FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (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.

Confidentiality of Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 applies to “Education Records” defined as “records, files, documents and other materials which “contained information directly related to a student” and “are maintained by an educational institution or agency.” The term “education record” does not include the personal files of faculty and administrative personnel, law enforcement records, and medical, psychiatric or psychological records created and used only for the treatment of a student and available only to those providing the treatment.

Public Information: SH/BHSON does make public the following information about a student unless the student specifically requests in writing that the information is not to be released. “Directory Information” includes a student’s name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, date and place of birth, school or college, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees, and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. Requests made by students not to release such information for public distribution are to be made in writing to the Registrar and filed prior to the drop/add period in any given semester.

Access Rights of Students: Parents’ financial records and related parental financial information shall not be released to students.

Access Rights of Persons or Agencies Other Than Students: Except for those stated below, no one will have access to educational records without the written consent of the student concerned. (Disclosure Forms available in Registrar’s Office and Fisher College Office) Faculty and staff members determined by the Dean to have legitimate educational interests in seeing the record in question.

Authorized federal officials auditing federally-supported educational programs

Persons processing a student’s financial aid application

Recognized accrediting organizations carrying out accrediting functions

Parent(s) of a student who is listed, pursuant to I.R.C. Section 152, as a dependent on the Federal Income Tax return of said parent(s) for the calendar year immediately prior to the year in question

Procedure to Follow to Access a Record: A request by a student or agency to inspect a record shall be made in writing to the Registrar. The Registrar will inform the student or agency when the requested record will be made available. The Registrar maintains a record of the persons or agencies who have had access to the record. Students must properly identify themselves (student ID) before being shown their records, must not interfere with the operations of the Registrar, and must examine the record during reasonable hours in the office of the Registrar. The examination of the record shall be supervised. Copies of records shall be given to the student upon written request. (Disclosure Forms available in Registrar’s Office and Fisher College Office). Reviewing and Expunging Records: The academic record (transcript) of a student is officially designated as a permanent record and is maintained in perpetuity by SH/BHSON, as well as all application material received. No other records are officially designed as permanent records. All non-permanent records will be destroyed three years following graduation.

Filing a Complaint: If you believe your rights have been violated under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) or the Protection of Pupil Rights Amendment (PPRA), you can file a complaint with the Student Privacy Policy Office (SPPO). For more information and guidance, please visit the government’s Student Privacy website.