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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

Woodbury FERPA Training Presentation

Student Access to Records Under the Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights to Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

(1) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. An exception to this general provision is that confidential letters of recommendation placed in the files of the Office of Admission or the Career Services files prior to January 1, 1975, are considered “closed” files. Each individual may decide whether to waive the right to view letters of recommendation placed in his/her file after January 1, 1975. If so, written notice to this effect must be placed in the file. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official to whom the request was submitted, shall advise the student of the correct official whom the request should be addressed.

(2) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record that they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her 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.

(3) 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, which 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 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 a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the University discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

(4) 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 are:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

Note: The University has the right to designate certain information, including each student’s name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, enrollment status, class level, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous institution attended by the student as “directory information” for the purposes of alumni, business directories, student directories, etc. Any student or graduate who prefers not to make public the directory information must notify the Registrar in writing each academic term.