Privacy of Student Education Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An "eligible student" under FERPA is a student who is eighteen (18) years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution at any age.) 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 a written request that identifies the records 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 school 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 school to amend a record should write the school 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 College may disclose 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 typically includes 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 has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. When a student turns eighteen (18) years old or enters a postsecondary institution at any age, all rights afforded to parents under FERPA transfer to the student. If a student wishes to share their information with a parent, guardian, other person or agency, they must sign a Permission to Release Information form with the Registrar’s Office identifying what information they want to share and with whom they wish to share it. Students may also request a block of release of information through the Registrar’s Office.
At its discretion, the College may disclose directory information in accordance with the provisions of FERPA to include: student name; address and phone number; major field of study; dates of attendance; dates and place of birth; degrees, honors, and awards received; college email address; photograph; participation in officially recognized activities; enrollment status; and previous schools attended.
Upon request, the school also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll and to certain other entities as stipulated under FERPA guidelines. Details on release of information exceptions may be found in section § 99.31 of the guidelines.
The College will notify students each year regarding students’ rights under FERPA and the College’s policy on release of information. The Registrar’s Office will send a notification at least once per year via e-mail with detailed information on FERPA rights. Admissions packets will contain printed information on FERPA, and printed versions will also be available in the Student Development area of the main campus. Periodic trainings will also be offered for select college personnel.
Students have 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 by writing to:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605
For more information about student records, please contact the Registrar's Office, located on the first floor of Gwaltney Hall or at 828.766.1251.