Confidentiality of Student Records
Notification of Rights Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the college receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The college 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 college official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request amendment of an education record that the student believes is inaccurate. Students may ask an appropriate college official to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. The student should write to the college official, clearly identify the part of the record he or she wants changed, and specify why he/she believes it is inaccurate. The college will notify the student of the decision. If the college decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the college will advise the student of his or her 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.
NOTE: FERPA is not intended to provide a process to question substantive judgments that are correctly recorded. For example, the right of challenge does not allow a student to contest a grade in a course because the student believes that a higher grade should have been assigned.
- The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. FERPA permits disclosure without consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A “school official” includes but is not limited to the following: a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement and security personnel, counseling and health staff); a person or company with whom the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent or official of the National Student Clearinghouse); a person serving on the Board of Regents who is authorized to act on its behalf; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting 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. FERPA also permits disclosure of education records without consent in connection with, but not limited to:
- To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena;
- To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency;
- To officials of another school, upon request, in which the student seeks or intends to enroll;
- In connection with a student’s request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid;
- To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, to state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs;
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions;
- To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the college;
- The results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence to the alleged victim of that crime with respect to that crime.
- Directory information as defined in the policy of the Board of Trustees.
- The right to refuse to permit the college to release directory information about the student, except to school officials with a legitimate educational interest and others as indicated above. To do so, a student exercising this right must notify the Office of Registrar in writing. Once filed, this notification becomes a permanent part of the student’s record until the student instructs the college, in writing, to remove it.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Colleges 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, S
Washington, DC 20202-4605
The Board of Regents has designated the following as directory information: student names and addresses, dates of attendance, full vs. part-time student status, program of study/major, awards and honors and graduation date. For purposes of access by military recruiters only, telephone listings, if known, age and level of education are also designated as directory information.
Colleges may disclose directory information without prior consent, unless a student has exercised the right to refuse to permit the college to release directory information in accordance with paragraph 3 above.
A FERPA brochure for faculty, staff, and students is available in the Registrar’s Office.