Tier 3 / Education inquiry


#1

Question pertaining to the Tier 3 investigation for a Secret level clearance with the Military.

My sf-86 was certified and sent out for processing through the respective channels for enlistment into the military. I was wondering if I need to let my college know that I am having a background investigation done so they can comply with the inquiries. I know for certain that any requests for official/unofficial transcripts will be denied Unless I literally & physically show up to the registrars office and sign a form on the school’s letter head. My school will not release transcripts even if the investigator sends the form I signed allowing “release of information” (Don’t ask me why, I just know from friends that have had a rather difficult time as well that my school is rather strict on releasing our academic records).

They will how ever give out dates of attendance, that I am sure about. I am a bit worried that I’ll be in the middle of bootcamp and unable to call my school or get online to submit a request for transcripts to be sent where ever the investigator needs them to be sent.

Does it make any difference to the investigation that I only attended this college for a few credits and never received a degree? (I never claimed I did on the SF-86 in case you were wondering) I just don’t want to delay this process any further than it needs to considering Ill be stuck twiddling my thumbs until this clearance is finished because I need a final to attend my MOS school. This isn’t for a SSBI, just a Secret/ tier 3…

Also, one final question: If I they do in fact need a transcript, who pays for it? Do I have to send a check to the college? The college in question here charges by the transcript like $20 or around that.

Thanks for the help!


#2

Not an investigator or anything of that nature, just giving you the details about my investigation as a fellow citizen undergoing the clearance process. Graduated college in May of last year and accepted job that requires clearance in July. I simply listed the information for the college that I graduated from and that was it.

However, in the course of my interview with the BI, college did come up so I’m sure they did their own digging and verifying without any input/direction/forms from me. Also, if you are required to provide transcripts, which seems unusual that you would have to provide your own (military might be different, as I’m just a DoD contractor), my college offers the first copy free and then you have to pay after that. Not saying that this is the case for yours, but might be something to look at on their website.


#3

You should have listed the college classes, even if you took them during high school or while attending another college.

The records normally don’t require any payment, let alone any payment from you. Most schools participate using the release you signed, but if we need an additional release, you will be contacted for the release.

My field experience has been if the school doesn’t accept the government release because of the electronic signature, they will not accept any release.

This is the field agent’s worry - go enjoy basic training and your MOS training. I am sure you should be focusing on other things during your training.


#4

Well thanks for your reply. I am not completely sure why the college I attended is really uptight with the FERPA rules but I’m pretty sure someone sued them a couple years back for something to do with academic records. To clarify, I absolutely put down I attended the college but I didn’t receive any degrees; the SF-86 doesn’t have a place to put “college classes” or even credits on it, just whether or not you received a degree so maybe I am missing something…

Anyways, on top of that they don’t participate in any of the clearinghouses as I’ve been asked that when I got hired at other places before and had to find out. This is a REAL college by the way lol. Community college at that…

My main thing is if they want to request transcripts, that’s fine with me but good luck getting anything out of that iron castle short of me showing up with ID or using our online intranet to specifically request a transcript be sent out. If they want to verify dates of attendance, I am pretty sure thats the only thing the school will release if its for cause.

So little information out of this process is rather frustrating. I am not getting a TS clearance and not going through a SSBI so I thought the investigators just verify attendance which would be much easier because then I wouldn’t be cutting checks out for the 3rd round of transcripts (yes I get charged per transcript, they send me a bill) or trying to figure out who and when I need to submit a request for to view. I know a lot of this process is kept secret for certain reasons but some steps need light shed on them so things can go smoothly during the actual “investigation”


#5

Actually all schools attended in the past 10 years, not just degrees received. So if a person bounced around schools (not unusual), they need list all of them in the timeframe. The hard part comes from remembering dorm numbers, room numbers etc. I would challenge any bill for transcripts during a background investigation. They don’t care what your grades were or if you got credit. Only that you will tell them where you were during that timeframe.


#6

Thanks for your reply. Thankfully I only have highschool and a little bit of college to list. No dorm rooms and stuff.

I wonder what the difference is now between the deal for Tier 3 and Tier 5. It sounds almost like there is no line between the intensity of investigations between the clearance levels anymore. I guess that is a good thing right? Qualified for both TS & S?

Maybe this is why there is such a backlog on investigations as I’ve been reading on here…


#7

Give it time, soon everything will be Tier 5 :open_mouth: Just kidding, but remember, you saw it here first.


#8

Yeah it seems that way.

Just like how the NBIB website states that “a written request is the primary means of gathering information” for the T3 investigation yet everyone seems to think an investigator is going to physically show up to the records office to collect a transcript.

If true, that almost certainly explains why there is a backlog for Secret level clearance investigations.


#9

That’s odd they wanted you to go to school and sign. I went through counseling at my school and they require me to sign a release form. However, the investigator printed a copy and just asked I fill it out so I did it on the spot. Also weird they asked for transcripts.


#10

Well the school allows me to sign a form giving consent for my records to be obtained but IT has to be specific to the requestor. I am not even sure what person I’d put down.

I also think its kinda ridiculous they ask for transcripts as well. I’ve submitted official transcripts 2 times already for enlistment and the only degree I’ve obtained is a H.S. diploma. I can see if they need to verify attendance and/or disciplinary records but why a transcript is needed is beyond me. Pick up the phone and call the records office to verify dates of attendance, am I right?


#11

For a Tier 3 investigation NBIB sends an INV Form 43 to the registrar’s office and to the Dean of Students. The form contains information about your dates of attendance, listed address, and any degree/date awarded. The form asks the registrar and the dean of students to verify the accuracy of the information and asks the dean of students if there’s any adverse information in the student’s file.