Student Education Records and FERPA
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (“FERPA”) and associated regulations set forth requirements designed to protect the privacy of student education records. FERPA provides for the right to inspect and review education records, the right to seek to amend those records and to limit disclosure of information from the records. FERPA applies to all institutions that are the recipients of funds under any program administered by the Secretary of Education.
What rights does FERPA afford Students with regard to their education records?
FERPA provides each student with the right to:
- Inspect and review his/her education record(s) within 45 days of the day the College receives a request
- Request an amendment or correction to his/her education record(s)
- Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education record(s), except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent and
- File a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office
Who is protected under FERPA?
FERPA protects all College students who are currently enrolled or formerly enrolled, regardless of their age or status with regard to parental dependency. Students who have applied but have not attended the College, or students who are deceased do not fall under FERPA guidelines.
What is Student Directory Information?
The College, consistent with FERPA, is permitted to release student directory information. Directory Information means information contained in an education record of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. The College has designated the following information as Directory Information and will disclose this information without prior written consent unless otherwise instructed by the student:
- Name and Address
- Program of study(Including College of enrollment, major and campus)
- Enrollment status (e.g. full-time, part-time, withdrawn)
- Dates of attendance
- Degrees, honors, and awards received
- Previous educational agencies or institutions attended
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports and
- Weight and height of members of intercollegiate athletic teams
Students who wish to have this information kept confidential may contact their campus Enrollment Center.
When is student consent not required for disclosure?
When the disclosure is to:
- College officials and employees who have a legitimate educational interest
- Federal, state and local authorities involving an audit or evaluation of compliance with educational programs; in connection with financial aid, including Veterans benefits
- Organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of educational institutions
- Accrediting organizations
- Parents of students who are “dependent” as defined by the Internal Revenue Service. A copy of the parents’ most recent Federal Income Tax return listing the student as a dependent must be submitted to the Enrollment Center to document dependency
- Comply with a judicial order or subpoena
- Manage health or safety emergencies
- Release of directory information, unless the student has “opted out” of having directory information disclosed
- Release of the final results of a disciplinary hearing to an alleged victim of a crime of violence
- Officials of another institution where the student seeks or intends to enroll, so long as the disclosure is for purposes of enrollment or
- A parent of a student regarding the student’s violation of any federal, state or local law, or of any rule or policy of the College governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance and the student is under the age of 21 at the time of the disclosure to the parent.
Students may consent to the release of their education records by completing and signing a consent to release on my Tri-C space. Students should go to the Student page – Academic Records Portlet – FERPA Request on my Tri-C space
Requests for academic transcripts should be directed to the Office of the Registrar or a Campus Enrollment Center.
For additional information on Student Education Records at the College, login to my Tri-C space, navigate to the President's Home Page and review our Policies and Procedures. If you have additional questions regarding Student Education Records or FERPA, please contact Legal Services at firstname.lastname@example.org or 216-987-4856.
What are education records?
The College defines "Education Records" (with certain exemptions as listed below) as those records, files, documents, and other materials that contain information directly related to a student, and are maintained by any employee or agent of the College.
What are not education records?
The following are examples of records that do not qualify as Education Records:
- Records that are kept in the sole possession of the maker, are used only as a personal memory aid and are not accessible or revealed to any person
- Records created and maintained by campus police for law enforcement purposes
- Records relating to individuals who are employed by the College (unless employment is contingent upon student status)
- Medical and counseling records used solely in connection with treatment of the student and
- Records created or received by the College after an individual is no longer a student in attendance and that are not directly related to the individual’s attendance as a student, such as alumni records