The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.” The rights afforded the students include:
1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the college receives a request for access.
Students who wish to inspect their records must make a written request to the Registrar using the Request to Inspect Education Records form located in WebXpress – Student Menu – Registrar’s Office Forms – both traditional and SU Online. The Registrar 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 in the Registrar’s Office, the Registrar shall contact the appropriate office and arrange for inspection. Please note FERPA accords the right to a student to inspect the records; FERPA does not require an institution to make copies of the contents of a record unless it is a hardship for the student to come to campus.
2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
Students may ask the Registrar to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. Such requests must be made in writing to the Registrar using the Request to Amend Education Record form located in WebXpress – Student Menu – Registrar’s Office Forms – both traditional and SU Online. The request must clearly identify the part of the record to be changed and specify why that part is inaccurate or misleading. Upon consultation with the Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost or his/her designee, if the Registrar decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, he/she will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her 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 consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records except to the extent FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
An exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests which is defined as the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); 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. Other examples may include officials of another institution in which the student seeks to enroll; external federal and state agencies granted rights under FERPA; a lawfully issued subpoena; an accrediting agency, and in the event of a health or safety emergency.
Another exception which permits disclosure without consent is the release of “Directory Information.” “Directory Information” includes the student’s name, birth date, address (including e-mail address), telephone number (if listed), photograph, dates of attendance, program pursued, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. Students may withhold “Directory Information” by notifying the Registrar in writing by using the Directory Information Exclusion Form located in WebXpress – Student Menu – Registrar’s Office Forms – both traditional and SU Online. Requests for nondisclosure will remain in effect for the duration of the academic year. Requests for nondisclosure must be filed annually.
4. The right to disclose academic information to authorized persons.
In accordance with FERPA, Stevenson University will disclose to authorized persons information from the student’s educational record provided the university has on file the consent of the student. Students may give access to their educational record by completing Proxy Access through Student Self-Service. Information on this process is available on the Registrar’s Office web page. This access will remain in effect as long as the student attends Stevenson University. If a student wishes to change the access, they are advised to contact the Registrar’s Office.
5. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Stevenson University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Students are urged to meet with the Registrar to discuss their concerns before filing a complaint. Students who decide to pursue a complaint against Stevenson University for a potential violation of their FERPA rights should contact the following office:
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520
Phone: 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327)
(Approved Dec. 2020)