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Ward Edwards 1000
Warrensburg, MO 64093
What is FERPA?
FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. It is also known as the Buckley Amendment. FERPA, as amended, sets forth requirements regarding the privacy of student education records. FERPA governs the disclosure of education records maintained by an educational institution and access to those records.
To whom does FERPA apply?
The Act applies to all institutions that are the recipients of federal aid administered by the Secretary of Education. FERPA applies to postsecondary institutions (colleges and universities) as well as K-12 schools. FERPA applies to all current and former UCM students, regardless of their age or status with regard to parental dependency. This includes students enrolled as dual-credit high school students and those enrolled as continuing education and non-degree seeking students.
When do FERPA rights begin for a student at UCM?
UCM students are covered under FERPA upon first enrollment in courses.
What are student rights under FERPA?
FERPA provides eligible students the right to:
• inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the receipt of the request (some limitations apply)
• request to amend their education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading and to request a hearing if the request to amend is not granted
• have some control over the release of information from their educational records
• obtain a copy of the institution’s FERPA compliance policy
• file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education
The intent of the legislation is to protect the rights of students and to ensure the privacy and accuracy of education records.
Frequently Asked Questions and Common Term Defined
What is “Disclosure” as defined by FERPA?
To permit access to, release, transfer or allow any other type of communication of personally identifiable information contained in education records to any party by any means; including oral, written, or electronic communication.
Who may have access to student information?
• The student and any third party designated with the student’s written request
• School officials (as defined by the University) who have “legitimate educational interests”
• A person in response to a lawfully issued subpoena or court order, as long as the University makes a reasonable attempt to notify the student first
What is an “Educational Record” as defined by FERPA?
With certain exceptions (noted below), an education record is any record (1) which contains information that is personally identifiable to a student, and (2) is maintained by the university. With the exception of information about other students, financial records of parents and confidential letters of reference to which the student has waived access, a student has the right of access to his or her education records.
Education records include any records in whatever medium (handwritten, print, e-mail, magnetic tape, film, diskette, etc.) that are in the possession of any school official. This includes transcripts or other records obtained from a school in which a student was previously enrolled.
What information is NOT considered part of an “Education Record”?
• Sole possession records (memory-jogging records) or private notes held by school officials that are not accessible or released to other personnel
• Law enforcement or campus security records that are solely for law enforcement purposes and maintained solely by the law enforcement unit
• Records relating to individuals who are employed by the institution (unless contingent upon attendance)
• Records relating to treatment provided by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional and disclosed only to individuals providing treatment
• Records of an institution that contain only information about an individual obtained after that person is no longer a student at that institution (alumni records)
Who is a “School Official” as defined by FERPA?
A school official may be: an employee of a college (administrative, supervisory, academic, research, support or student staff); a person elected to the Board of Governors; a company or person employed/contracted by a college to perform a special task (i.e., attorney, auditor, or collection agency); a person or student serving on an official committee (i.e., disciplinary/grievance, scholarship) or assisting an official in his/her tasks.
Where can I learn more about FERPA?
Read UCM’s detailed guidelines, “Policy Implementing the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act at the University of Central Missouri”, to learn more about how FERPA is handled at UCM. Copies of this document may also be obtained in the Registrar’s Office in Ward Edwards, suite 1000.
Visit the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers webpage.
Visit the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA webpage.