> Background

In the late 1980s, a task force of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) was charged to develop a mechanism for sending student transcripts simply and securely through the Internet. That task force, which later became the Standardization of Postsecondary Education Electronic Data Exchange (SPEEDE) committee, built upon existing technology to create a means to process and deliver transcripts using FTP or MIME-compliant email messages with file attachments.  The server that first provided for the electronic data exchange of transcripts and later for other types of student academic records was named SPEEDE.

The SPEEDE Server was initially put into service in 1995 by the University of Texas at Austin. Today it is used by states throughout the U.S. as well as the Canadian provinces of British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. In 2012, The University of Texas at Austin approached the National Student Clearinghouse about assuming responsibility and operations for the SPEEDE Server. Later that year, an agreement was reached to transfer the SPEEDE Server from UT–Austin to the Clearinghouse and, in October 2013, operating responsibility for the SPEEDE Server was transferred to the National Student Clearinghouse.

> General Information


There is no cost to register for or use the SPEEDE Server. The National Student Clearinghouse is committed to the free and open exchange of educational documents among educational institutions and their solution providers. To encourage use of the SPEEDE Server, the Clearinghouse will continue to provide access to SPEEDE to its users at no cost.

Delivery Medium

The SPEEDE Server has been designed to support EDI delivery of ANSI ASC X12 standard envelopes using FTPS or SFPT files. The software that runs SPEEDE resides entirely on a server located within the Clearinghouse’s data center that is used only for the delivery of packets.

Translation Software 

The SPEEDE Server is used only for the delivery of packets. It cannot create a flat file from the student database at the sending institution or map the file into the appropriate ANSI ASC X12 format. Since the SPEEDE Server’s sole purpose is to deliver transcripts, etc., it is the responsibility of each participating organization to stay up-to-date on any changes to the ANSI ASC X12 standard. The SPEEDE Server expects that this will already have been done by the participating organization when creating the ISA-IEA envelopes.

User Actions

Once a SPEEDE participant has registered to use the server, the organization will send a single file containing multiple ISA-IEA envelopes to the server: one file per intended recipient. Each envelope can contain multiple transcripts, requests, acknowledgements, or other EDI transactions. The server sends the specified recipient a file containing one or more ISA envelopes from different schools.

> Rules of Use

  1. Users  (those who send documents via the Clearinghouse SPEEDE Server) are required to:
    1. Register to use the service with the Clearinghouse,
    2. Provide operational information during registration for inclusion in SPEEDE’s Registrant Table, and
    3. Perform test exchanges to evaluate SPEEDE’s procedures and syntax.
  2. The Clearinghouse does not charge for transcripts exchanged between educational institutions or between educational institutions and their solution providers.
  3. The Clearinghouse will not allow unauthorized persons access to any files stored within the SPEEDE system.
  4. The Clearinghouse will never look inside an electronic packet, except to parse it, count it, take the specified action, or investigate problems.
  5. The Clearinghouse will not be liable for damages deemed to have been caused by use of the SPEEDE Server.
  6. The Clearinghouse reserves the right to deny access to the SPEEDE Server for a number of reasons including, but not limited to: failure to follow protocol; failure to follow these rules; using the service for profit; and using the service outside the education arena, if it results in significant additional administrative requirements.
  7. All SPEEDE Server users must comply with all applicable laws and regulations, specifically including, but not limited to, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). By using the SPEEDE system, the user accepts full responsibility to obtain any necessary consent from the student to transmit his or her information.

> Security Features

The SPEEDE Server offers the following security features to ensure confidence in its users transmitting information through the server. From the time files reach the SPEEDE Server until they are moved to the receiving organization’s mailbox, they are encrypted  both in transit and at rest. In addition to its encryption capabilities, SPEEDE’s additional security features include:

  • Logon limits
  • Known entity exchanges (users must have trading relationships with the server)
  • Email notices when files are received and sent
  • System activity logs and notifications

In addition to the features above, the Clearinghouse is committed to ensuring that student data is delivered through SPEEDE in a safe and secure manner. In addition to encrypting files when they are at rest and in transport, the Clearinghouse will also continue to maintain industry standards regarding the public/private key exchange. For example, a future planned enhancement is upgrading private key encryption to the current 2048-bit industry standard.

> SPEEDE Operating Principles

The Clearinghouse will continue to operate the SPEEDE Server as a way to freely exchange student data between institutions:

  • The data exchange service provided through the SPEEDE Server will continue at no cost;
  • The platform will be open for use by all institutions and their solution providers that register as a SPEEDE user;
  • SPEEDE will continue to adhere to standards set by ANSI, PESC, etc., and conform to new standards as they emerge;
  • Innovation and enhancements will be driven by education community advocacy groups, such as AACRAO and its SPEEDE Committee; and
  • The Clearinghouse is committed to participating in the free and open exchange of education documents and data among network service providers.

Should you have any questions or need assistance with the SPEEDE Server, please contact the Clearinghouse SPEEDE support team at SPEEDE-support@studentclearinghouse.org.