Dear FERPA Professor,
I’ve received a Solomon Amendment request in the Registrar’s Office, asking for student recruiting information. Fortunately, the recruiting information isn’t anything outside of what my school defines as “directory information,” so that’s not my question. Instead I want to ask what to do with the student records for those who have a directory information hold? I only have a few such holds on file, but does a Solomon Amendment request override a directory information hold?
Seeking the Wisdom of Solomon
Institutions must release student recruiting information to military recruiters under Solomon, with just a few exceptions, and a student request to withhold directory information is one of those few exceptions. You must have a certification for each student record withheld noting that the student has formally requested that the school withhold their directory information to third parties. If you have this certification on file, you may exempt the record of any such student from your reported information. Note, however, that it would not be a FERPA violation if your institution did include the information on a student(s) who has a directory information hold. This is because the later enacted Solomon Amendment, which requires the release of certain limited student education records, prevails in this instance.
You note that the request directly overlaps with your defined directory information but for future reference, I should point out that while an institution has discretion with regard to releasing directory information, elements of student recruiting information are identified by law and the institution must release it if requested, unless under a defined exception, such as the directory information hold.
I hope this is helpful in answering your question. You may reference “The Solomon Amendment and FERPA” on page 43, and “Student-Recruiting Information” on page 367, of the 2012 AACRAO FERPA Guide.