The Registrar's Office has been designated to coordinate the inspection and review procedures for all student education records, including admissions, personal, academic, and financial files as well as academic, cooperative education, and placement records. Education records do not include records of instructional, administrative, and educational personnel, which are the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any individual except a temporary substitute.
The law provides each student with the following rights:
- To inspect and review information contained in their education records
- To challenge the contents of her/his education records
- To have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory
- To submit explanatory statements for inclusion in the student's files if the decisions of the hearing panels are found unacceptable.
APUS students may not inspect and review the following as outlined by the Privacy Act:
- Confidential letters and recommendations associated with admissions, employment or job placement
- Education records containing information about more than one student, in which case access is permitted only to the part that pertains to the student inquiring.
Requesting a Record Review
APUS students who wish to review their education records must make a written request to the Director of Student Records at email@example.com listing the item or items of interest. Only records covered by the Privacy Act will be made available to the student, generally within 45 days of receipt of the request. The student may have copies made of their records with certain exceptions. Any copies will be made at the student's expense at prevailing, reasonable rates.
Formal Request for Amendment
Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading, or otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights may discuss this problem informally with the Director of Student Records at firstname.lastname@example.org and make a request for amendment. If the Registrar approves the request, the appropriate records will be amended.
Formal Hearing or Formal Request for Amendment
If the request to amend the record is not approved, the student will be notified within a reasonable period of time and informed of the right to a request a formal hearing or submit a formal written request for amendment of record.
- The student must request a formal hearing in writing to the Associate Vice President of Document Services.
- The Associate Vice President of Document Services will coordinate and inform the student of the date, place, and the time of the hearing.
- The hearing panel will consist of the Academic Dean and a panel of at least three appropriate university officials, of which one must be a student appointed by the Provost.
- At the hearing, the student may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented at the hearings by one or more chosen persons, including attorneys, at the student's expense.
- Should the student choose to submit a formal written request for amendment of records in lieu of a formal hearing, the panel will consider the written request for amendment in the same manner as they would consider evidence submitted in a hearing.
Hearing Panel Decisions
The student's education records will be corrected or amended in accordance with the decisions of the hearing panel. Decisions of the panel will be final, based solely on the evidence presented, and will consist of written statements summarizing the evidence and stating the reasons for the decisions, and will be delivered to all parties concerned.
If the decisions are unsatisfactory to the student, they may submit statements commenting on the information in the records, or statements setting forth any reasons of disagreement with the decisions of the hearing panel. The statements will be placed in the education records, maintained as part of the record, and released whenever the record in question is disclosed.
Any student who believes that the adjudication of their challenge(s) were unfair or not in keeping with the provisions of the Privacy Act may request, in writing, assistance from the American Public University System Provost in filing complaints. The written request should be mailed to APUS, ATTN: Provost, 111 W. Congress Street, Charles Town, WV 25414. The complaint will be filed with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA), Department of Education, Room 4074, Switzer Building, Washington, DC 20202.