FERPA

The Federal Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records, establishes the right of students to inspect and review their education records, and provides guidelines for the correction of inaccurate and misleading data through informal and formal hearings.

The essence of the Act is two-fold:

  • Institutions may not disclose information about students nor permit inspection of their records without written permission from the student, unless such action is covered by certain exceptions permitted in the Act.
  • College students must be permitted to inspect their own education records.

If a student is a minor or a dependent, the parents or legal guardians are afforded right of access. On the other hand, the rights primarily reside with the student, regardless of age, once he or she is admitted or enrolls at an institution of higher education. Only when the student has signed a written release giving their parent(s) access to their record, or when an institution accepts proof from the parent that the student is a dependent, is an institution allowed to release information from the student's education record to parents. A student is any person who attends or has attended La Roche College

FERPA applies to each educational agency or educational institution which receives funds, including Title IV Federal Aid, under any program administered by the Secretary of Education.

Education Records

Records containing a student's name, social security number, student number, or other personal identifiable information are covered by FERPA unless identified in the Act's excluded categories. An education record is any record in whatever form (handwritten, taped, print, film or other medium) maintained by the College and is directly related to the student.

FERPA Protected Information that may not be released without the signed permission of the student:

  • Citizenship
  • Disciplinary status
  • Ethnicity
  • Gender
  • Grade point average (GPA)
  • Marital status
  • SSN/student I.D.
  • Marital
  • Grades/exam scores
  • Test scores (e.g., SAT, GRE, etc.)
  • Progress Reports

Release of Education Records Without Consent

Education records may be released to the following individuals and/or under the following situations without written consent:

  • to a school official who has a legitimate educational interest.
  • to schools to which a student seeks or intends to enroll (the institution must make an attempt to notify the student that records are being provided).
  • to Federal, State and local authorities involving an audit or evaluation of compliance with education programs.
  • to individuals or organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of an educational institution.
  • to regional or professional accreditation organizations.
  • to parents of a dependent student.
  • to comply with a judicial order or subpoena. A reasonable effort must be made to notify the student beforehand-unless ordered by the subpoena not to do so.
  • in the event of a health or safety emergency where the information is required to resolve the emergency.
  • that is considered directory information, so long as the student has not requested nondisclosure of this information.
  • to the student.
  • that is the result of a disciplinary hearing where the student is the perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense. Under this exception, information may be released to anyone, including the media. No information on the victim or witnesses may be released.
  • of a student under the age of 21 who has committed a drug or alcohol related offense (e.g., reporting the offense to the parents of the student).

Directory Information

Directory information may be released without the prior consent of the student. Directory information includes: the student's name, date and place of birth, school and permanent address, school and permanent home telephone number, school mail box address, major, honors and awards, dates of attendance, degree(s) received and dates awarded, weight and height of athletes.

NOTE: A housing roster is not considered directory information and is for internal use only.

Release of Directory Information

A student who does not want Directory Information released must complete a non-release form available in the Registrar's Office.

Non-Directory Information

The following records are exempt from FERPA regulations and may not be viewed by students and/or parents:

  • Personal records, such as those kept by a student's academic advisor, faculty and staff if the record is not revealed to others and is in the sole possession of the employee;
  • Financial records of parents;
  • Student employment records that related exclusively to the student in the capacity of a College employee (does not apply to Work Study records);
  • Records maintained separately from educational records solely for law enforcement agencies within the same jurisdiction;
  • Counseling records maintained by the Campus Ministry Office or the College Counselor(s);
  • Medical records maintained by the College solely for treatment and made available only to persons providing treatment; and
  • Alumni Office records

Parental Access to Education Records

Custodial and non-custodial parents and legal guardians of a dependent student have the right to access that student's records without consent. (It does not matter which party, in the case of single/divorced parents, claims the student as a dependent). Once the student is no longer a dependent, all rights pass from the parent/guardian to the student.

Student's Right to Review and Correct His/Her Education Records

Students and former students have rights to inspect and review their education records within 45 days from making such a request. Limitations exist on a student's right to inspect and review their education records. The institution is not required to permit students to inspect and review the following:

  • Financial information submitted by parents
  • Confidential letters and recommendations placed in the student's file before 1/1/75
  • Confidential letters and recommendations placed in the student's file after 1/1/75 to which the student has waived his/her right to review and that are related to the student's admission, application for employment or job placement, or receipt of honors.

Students may request that their education records be amended if they believe such information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of privacy rights. Students must request in writing that the office that maintains those records amend them. Students should identify the part of the records want corrected and specify why they believe it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation or privacy rights. The registrar will review the request and inform the student in a reasonable amount of time after received the request.

Penalties for Non-Compliance

Non-compliance may terminate the institution's eligibility to receive Federal funding.

For further information on or clarification of FERPA, send an email to registrar@laroche.edu.

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