Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford 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 post-secondary institution.) These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day the College receives a request for access.
A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes 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 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.
A student who wishes to ask the College to amend a record should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
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.
- 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.
The College discloses PII without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to College officials with legitimate educational interests. A College 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 College official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the College who performs an institutional service or 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 College official in performing his or her tasks. A College 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. Upon request, the College also discloses PII without consent to officials of another institution in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
Except for disclosures to College officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.
- The right to be notified annually by the College of what student record information the College designates as “directory information,” and the right to request that no student information be designated as directory information.
The College may release student record information designated as “directory information” without a student’s consent. Directory information is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released. The College identifies the following student information as directory information: student’s name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, grade level, enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or certificate; full-time or part-time), participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, degrees, honors and awards received, and the most recent educational agency or institution attended. If you do not want the College to disclose directory information from your education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the College’s Registrar, in writing. Your request shall remain in effect until withdrawn by you in writing.
If the College receives a request for student recruiting information from the Department of Defense (DOD), or one of its affiliated agencies, the College will release the student recruiting information requested. Because the information sought by the DOD may include information not designated as directory information under the College’s policy, compliance with the DOD’s request may result in the nonconsensual release of PII. When student recruiting information is released pursuant to a DOD request, notice of the request and the release of the information will be posted in a conspicuous location in the College’s Registrar’s Office for a period equaling one academic semester.
- 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