The Family Educational and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of student educational records. The law gives eligible students, those who have reached the age of 18, or the parents of students under the age of 18, certain rights with respect to their education records. Students have the right to inspect and review all of their educational records maintained by the college. If parents/guardians claim a student as a dependent, they may have access to the student’s educational records without prior consent.
Generally, the college must have written permission to release any academic information from a student’s record. However, the law allows the college to disclose records without consent, to the following parties:
- College employees who have a need to know;
- Other schools to which the student is applying;
- Certain government officials in order to carry out lawful functions;
- Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
- Parents of dependent eligible students;
- Organizations conducting students for the college;
- Accrediting organizations;
- Individuals who have obtained court orders or subpoenas;
- Person who need to know in cases of health and safety emergencies; and state and local authorities, within the justice system, pursuant to specific state law.
Students have the right to request that the college correct academic records believed to be inaccurate or misleading. If the college decided not to amend the record, the student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the college still decides not to amend the record, the eligible student has the right to place a statement with a record commenting on the contested information in the record.
The college may also disclose, without consent, “directory type information” that is considered not to be harmful to the student/parent if released. The information considered by the college to be directory information is: name, college address (PO Box), telephone listing and e-mail, place of birth, major, dates of attendance, degree(s) and awards received, weight and height of athletic team members, photographs, most recent and previous educational institution attended, and participation in officially recognized activities and sports. Parent information is not directory information.
Students have the right to withhold the release of any or all directory information, to do so a written request must be made to the Office of the Registrar. It should be noted that if directory information is to be withheld, it will be withheld at all parties. A request to withhold directory information must be made as soon as possible after the term and will remain in effect until revoked by written request.
For additional information, technical assistance, or to file a complaint, you may contact the Family Policy Compliance Office – (202)260-3887 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
The college must have written permission from the eligible student prior to releasing any information from a student’s educational record to parties not approved for disclosure under FERPA (if a student wishes to give access to any other individual(s) or organizations(s) other than those listed below, he or she must give written consent for each release.
Any apprentice wishing to give consent to release information to individuals or organizations other than himself/herself should fill out and submit the The Family Educational and Privacy Act.