Legal Notices

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Please Note

In an effort to meet its compliance obligations, specifically pertaining to online student complaints, American International College has provided the following legal notices. Please select a notice from the table below.

For more information regarding these notices, please contact AIC’s Office of Human Resources at 413.205.3246.

This page was last updated on April 15, 2020.

American International College Legal Notices

Student Complaint Process – Online Education

Student Complaint Process – Online Education

American International College strives to ensure that each student’s experience in distance education courses at the College is of the highest quality. Should it be necessary, the College encourages students and prospective students to complete the linked form to file a grievance about online learning. Your request will be forwarded to the Chief Academic Officer and the appropriate school Dean who will work with you to find a resolution.

What to do if AIC cannot resolve your complaint

If you are a resident of an NC-SARA participant state, you may be entitled to additional complaint resolution services. Grading and student conduct violations are governed entirely by AIC’s institutional policy and the laws of Massachusetts. NC-SARA does not provide any additional support for these concerns. For all other types of student complaints and concerns, the student may appeal to the Massachusetts Department of Higher Education’s NC-SARA Portal Entity and/or NC-SARA within two years of the incident if they have exhausted all other avenues for corrective actions.

To file an appeal with Massachusetts NC-SARA Portal Entity, please visit:

For Online Students Located in SARA Member States and Territories

After you have exhausted the complaint procedures made available by American International College at file a grievance about online learning, you may file a complaint with the DHE by using the SARA complaint form. The DHE SARA complaint form should be used by students who are located in SARA member states and territoriesThis includes all students who are located in SARA member states and territories for the purposes of completing out-of-state learning placements, such as internships, practica, clinical experiences, etc. in SARA member states and territories outside Massachusetts.

Additional information from the DHE’s SARA complaint website is below:

The SARA complaint process is as follows:

  1. Students must first attempt to resolve their complaint using internal administrative procedures offered by the SARA institution.
  2. After all administrative remedies have been exhausted with the MA-SARA institution, the student may submit a SARA Complaint via the URL below.
  3. The Department shall send a copy of the complaint to the institution that is the subject of the complaint.
  4. Within 30 days of the date that the Department sends a copy of the complaint to the institution, the institution must provide a written response to the student and the Department.

More information about DHE’s complaint processes can be found here.

For Online Students in Non-SARA Member States and Territories

After you have exhausted the complaint procedures made available by American International College at file a grievance about online learning, if your complaint has not been resolved, you may file a complaint with the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (AGO) by using the consumer complaint form. The AGO consumer complaint form should be used by students who are located in non-SARA member states or territories (e.g., California, Guam, etc.).

Notice of Non-Discrimination
American International College (the “College”) is committed to providing equal employment opportunities and equal educational opportunities. AIC is dedicated to maintaining an environment that is free from discrimination and harassment and that encourages mutual respect. The College prohibits discrimination against any employee, student, or applicant for employment or enrollment because of race, color, national or ethnic origin, age, religion, disability, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected under applicable federal or state law.

There are several different forms of discrimination. Accordingly, the College prohibits discriminatory conduct of any kind, including unequal treatment, harassment (including sexual harassment and sexual misconduct), and retaliation.

The following persons have been designated to handle inquiries regarding the non-discrimination policies:

Nicolle Cestero
Senior Vice President for Human Resources
Title IX Coordinator
American International College, Box HR
Lee Hall
Springfield, MA 01109

Brian J. O’Shaughnessy
Vice President for Student Affairs
American International College, Box 3A
Schwartz Campus Center
Springfield, MA 01109

Inquiries concerning the application of non-discrimination policies may be also be addressed to the Regional Director, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education, POCH Building, 5 Post Office Square, 9th Floor, Room 24, Boston, MA 02110. Telephone: 617.289.0100 Fax: 617.289.0151

Please see Section 5 of the Student Handbook for more policy information.

Student Records and FERPA

Rights Under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution. “Education record” is defined as those records that contain information directly related to a student and which are maintained by an educational institution or party acting for the institution. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day American International College (the “College”) receives a request for access.
    1. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate school official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
    1. A student who wishes to ask the College to amend a record should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants to be changed, and specify why it should be changed.
    2. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested, the College will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
  3. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. (For more information, see below).
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202

Student Education Records Disclosure Notice
The College will disclose personally identifiable information (PII) from students’ education records upon receipt of written consent. FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without the consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 the FERPA regulations.

Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, FERPA regulations require the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of such disclosures.

In compliance with FERPA regulations, the College may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student:

  1. To other school officials within the College whom the College has determined to have legitimate educational interests.
    1. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the College who performs an institutional service of function for which the College would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the College with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the College.
  2. Upon request, to officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.
  3. To authorized representatives of the U. S. comptroller general, the U. S. attorney general, the U.S. secretary of education, or state and local educational authorities, such as a state postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the College’s state-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal or state-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf.
  4. In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  5. To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of the College, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction.
  6. To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
  7. To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes.
  8. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena, provided that reasonable notice is given to the student prior to compliance.
  9. To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36.
  10. To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding.
  11. To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, if the College determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the College’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her.
  12. To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the College, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the College determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21.
  13. Information the College has designated as “directory information,” which includes:

For currently enrolled students, directory information includes the student’s name; addresses; telephone numbers; college, curriculum, and major field of study; class level; date of birth; dates of attendance; eligibility for membership in registered College honoraries; degrees; honors; certificates received or anticipated; weight and height if she/ he is an athletic team member; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; and, institutions previously attended.

NOTE: A student may restrict the disclosure of “directory information” by filing a request to limit the release with the Esther F. Hansen Registrar’s Office on or before October 1 of each academic year.

FERPA – Health and Safety Exemption

The Disclosure of Student Information Related to Emergencies and Disasters
The purpose of this statement is to indicate that in situations related to a disaster or other health or safety emergencies, American International College will disclose non-directory information to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency, if knowledge of that information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. The guidelines set forth by the exception to FERPA’s general consent requirement will be followed. The release of health and safety information is only temporary and lasts the duration of the incident that necessitated the waiver. A copy of this policy may be obtained in the Course Catalog.

College Communications Notice
AIC Outlook Email ( and the myAIC portal ( are the main official forms of communication by AIC to students. Students are responsible for using and consistently checking their campus assigned email address and myAIC portal. Students should not use personal email to communicate official College business.

Student Use of American International College Directories
American International College maintains a number of directories and address lists to facilitate personal contact between students, faculty, staff, alumni, and volunteers. These directories or address lists may not be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior written permission of the Dean of Students, or designee. Any use of the addresses or other information such as mailing labels or e-mail distribution lists for any multiple mailing without the prior written permission of the Dean of Students, or designee, is prohibited.

Student Personal Property
American International College is not responsible for students’ personal property. Students are strongly encouraged to have personal property insurance for their belongings. This type of insurance may be available and covered under applicable homeowners’ insurance policies or it is available as separate insurance coverage from many providers. Students and their parents should check their current insurance policies for coverage and consider additional coverage, if necessary. Coverage can be obtained from a variety of providers including

Demonstrations must be registered twenty-four (24) hours in advance and must be approved in writing by the Dean of Students, or designee. All demonstrations must be peaceful and orderly. Demonstrations may be organized and led only by members of the American International College community. Demonstrations or other forms of expression may not compromise the rights of other members of the College community, nor interfere with the general operation of the College. Free speech is a cherished foundation of academia. Forms of expression, however, may not discriminate against or harass individuals on the basis of race, gender, disability, age, marital status, sexual orientation, religion, color, gender, disability, national origin or other personal characteristics.

American International College maintains the right to enforce all rules of conduct and to immediately dispatch Campus Police or request outside law enforcement assistance to respond to any criminal or violent acts. Please see Section 13 of the Student Handbook for more policy information.

No student or person representing any company is permitted to offer any product or service for purchase on the American International College Campus without prior approval from the Director of Engagement, Leadership, and International Student Life, in consultation with the Dean of Students. In addition, students may not operate a business on campus or from their residence hall room without the express written consent of the Dean of Students or designee.

Clery Act
American International College complies with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act. The College’s annual security report contains a summary of American International College’s Campus Police Department’s procedures along with required crime statistics.

American International College is committed to assisting all members of the AIC community in providing for their own safety and security. The College’s annual security compliance document is available on the American International College Website at on our Campus Safety page. Please see the Student Handbook for more policy information.

Higher Education Opportunity Act (HEOA)

Graduation Rates Disaggregated by Financial Aid Category

Number of Students

Class entering fall of: 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
Received Federal Pell Grant 139 190 177 NA 155 103
Received Subsidized Stafford Loan (No Pell) 57 113 NA NA NA NA
Received Neither Pell Grant or Stafford Loan 60 64 NA NA NA NA
Total Cohort 256 367 354 371 390 282

Four-Year Graduation Rate

Class entering fall of: 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
Received Federal Pell Grant NA 23% 16% NA NA NA
Received Subsidized Stafford Loan (No Pell) NA 31% NA NA NA NA
Received Neither Pell Grant or Stafford Loan NA 42% NA NA NA NA
Overall Four-Year Graduation Rate 26% 26% 24% 28% 28% 29%

Six-Year Graduation Rate

Class entering fall of: 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006
Received Federal Pell Grant 34% 39% 28% NA 30% 43%
Received Subsidized Stafford Loan (No Pell) 46% 41% NA NA NA NA
Received Neither Pell Grant or Stafford Loan 55% 61% NA NA NA NA
Overall Six-Year Graduation Rate 41% 44% 36% 38% 45% 39%
Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act (EADA)
In compliance with the Equity in Athletics Disclosure Act, an annual report containing data concerning gender equity in our intercollegiate athletic programs is available upon request. The report, which is submitted annually to the Department of Education, contains participation rates, financial support, and other information on men’s and women’s intercollegiate athletic programs and is intended to help student-athletes make decisions about their potential or continued enrollment in a postsecondary institution. The report is available through the Human Resources Department. Please contact Nicolle Cestero at 413.205.3800 to obtain a free copy.

Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act
The Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act is a federal law that provides for the tracking of convicted, registered sex offenders enrolled as students at institutions of higher education, or working or volunteering on campus. Members of the campus community may obtain information concerning Massachusetts registered sex offenders online at or by contacting any of the following:

Sex Offenders Registry Board
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
P.O. Box 4547
Salem, MA 01970

Massachusetts Law Against Hazing

Massachusetts Law requires that certain information be issued to students, student groups, teams, and organizations. This information is provided in the College’s Hazing Policy, Section 9 of the Student Handbook.

Drug Free Schools and Communities Act

American International College, in accordance with federal legislation and College policy, is committed to providing a drug-free, healthy and safe environment for all students, faculty and staff. The unlawful use, possession, manufacturing, distribution or dispensation of a controlled substance and the illegal use or possession of alcoholic beverages on campus or at College-sponsored activities is prohibited. If it is determined that a violation of this policy has occurred, disciplinary action up to and including the dismissal of students and referral for prosecution may result. Applicable legal sanctions for the unlawful use, possession or distribution of alcohol and other drugs are summarized in the following section. This information appears here to meet the requirements of the Drug-Free Schools and Communities Act. In addition to this policy, other College policies remain in effect.

Please see the separate document titled, “Statement on Drugs and Alcohol.”

I. Summary of Alcohol and Other Drug Laws

The legal drinking age in Massachusetts is 21 years of age. A person over 21 years of age may not buy alcohol for a person under 21 years of age, unless their relationship is that of parent and child or husband and wife, and even in those situations, liquor must be bought at a package liquor store, not a restaurant or tavern. Whoever furnishes any such beverage or alcohol for a person under 21 years of age shall be punished by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year or both. Alcohol may not be purchased or attempted to be purchased by a person under 21 years of age. A person may not lie about his/her age to purchase alcohol, present false identification, or make arrangements with someone older to buy alcohol for him/her. Any person who knowingly makes a false statement as to the age of a person who is under 21 years of age in order to procure a sale or delivery of such beverages or alcohol to such person under 21 years of age, either for the use of the person under 21 years of age or for the use of some other person, and whoever induces a person under 21 years of age to make a false statement as to his age in order to procure a sale or delivery of such beverages or alcohol to such a person under twenty-one years of age, shall be punished by a fine of $300. Any person without a license to serve alcohol may not serve someone under 21 years of age, unless their relationship is that of parent and child or husband and wife. Any person who furnishes any such beverage or alcohol for a person under 21 years of age shall be punished by a fine of not more than $2,000 or by imprisonment for not more than one year or both.

Any person who transfers, alters, or defaces an identification card, or who makes, uses, carries, sells, or distributes a false identification card, or furnishes false information in obtaining such a card, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be punished by a fine of not more than $200 or by imprisonment for not more than three months.

It is unlawful for a person under 21 years of age knowingly to drive a car with alcohol in it unless accompanied by a parent. To do so may result in a fine of up to $50 or suspension of the driver’s license for three months, or both. Persons may not drive while drinking from an open container of an alcoholic beverage. Violators shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500. Persons may not drive while under the influence of alcohol or any intoxicating substance. Violators shall be punished by a fine of not less than $500 nor more than $5000 or by imprisonment for not more than two and one-half years, or both such fine and imprisonment. If a police officer has reasonable grounds to believe a person is driving under the influence, a breathalyzer test may be given. If the person arrested refuses to submit to such test or analysis, after having been informed that his license or permit to operate motor vehicles or right to operate motor vehicles in the Commonwealth shall be suspended for a period of at least 180 days and up to a lifetime loss, for such refusal, no such test or analysis shall be made and he shall have his license or right to operate suspended in accordance with this paragraph for a period of 180 days. Conviction for a first offense be punished by a fine of not less than $50 nor more than $500 or by imprisonment for not less than 30 days nor more than two years, or both, and for a second offense by imprisonment in the state prison for not more than five years or in a house of correction for not less than 30 days nor more than two and one half years, or by a fine of not more than $1000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.

Massachusetts has criminal penalties for use of controlled substances, or drugs, with penalties varying with the type of drug. In general, narcotic, addictive, and drugs with a high potential for abuse have heavier penalties. Possession of drugs is illegal without valid authorization. While penalties for possession are generally not as great as for manufacture and distribution of drugs, possession of a relatively large quantity may be considered distribution. Under both State and Federal laws penalties for possession, manufacture and distribution are much greater for second and subsequent convictions. Many laws dictate mandatory prison terms and the full minimum term must be served. Massachusetts makes it illegal to be in a place where heroin is kept and to be “in the company” of a person known to possess heroin. Anyone in the presence of heroin at a private party or dormitory suite risks a serious drug conviction. Sale and possession of “drug paraphernalia” is illegal in Massachusetts. Under Federal law, distribution of drugs to persons under the age of 21 is punishable by twice the normal penalty with a mandatory one to three years in prison depending on the class of drugs; a third conviction is punishable by mandatory life imprisonment. These penalties apply to the distribution of drugs within 1,000 feet of a college or school. Federal law sets greatly heightened prison sentences for manufacture and distribution of drugs if death or serious injury results from the use of the substance.

The Higher Education Act of 1965 as amended suspends aid eligibility for students who have been convicted under federal or state law of the sale or possession of drugs, if the offense occurred during a period of enrollment for which the student was receiving federal student aid. For more information contact AIC’s Financial Aid Office or the Federal Student Aid Information Center at 1.800.4.FED.AID (1.800.433.3243).

Please see the separate document titled “Statement on Drugs and Alcohol” and Section 8.

II. Notice of Federal Student Financial Aid Penalties for Drug Law Violations

A student who has been convicted of possession or sale of illegal drugs while receiving federal Title IV financial aid loses eligibility for federal and state government financial aid (including Title IV, HEA grant, loan, or work-study assistance) for a period of time specified in the law (HEA Sec. 484(r)(1)); (20 U.S.C. 1091(r)(1)). The period of ineligibility depends on whether the conviction was for possession or sale of (including conspiring to sell) illegal drugs. For further information, please visit the College’s Financial Aid Office.

III. Delivery of Services

American International College assumes no liability for the delay or failure in providing educational or other services or facilities due to causes beyond its reasonable control. Causes include, but are not limited to power failure, fire, strikes by College employees or others, damage by natural elements, and acts of public authorities. The College will, however, exert reasonable efforts, when it judges them to be appropriate, to provide comparable services, facilities, or performance; but its inability or failure to do so shall not subject the College to liability.

American International College will endeavor to make available to its students a fine education and a stimulating and congenial environment. However, the quality and rate of progress of an individual’s academic career and professional advancement upon completion of a degree or program are largely dependent on his or her own abilities, commitment, and effort. In many professions and occupations, there are requirements imposed by federal and state statutes and regulatory agencies for certification or entry into a particular field. These requirements may change while a student is enrolled in a program and may vary from state to state or country to country. Although the College stands ready to help its students learn about requirements and changes in them, it is the student’s responsibility to initiate the inquiry.

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