking to buy students names, birth-dates, and email addresses.
She says the decision on whether or not to release student information is made by the UW Colleges System.
"UWMC doesn't sell information we're apart of the UW Colleges and any inquires we'd refer directly to them to make that decision," says Hackbarth-Onson.
She says if the UW Colleges System decided to sell information about their students, federal law allows students to choose how much information they share about themselves.
"Under FERPA [the Federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act] Colleges are allowed to share directory information but that would be protected if [students] were to sign that agreement."
She says the form restricting the amount of information that is made available to students during orientation.