Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- Waiver of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (pdf)
- Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information (pdf)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an application 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.”
These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The University official 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 by the University 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 education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University 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 to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
The University 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 University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University 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 for the University.
Upon request, the University 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 University 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
For more information, visit www.ed.gov.
FERPA allows the University to release student “directory information” without a student’s consent unless the student has requested such information be kept confidential. RSU defines “directory information” as the following: name, academic classification, campus or local address, campus or local telephone number, academic major, permanent address, current enrollment (verify or deny only), dates of attendance at RSU, degree(s) conferred and date(s) of graduation, and email address.
Students may chose to release their non-directory and confidential educational information to specific individuals (including parents or legal guardians) or organizations. To release this information, the Waiver of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act form must be completed and returned to the Office of the Registrar. The educational information will only be released to individuals or organizations listed once proof of identification has been established.
Students may also chose to withhold all “directory information”. To prevent the disclosure of “directory information”, the Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form must be completed and returned to the Office of the Registrar. If this option is chosen, all important information will be unavailable to all, including prospective employers, credit agencies, and others to whom you may want this information known or verified.