The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records.
A student should submit to the College official responsible for the record a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. That College official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. The records will be made available within a reasonable period of time no later than 45 days after the College has received the request. If circumstances effectively prevent the student from exercising the right to inspect and review the education records, the College will provide a copy of the requested records or make other arrangements for the student to review the records.
2. The right to request amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights.
A student who wishes to ask the College to amend a record should write to 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.
The College will decide whether to amend the record within a reasonable time after receiving the request. 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.
3. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without the student’s consent.
One instance in which student records may be disclosed without prior consent of the student is when such records are disclosed to officials of the College whom the College has determine to have a legitimate educational interest. A school official is a person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position, (including Campus Security, Health Services and Counseling Center personnel). A school official may also include a person or entity with whom the College has outsourced College services or functions which it may have otherwise used College personnel or officials to perform (including attorneys, auditors, collection agents, security services, internet service providers, or other service providers retained by the College). An individual serving on the College’s Board of Regents or a student serving in an official capacity, such as on a disciplinary committee may also be deemed a College official. A College official has a legitimate educational interest if the College determines that access to the record is needed in order to fulfill the official’s responsibilities to the College.
Another instance in which the College may make disclosures of educational records without student consent is when responding to a requests by officials of another school in which the student who is the subject of the records is seeking or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer.
As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which the student’s education records and personally identifiable information contained in such records—including the student’s Social Security Number, grades, or other private information—may be accessed without the student’s 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 the student’s records and private information without the student’s 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 the student’s education records and private information without the student’s consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when the college objects to or does not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive the student’s private information, 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 the student’s consent private information from the student’s education records, and they may track the student’s participation in education and other programs by linking such private information to other personal information about the student that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
4. 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 Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901