Student Records, Privacy & FERPA

The College maintains records for each student. Student records include the student’s enrollment application and agreement, semester registration contract(s), any personal information necessary for the College’s business, transcripts, comments, evaluations, letters of concern and appreciation, and records of any College action. College staff and the applicable regulatory agencies have access to student files for educational and business purposes. Third party access to student records is limited unless the student has provided written consent. Students have rights of inspection and correction of their records. Student information of a private, personal, or confidential nature that is provided to the College will only be disclosed in compliance within the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). Information required for transcripts of all former students will be kept for at least 25 years from the date of termination of enrollment.

As an Institute of Higher Learning, the federal rules provided by FERPA govern student privacy.

FERPA requires that ACHS maintains the confidentiality of academic and personal records of each student. Directory information, including name, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees, honors and awards received, and enrollment status may be released at the discretion of the Registrar. If a student does not wish any of this information to be released, he or she must notify the Registrar once each year in writing by the end of the second week of the term.

To ensure maximum safeguards of information contained in a student’s personal record, ACHS will disclose information of a confidential nature only to the student, to a parent/guardian claiming that student as a dependent (as demonstrated through provision of a copy of the parent/ guardian’s most recent federal income tax return), or to a third party upon receipt of expressed written permission of the student. Students should complete the Authorized Agent form online at http://tinyurl.com/authorized-agent if they wish to nominate an agent that will have full access to their student account and information.

FERPA does allow schools to disclose student records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school
  • Accrediting organizations
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific state law

For more information about FERPA including what constitutes directory information, go to http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html

ACHS requires that all documents containing sensitive information be encrypted prior to transmission. This can include using a secure file sharing system or sharing documents via PDF secured with a password.

FERPA and the Solomon Amendment

The Solomon Amendment is a federal law that allows military recruiters to access some address, biographical, and academic program information for students age 17 and older.

The Department of Education has determined the Solomon Amendment supersedes most elements of FERPA. An institution is therefore obligated to release data included in the list of “student recruiting infor­mation,” which may or may not match ACHS’s FERPA directory information list. However, if the student has submitted a request to ACHS’s Registrar’s Office to restrict the release of his/her directory information, then no information from the student’s education record will be released under the Solomon Amendment. For more information on directory information please see above.

Definition—“Student Recruitment Information” or “Solomon Information”

  • Name
  • Address (home and mailing)
  • Telephone (home and mailing)
  • Age (is not defined as directory information at ACHS)
  • Place of birth (is not defined as directory information at ACHS)
  • Level of education
  • Academic major
  • Degrees received
  • Educational institution in which the student was most recently enrolled

Procedure for Releasing Information to Military Recruiter

Under the Solomon Amendment, information will be released for military recruitment purposes only. The military recruiters may request student recruitment information once each term or semester for each of the 12 eligible units within the five branches of the service:

  • Army: Army, Army Reserve, Army National Guard
  • Navy: Navy, Navy Reserve
  • Marine Corps: Marine Corps, Marine Corps Reserve
  • Air Force: Air Force, Air Force Reserve, Air Force National Guard
  • Coast Guard: Coast Guard, Coast Guard Reserve

The request should be submitted in writing on letterhead clearly identifying the unit of service requesting the student recruitment information. The request should specify whether the information needed is for the current or previous semester.

Authorized Agent

For students’ convenience, they have the option to appoint an authorized agent. This allows ACHS to deal with the agent on the student’s behalf, for example if he or she is sick, on vacation, or otherwise indisposed. Students may wish to appoint a parent, spouse, or friend, but should be sure to select someone they trust. ACHS may freely deal with this person as if he or she is the student. Students may assign an authorized agent or update their agent by submitting the ACHS Authorized Agent form available online at http://tinyurl.com/authorized-agent.