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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Annual Notice 2016-2017

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)1, as amended, is a federal law that protects student information and affords eligible students the following rights with respect to their education records:

  1. The right to inspect and review your education records within 45 days of the day we (the College/Institute) receive a request for access.
  2. The right to request the amendment of education records you believe are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of your privacy rights under FERPA.
  3. The right to provide written consent before we disclose personally identifiable information (PII) from your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by us to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
  5. The right to be annually notified of your rights under FERPA.

An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution. Following please find a more detailed discussion of each of these rights and guidance regarding the manner in which they may be exercised.

1. The right to inspect and review your education records within 45 days of the day we receive a written request for access.

With certain exceptions, an “education record” is defined under FERPA as any record (1) from which a student can be personally identified and (2) that is maintained by the institution.

If you wish to inspect your education records, you must submit a written request to the Registrar at the campus you attend that identifies the record(s) you wish to inspect. The College/Institute will make arrangements for access and notify you of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Registrar or are no longer available based on our record retention policy, the Registrar will advise you of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

Copies of requested educational records will only be provided in the event that circumstances effectively prevent you from exercising the right to inspect and review the education records requested in person, and no other feasible arrangements can be made. In such instances, a reasonable fee will be charged to cover the production of copies.

2. The right to request the amendment of education records you believe are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of your privacy rights under FERPA.

To question the accuracy of education records, you must first informally confer with the custodian or originator of the record at issue. If you then wish to ask the school to amend a record, you must write the official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record that you believe should be amended and the basis for why it should be amended.

If the College/Institute determines not to amend the record, we will notify you in writing of the decision and your right to a hearing with school officials regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding hearing procedures will be provided to you when notified of the right to a hearing.

Note: The above procedure is not be available to challenge the validity of a grade or score given by an instructor or any other decision by an instructor or official, but only whether the recording of such grade or decision is accurate or complete.3. The right to provide written consent before we discloses PII from your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

You have the option to consent to disclosure of PII from your education record to a third party. This consent must be made to the Registrar, in writing, signed and dated by you, and must (1) specify the records to be disclosed, (2) state the purpose of the disclosure, and (3) identify the party to whom the disclosure is to be made. This release requirement is applicable to disclosures to your parents or other family members who inquire about your education record.

To facilitate this process, our school has created a FERPA Consent Form, which may be obtained from the Registrar. A fee may be imposed for copying a student’s record(s) in connection with such a disclosure or release as outlined in the first section.

There are instances in which the College/Institute is permitted to disclose your education records without your consent. For example, the College/Institute 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 College/Institute in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law en¬forcement 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 com¬mittee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of our school 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 educa¬tion record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities to the institution.

FERPA also permits the College/Institute, within established guidelines, to disclose, without your consent, information we have deemed as “directory information.” This provision of FERPA enables institutions to provide beneficial services to students such as verifying enrollment for insurance purposes, verifying degrees earned for employment purposes, providing basic contact information so that students may contact each other, and so on. The College/Institute has identified the following items as directory information: name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, date and place of birth, dates of attendance, major field of study, credit hours earned, degrees earned, honors and awards received, participation in official school activities, and most recent previous educational agency or institution.

You may request that directory information not be released. To request restriction of the release of directory information, you must complete a FERPA Consent Form, which can be obtained from the Registrar, and once completed, should be submitted to the Registrar.

FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from your education records, without consent, 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 you, FERPA regulation §99.32 requires the College/Institute to record the disclosure. You have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures.

In addition to those parties and circumstances outlined previously, the College/Institute may disclose PII from your education records without obtaining your prior written consent:

  • To officials of another school where you seek or intend to enroll, or where you are already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to your enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of FERPA regulation §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 postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the College’s/Institute’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of FERPA regulation §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, enforcement, or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
  • In connection with financial aid for which you have applied for or which you have 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 College/Institute, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. ((§99.31(a)(7))
  • To your parents if you are an eligible student and you are a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8))
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully-issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
  • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to FERPA regulation §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of FERPA regulation §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 FERPA regulation §99.39, if the College/Institute determines that 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 College’s/Institute’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 College/Institute, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the College/Institute determines that the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Students wishing to file complaints relating to FERPA matters may submit such complaints to the following office of the U.S. Department of Education, which administers FERPA:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, DC 20202-5901

In addition, we encourage students to file any such complaints or concerns with the College/Institute pursuant to the Student Grievance Policy published in the College/Institute Catalog.

 

1 20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99