The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. 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.
Students should submit to the registrar, dean, chair of the academic department, or other appropriate official written requests that identify 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 person will 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 or misleading or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
A student who wishes to amend such a record should write to the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record s/he wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student of the decision in writing and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.
Student requests for formal hearings must be made in writing to the academic vice president, who, within a reasonable time of receiving such request, will inform students of the date, place, and time of the hearing. The academic vice president, the vice president for Student Affairs, and the academic dean of the student’s college or school will constitute the hearing panels for challenges to the content of education records. Upon denial and subsequent appeal, if the University still decides not to amend the record, the student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception that permits disclosure without consent is 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 (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Directors; 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 discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. The University may also disclose student information without consent during audits/evaluations, in connection with financial aid, during certain studies, to accrediting organizations, to comply with a judicial order, and during health and safety emergencies. The University may disclose student information to a student’s parent during health and safety emergencies, or when that student is a financial dependent of the parent, or when the student is under age 21 and has violated Federal, State, or local law, or any rule or policy of the University governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
The right to withhold directory information. The University has designated the following as directory information: student name, address (including e-mail address), telephone number, date and place of birth, photograph, major fields of study, class year and enrollment status, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational institution attended, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weights and heights of members of athletic teams.
Students may refuse to allow the University to designate the above information about them as directory information by notifying the registrar in writing within two weeks after the first day of class for the fall semester. Students must submit an annual written notification of refusal to allow the designation of directory information.
The right to annual notification. The University must notify students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification is left to the discretion of the University.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by John Carroll University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Students may file complaints with The Family Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-5901.