SSNs & Search IDs
Instead of Social Security numbers, we now provide SSS Unique Identifiers a nine-character alpha-numeric unique identification code in the same data layout positions previously assigned to SSN. SSS Unique Identifiers are unique across ALL students in ALL search cycles. (Note: SSS Unique Identifiers are used ONLY by the Student Search Service, and not by any other College Board program.)
Regarding Social Security numbers and data matching
No doubt some users have relied on Social Security numbers as their primary means of matching prospect data. Given the fact that only about half of our records contain Social Security numbers, and only about half of those appear to be accurate, we suggest that matching algorithms relying solely on Social Security numbers are highly unreliable. We recommend instead that users first standardize prospect addresses, using either the CASS (good) or NCOA (better) database. With standardized addresses as the first iteration, users should next match last name, then first name, to achieve highly accurate results. Depending on the relative sizes of your internal prospect pool and your SSS output, some level of human inspection may also be considered necessary. We regret any inconvenience to our users resulting from our Social Security number policy, but consider the privacy and security of the millions of students each year who participate in SSS—nearly all of whom are under the legal age of 18—of much greater concern.