Site Use Policy and Privacy Policies
Scholars Online values the privacy and the safety of all our students. We are asking for this information only to ensure accurate private communication (addresses and emails), educational goals (gender and educational affiliation), legal restrictions (date of birth is required for COPPA and FERPA compliance), and accreditation requirements (grade level and projected graduation year are required for NWAC/AdvancED annual reports).
Date of birth information allows us to determine who has authority over the student's records in compliance with FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) regulations, and what information we can collect about and from minor students in compliance with COPPA (Children's Online Privacy Protection Act) regulations.
The only member information regularly transmitted to an outside agency is contained in annual reports to NWAC and AdvancED for accreditation renewal, or on corporation federal income tax returns (IRS Form 990, available online through GuideStar, which tracks non-profit compliance with Federal guidelines). Such information is always aggregate (e.g., total number of students enrolled per grade level in a given year).
No personal identification information is required or included in any accreditation reports or tax returns, and no information about any student or family member, including course performance assessments, submitted assignments and forum entries, chat logs, email content, transcripts, gender, date of birth, physical addresses, email addresses, invoice history, scholarship grants, and family associations, is ever released to a third party without personal consent if the member is over 18, or the consent of a parent or legal guardian if the member is a minor student.
Consent to release information to a third party is construed as valid if we receive an email from the authorizing member's email address of record or a signed and dated written communication from the member. Such authorization must specify the third party who will receive the information (name or institution, and address) and the exact information to be sent (e.g., the student's transcript). A confirmation email is always sent to the member requesting transmission once the information has been sent.
Please note that Scholars Online never collects, retains, or reports Social Security numbers, credit card information, or racial background information. All credit card transactions are processed entirely within PayPal's secure site; we never see this information. We will never ask you to send personal information to us through email or US mail; we will always ask that you use your own account to log into your secure Account Management Center and enter the information directly into our database. Any pages used to collect or display personal information are transmitted using HTTPS (secure socket layer encryption) protocols.
Please report any attempt to request any personal information in our name to firstname.lastname@example.org immediately.
Scholars Online is currently engaged in accreditation evaluation by MSA-CESS for the 2017-2018 academic year. Courses taken from Fall 2009 - Spring 2017 were fully accredited by AdvancED and NWAC. For more information on accreditation, see our Scholars Online Accreditation page.