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 University 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 University 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 University 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 are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University 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 University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University 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 University discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The University discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the board of regents; 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 for the University.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University 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 20202-5901
FERPA Annual Notice to Reflect Possible Federal and State Data Collection and Use
As of January 3, 2012, the U. S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records – including Social Security Number, grades, or other private information – may be accessed without student consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“federal and state authorities”) may allow access to student records and PII without student consent to any third party designated by a federal or state authority to evaluate a federal or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, federal and state authorities may allow access to education records and PII without student consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when they object to or do not request such research. Federal and state authorities must obtain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive student PII, but the authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with statewide longitudinal data systems, state authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share, without student consent, PII from education records, and they may track student participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information that they obtain from other federal or state data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student record systems.
Directory Information FERPA allows the University to provide “directory information” to others without a student’s consent. Directory information is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released. If you do not want the University to disclose directory information without your prior consent, you must notify the registrar in writing by the end of the first week of classes. In the event that such written notification is not filed, the University assumes that the student does not object to the release of the directory information. Directory information includes: name; address; telephone number; e-mail address; name(s) and address(es) of parent(s); major field of study; enrollment status (full-time, part-time); participation in recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; photographs; dates of attendance; degrees, honors and awards received; class-year in school; and previous educational institutions attended.
Disciplinary Records All records of disciplinary proceedings are maintained through the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs. Such records are destroyed seven years after the last entry into the student’s record. (In compliance with the Clery Act (20 USC § 1092 (f).) Information in these records is not made available to persons other than the president of the University, the vice president for student affairs, and student affairs office staff on a need-to-know basis, and as allowed or required in compliance with Federal Law 20 USC §1092, and USC § 1232.
Counseling Records Counseling records are privileged and confidential as required (and except as limited) by law in accordance with state and federal statutes and regulations. Generally, information may not be disclosed to another person or agency outside of the University Health Center (including parents, teachers, or residence life staff) without the written consent of the student.
Medical Records Medical records are privileged and confidential as required (and except as limited) by law in accordance with state and federal statutes and regulations. Generally, information may not be disclosed to another person or agency outside of the University Health Center (including parents, teachers, or residence life staff) without the written consent of the student. Medical records may be released to necessary personnel to appropriately respond to an emergency.
Records Not Available to Students or Third Parties The following items are not available to students or outside parties: alumni giving records; campus safety and security records for law enforcement purposes; parents’ financial information; personal records kept by individual staff members; score reports of standardized tests; student employment records; and transcripts of grades sent by other educational institutions.