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FERPA

Be Aware of Your Privacy Rights!

Annual FERPA Notification

Did you know that you have a number of privacy rights when it comes to your education records? The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) makes sure of the following:

That you have the right to inspect and review your education records within 45 days of requesting them. Submit a written request to the Office of the Director of Records/Registration, identifying which record(s) you wish to inspect. That office will make arrangements for access and notify you of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

That you have the right to request an amendment to your education records if you believe they are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of your privacy rights under FERPA. If you wish to ask the college to amend a record, write to the Office of the Director of Records/Registration, clearly identifying the part of the record you want changed and specifying why it should be changed.

If the college decides not to amend the record as requested, you’ll be notified in writing of the decision and your right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. You’ll also receive additional information about hearing procedures.

That you have the right to provide written consent before the college discloses personally identifiable information from your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. College officials with legitimate educational interests may review your education records without consent. These college officials include people employed by the college in administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff positions (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the college has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using college employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent); 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 education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities to the college.

Your education records are not accessible to a parent or guardian without your written consent, unless they provide a certified copy of the most recent Federal income tax return that shows you are a dependent.  However, if the college believes it is in your best interest, information from your education records may be released to a parent or guardian, in cases such as:

  • *When your health or safety is in jeopardy
  • *When you engage in alcohol- or drug-related behavior that violates college polices

If you’d like information to be released to a third party or a parent that does not qualify as stated above, please file a “Consent to Release” form with the Director of Records/Registration.

That you 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.

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

That you have the right to request that your information not be released as directory information. As an enrolled student, your directory information (name, address, phone number, email address, photographs, electronic images, date and place of birth, major fields of study, current enrollment status, participation in officially recognized activities, dates of attendance, degrees, awards and academic honors received, President and Dean’s List selection, previous institutions attended, program and promotion materials on participants in various sports and similar public activities, including weights and heights of athletic team members) may be released. If you’d rather not have your information released as directory information, you can complete a nondisclosure form available in the Office of Director of Records/Registration, Hildebrand Hall. You must file this request within 14 days of the beginning of the term. Once you fill out this form, your directory information will be withheld for life, even after you are no longer a student, unless you rescind the request.

A few other notes:

  • If you block directory information, it may still be inspected by those college officials authorized by law to inspect education records without consent.
  • If you choose to block your directory information, it can’t be released to friends, family, prospective employers, the news media, advisors, student activities and honor societies.
  • Some reasons for considering a privacy block on your directory information include harassment or the advice of a legal or medical professional.
  • If you’d like to keep your public data private but release information so it can be published in commencement programs and honor lists, please contact the Director of Records/Registration.
  • If you have any questions about your rights under FERPA – or if your parents/family have questions – please contact the Office of the Director of Records/Registration, located in Hildebrand Hall. It’s about supporting your right to privacy!