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Understanding FERPA

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

  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. 

    Students should submit to the Registrar, dean, head of the academic department or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall refer the student to the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student deems inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading;

    They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. 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, 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 disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has 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 Austin Peay State University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

    The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20202.

Confidentiality and Privacy of Student Records

Directory information concerning students is treated as public information and is released to the public unless otherwise requested by the student. “Directory information” includes the following: the student’s name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, and degrees and awards received by a student. The University provides each student the opportunity to restrict disclosure of the designated directory information. The student will be given this opportunity at the beginning of each academic term. (Forms may be obtained from the Office of the Registrar.)

A student’s right of access to his or her education records includes the right to inspect and review the content of such and obtain copies thereof at a reasonable cost within 45 days of requesting them. The right of access of a student does not include access to:

  1. Financial records of the parents of the student or any information contained therein;
  2. Confidential letters and statements or recommendations concerning admission, employment or the receipt of an honor, which were placed in the records prior to Jan. 1, 1975, or concerning which the student has signed a waiver of access;
  3. Administrative and educational personnel records ancillary thereto, which are in the sole possession of the maker thereof and which are not accessible to any person except a substitute;
  4. Records of law enforcement officials;
  5. Records relating exclusively to a person’s employment at the institution when the person is not in attendance as a student of the institution; and
  6. Records maintained by professional or paraprofessional health-related personnel which are made in connection with the provision of treatment of a student and not available to persons other than the health-related personnel. Information concerning educational records which is personally identifiable with a particular student, other than directory information, shall not be released to persons, agencies or organizations other than those hereinafter described unless:
    1. There is written consent from the student specifying the records to be released, the reason for the release and to whom the information is to be released, with a copy to the student, if requested, or
    2. Such information is furnished in compliance with a judicial order or a subpoena, provided that advance notice of the receipt of the order of subpoena shall be provided to the student prior to compliance if possible. Personally identifiable education records may be released to other school officials of the institution, including members of the faculty, who have legitimate educational interests.

Visit www.apsu.edu/policy for the Confidentiality of Student Records Policy.