Got a cite for this claim? It’s certainly true that credit card companies pay colleges to distribute information about them to students (e.g., that’s why the clerk at the campus shop stuffs in a bunch of credit-card ads when bagging your purchases). As for colleges selling info about the students to the companies, though, I think they only sell the student mailing lists (that is, names and addresses). AFAIK, there’s no privacy regulation that prevents somebody who knows your mailing address from selling that information to somebody else.
And as for the suggestion that colleges are deliberately withholding financial aid or guidance from students on account of this, presumably because the credit-card companies prefer to have the students remain cash-strapped and ignorant of prudent money management…well, as I said, I’d like to see a cite.
Mind you, I hold absolutely no brief for the corporate “credit-crack” merchants who deliberately try to entice very young and inexperienced people into getting high-limit, high-rate credit cards. As far as I can tell, it’s simply a form of predatory lending: they do it not because they’re hoping to make a reasonable profit on students’ reasonable credit-card use, but because they’re hoping to rake in megabucks from thousands of dollars’ worth of foolish spending by financial novices who will be locked into career-crippling debt payments for years to come. However, if we’re going to suggest that colleges are intentionally trying to keep students financially poor and stupid in order to better foster this predation, we need to see some evidence.