Students’ Rights under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older OR who attends a post-secondary institution.) Attendance commences when the student first establishes any contact with the College resulting in the establishment of an educational record containing personally identifiable information. Education records are subject to FERPA even after the individual has left the institution, however any records created or received after a student is no longer in attendance are not subject to FERPA (e.g. alumni records). These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s educational records within 45 days of the day The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences receives a request for access.
A student should submit to the Registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) 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. A College official will be present during a student’s review of his/her education record. 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 should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s educational records that the student believes to be inaccurate, containing misleading information or are in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
A student who wishes to ask the College to amend a record should write to the College official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record he/she wants changed, specify why it should be changed, and include the actual change in language that the student is proposing. 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 when the student is notified of the right to a hearing. The student may include explanatory comments regarding the record that they believe should have been amended but the College has decided not to modify.
- The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
The College discloses 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 is a person employed by The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences 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 school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent, or a student volunteering to assist 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 for The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences.
Upon request from officials of another school, the College also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by The Christ College of Nursing and Health Sciences 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 20202-5920
Directory Information Disclosure
Directory information regarding the student may be provided to the public upon request unless a student files a request with the Registration and Records Office asking to be excluded from the directory or from any other requests for open information from outside entities. The request should be submitted prior to the 12th day of class of the starting semester. A request to withhold information may be submitted after the stated deadline for a semester, but information may be released between the deadline and the receipt of the request. The file of the student who has asked to be excluded will be flagged until the student requests the flag be removed. The College, in its discretion, may choose not to disclose directory information. Further, the College may choose to release Directory Information but limit the scope of the release to specific parties, for specific purposes, or both.
Directory information consists of:
- Student’s full name
- Telephone listing
- Major field of study
- Grade level (freshman, sophomore)
- Enrollment status (i.e. full-time, half-time, etc.)
- Dates of attendance (term dates but not last date of attendance if withdrawn, or daily attendance record)
- Degree, honors, and awards received
- Participation in officially recognized activities
The Solomon Amendment, a federal law, mandates that colleges must fulfill military recruitment requests for lists containing ‘student recruiting information’. The ‘student recruiting information’ that may be requested includes: name, address, telephone, date of birth, class level, academic major, place of birth, degrees received, and most recent educational institution attended. Students are not permitted to restrict the release of their ‘student recruiting information’ specifically to the military, but if students withhold the release of their ‘directory information’ under FERPA, then the college is prohibited from releasing it to the military either.
Permitted Disclosures without Consent
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Requests for access to education records will be recorded. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A post-secondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student –
- To other school officials, including teachers, within the College whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1)). School officials have a legitimate educational interest when, in the exercise or completion of their responsibilities on behalf of the institution, they incur the need to know and utilize specific information from education records.
- To officials of another school, upon their request, where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
- To authorized representatives of the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local educational authorities, such as a state post-secondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s state-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal- or state-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or © improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. ((§99.31(a)(7))
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
- To a court if a parent or student has initiated legal action against an educational agency or institution, or if an educational agency or institution has initiated a legal action against a parent or student (§ 99.31 (a)(9)(iii)(A) and (B)).
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
- Information the school has designated as “directory information” under §99.37. (§99.31(a)(11))
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§99.31(a)(13))
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
- To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
- To comply with required disclosures regarding sex offenders and other individuals who must register under section 170101 of the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, 42 USC 14071. (§ 99.31 (a)(16)).
Copies of the Act and Federal Regulations are available by going to the Department of Education website FERPA Compliance page.