The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (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 was designed to protect the privacy of students’ educational records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their educational records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data. CEI may release directory information as allowed by law.
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 eighteen (18) or attends a school beyond the high school level (e.g., a college or university). Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”
Eligible students have the right to inspect and review their education records maintained by the school. Eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records that they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. Generally, schools must have written permission from the eligible student in order to release any information from the student’s education record.
However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to access/review an education record in order to fulfill his or her responsibilities for the College. Any school official who needs information about a student in the course of performing instructional, supervisory, advisory or administrative duties for the College has a legitimate educational interest. The information must not be used for personal or other purposes extraneous to the official’s areas of responsibility. Having access to education records does not constitute authority to share this information with anyone who does not have a legitimate educational interest.
Any student may submit a Non-Release of Information form to the Student Affairs office to prevent the release of directory information. Any student may also submit a written request to review his/her records to the Registrar’s Office. Records covered by FERPA will be made available to the student within forty-five (45) days. In general, the College is not required to provide copies of the education records requested unless failure to do so would effectively prevent the eligible student from exercising the right to inspect and review the records.
The College may charge a reasonable fee for preparing copies for the student. A college representative may be present during the review of the records and may provide information regarding the interpretation of such records to the student. Students may not inspect financial information submitted by parents or guardians, confidential letters associated with admission, and records to which they have waived their inspection rights. The College will not release records that are not owned by the College.
Any student has the right to file a complaint under FERPA with the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the Act. Complaints must be sent in writing, with all pertinent information, to the following address:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920
For questions concerning FERPA, please contact the Registrar’s Office at 208-524-3000 option 4