Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
What is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)?
Also known as the "Buckley Amendment," FERPA is a federal law enacted in 1974 which affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Specifically, it affords students the right to: 1. inspect and review their education records, 2. request the amendment of inaccurate or misleading records, 3. consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their education record and 4. file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Baruch College to comply with this law. Baruch College strives to fully comply with this law by protecting the privacy of student records and judiciously evaluating requests for release of information from those records. FERPA authorizes the release of "Directory Information" without the student's prior consent under certain conditions which are set forth in the Act. Baruch College has defined its "Directory Information" in accordance with the law.
How does FERPA apply to faculty and staff?
FERPA requires faculty and staff to act in a legally specified manner.
What are education records?
Education records are records that are: 1. directly related to a student and 2. maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution.
What is personally identifiable information?
Personally identifiable information includes but is not limited to: the student's name; the name of the student's parent or other family member; the address of the student or student's family; a personal identifier, such as the student's social security number or student number; a list of personal characteristics that would make the student's identity easily traceable; or other information that would make the student's identity easily traceable.
How is compliance monitored?
The Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) monitors schools for compliance. Students have the right to file complaints with the FPCO alleging failure by Baruch College to comply with the requirements of the Act. Failure to comply may result in a loss of federal funding for financial aid and educational grants and/or civil litigation.
What is "Directory Information?"
Directory information is information contained in an education record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. At Baruch College it includes the student's name, attendance dates (periods of enrollment), address, telephone number, date and place of birth, photograph, e-mail address, full- or part-time status, enrollment status (undergraduate, graduate, etc.), level of education (credits) completed, major field of study, degree enrolled for, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, height and weight of athletic team members, previous schools attended, and degrees, honors, and awards received.
Note: Directory information is information that the college may disclose, but it is not required to do so. It is college policy to refrain from actively disclosing addresses, telephone numbers and dates of birth; however we routinely verify this information. Baruch College does not disclose social security numbers, personal identification numbers, grades, grade point averages, class schedules, academic actions, the number of credits enrolled in or earned unless the student has signed a consent form.
Can students control disclosure of "Directory Information?"
Yes, students are notified of their right to control the disclosure of "Directory Information" in the Annual Notification of Rights Under FERPA which is published in the online bulletin. They are required to complete a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information and submit the form in person at the Registrar's Office with a photo ID. If a student elects to control disclosure, no information will be disclosed on the student, nor will verification of enrollment be given to any callers.
To whose records does FERPA apply?
FERPA applies to the education records of persons who are or have been in attendance, including students in cooperative and correspondence programs.
To what records does FERPA apply?
FERPA applies to all educational records in whatever medium which are: 1. maintained by Baruch College or by a party acting for Baruch College and 2. directly related to a student.
Is prior consent always necessary before releasing information from a student's education record?
Prior consent is not necessary to release or confirm "Directory Information" from a student's education record unless the student has placed a non disclosure request on his/her records. However, all requests of this nature should be referred to the Registrar's office staff.
Whom should I contact with questions?
Edward Adams, Senior Registrar Phone: (646) 312 1190, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Important Note: The above information is intended to give general information about FERPA and to acquaint faculty and staff with some of the privacy issues surrounding students' educational records. It is not intended as nor is it a substitute for legal advice on any particular issue.
FERPA Annual Notice to Students: Access to Student Records
Annually, Colleges inform students of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, (FERPA) as amended. The Office of the Registrar will disclose FERPA information by publishing a notice in the College Catalog, Registrar Website and in other appropriate locations. This annual notice shall prescribe the procedures whereby a student may make a formal request for non-disclosure of directory information, exercise the right to inspect and review education records, request an amendment of education records and obtain a copy of the College's education records policy. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. See Section "6" below on your right to prevent the disclosure of directory information. The FERPA rights of students are:
(1) The right to inspect and review your education records. 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. If the records are not maintained by the college official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. All requests shall be granted or denied in writing within 45 days of receipt. If the request is granted, you will be notified of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the request is denied or not responded to within 45 days, you may appeal to the college's FERPA appeals officer. Additional information regarding the appeal procedures will be provided to you if a request is denied. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
(2) The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. You may ask the college to amend a record that you believe is inaccurate or misleading. You should write to the college official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record you want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the college decides not to amend the record as requested by you, the college will notify you of the decision and advise you of your right to a hearing before the college's FERPA appeals officer regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to you when notified of your right to a hearing.
(3) The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to college officials with legitimate educational interests. A college official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the University has contracted; 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 college official in performing his or her tasks. A college official has a legitimate educational interest if access is reasonably necessary in order to perform his/her instructional, research, administrative or other duties and responsibilities. Upon request, the college discloses education records without consent to officials of another college or school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
(4) You may appeal the alleged denial of FERPA rights to the: General Counsel and Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs The City University of New York 535 East 80th Street New York, NY 10021.
(5) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the college 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, D.C. 20202-5920
For additional information:
(6) Colleges will make the following "directory information" concerning current and former
students available to those parties having a legitimate interest in the information:
attendance dates (periods of enrollment)
date and place of birth
full- or part-time status
enrollment status (undergraduate, graduate, etc.)
level of education (credits) completed
major field of study
degree enrolled for
participation in officially recognized
activities and sports
height and weight of athletic team members
FERPA Compliance Training