Confidentiality of Student Records
Students’ educational records are confidential. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (34 CFR Part 99) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. FERPA rights belong to students who attend postsecondary institutions in person, through correspondence, or through electronic “distance learning.” They are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the date the College receives a request for access.
Students should submit to the registrar, dean, academic department head, 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 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 a student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading.
Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College notifies the student of the decision and advises the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures is provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a volunteer if that individual performs a service that the institution otherwise would use its employees to perform; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; 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 educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Post-secondary institutions may allow parents to have access to their child’s education records, without the student’s consent, in the following circumstances: the student is a dependent for Federal income tax purposes [per 34 CFR 99.31(a)(8)]; the disclosure is in connection with a health or safety emergency under the conditions specified in 34 CFR 99.36; and under the alcohol or controlled substance exception.
Optional. Upon request, the College discloses education records without consent to officials of another school at which a student seeks or intends to enroll. (Note: FERPA requires an institution to make a reasonable attempt to notify the student of the records request unless the institution states in its annual notification that it intends to forward records on request.)
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by 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 20202-4605
Note: In addition, an institution may want to include its directory information public notice, as required by 34 CFR 99.37 of the regulations, with its annual notification of rights under FERPA.
The College reserves the right to make public, without the student’s consent, “directory information,” in particular, the student’s name, address, age, sex, dates of registration, major, and degree. Students who wish not to have directory information released must notify the Registrar’s Office in writing each year.