FERPA The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (The Buckley Amendment) FERPA Case Study The parents of one of your students call you at the office. They are upset that their daughter has not told them what grades she received last semester, her first on campus. They suspect she did not do well, and that she may be in danger of losing a merit scholarship that helps pay tuition. They provide the rest of the financial support for their daughter, even claiming her as a dependent on their federal taxes – so they feel they have a right to know what the grades were. QUESTIONS: Do you inform them of their daughter’s grades? What is your rationale for that decision? If you do not grant their request, what options do you discuss with the parents? What is FERPA? A federal law. Provides minimum standards for the management of student educational records. Applies to all educational agencies or institutions that receive federal funds made available under any federal program administered by the Secretary of Education. Primary Rights of Students Right to inspect and review educational records. Right to seek to amend educational records. Right to have some control over the disclosure of information from educational records. The student does not have the right to see: Financial information submitted by the parent. Educational information of other students such as grades or test scores What are educational records? All records which contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by the institution as a part of the student’s permanent school record. Two types of educational records Directory Information Non-Directory Information Directory Information Directory information may be disclosed without the written consent of the student. The student may restrict the release of directory information. STUDENT PRIVACY NOTICE As a student you have certain rights provided by the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). According to FERPA, educational entities have the right to disclose certain “directory information.” This “directory information includes name; date of birth; current and permanent address; telephone listing; major and minor; current class schedule; number of hours enrolled in current semester; classification; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; dates of attendance; degrees and awards received; most recent Educational Agency or Institution attended. This information can be provided to anyone who inquires and usually includes but is not limited to other institutions, prospective employers, or family members. FERPA also allows, with your consent, for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board (the State of Texas educational governing entity) to disclose student information, including the number of credit hours taken at other institutions, to a variety of parties including other educational institutions. This information is typically used to gather demographic statistics aimed at improving educational programs. YOU as a student have the right to request this information not be released. Please indicate your request that South Plains College not release your directory information by checking the following: ______I do not want my “directory information” as described in the above paragraph to be released to any parties. _____________________________________ (Signature) __________________________________ (Social Security Number) IMPORTANT NOTE: If you request that your directory information be private, no information will be released to a third party. This means that your information will be blocked from ALL requestors, including: Third party scholarship sponsors National & state student honors programs Employers certifying attendance and degrees Published honor rolls Recruiting lists for other colleges/universities State tuition rebates, Texas Grant awards, and other state scholarships What does SPC identify as Directory Information? – – – – – – – – Name Date of Birth Current and Permanent Address E-mail address Telephone Listing Major and Minor Enrollment Status (full-time or part-time) Classification Directory Information, continued – Participation in Officially Recognized Activities and Sports – Major and Minor Field of Study – Dates of Attendance (such as fall 2006 – not specific attendance records) – Degrees and Awards Received – Most Recent Educational Agencies or Institutions Attended – Photo or other Image Non-Directory Information May not be released to anyone without prior written consent of the student. Faculty and staff can access non-directory information only if they have a legitimate academic need to do so. Examples of Non-Directory Information Social Security Numbers Student Identification Numbers Race, ethnicity and/or nationality Gender Transcripts; grade reports Parents and FERPA Parental rights transfer to the student upon reaching 18 years of age or attending school beyond secondary level. The law allows parental access if the student is claimed as a dependent for Federal income tax purposes. The parent must complete a Certificate of Dependency form in Admissions and Records Office before access to records is permitted. Inspection and Review of Education Records § 99.10 What rights exist for a student or eligible parent to inspect and review education records? School must comply with request within 45 days. Generally required to give copies only if failure to do so would effectively deny access – example would be a student or former student who does not live within commuting distance. School may not destroy records if request for access is pending. Inspection and Review FERPA does not permit an institution to defer complying with a request to inspect and review education records while the school is not in session or when teachers or other school officials who maintain the records are on vacation. Example: A parent filed a complaint against a school district for violating § 99.10. The parent made the request in June and the district notified the parent that records from teachers or service providers who were gone for summer break would not be made available until after school began in September. Inspection and Review The 45-day response time is not limited to administrative or “official” records maintained in a central school or district office. Congress provided up to 45 days to comply with a request, which allows time for the agency or institution to locate and retrieve education records maintained outside or away from a student’s “official” or “cumulative files.” Failure to Comply with FERPA Lawsuit Loss of Federal funding Conviction of misdemeanor under Public Information Act Remember: When in doubt, don’t give it out! FERPA Quiz TRUE / FALSE 1. FERPA regulations do not apply to most dual credit students, as they are under the age of 18. FERPA Quiz • • Parental rights transfer to the student upon attending a school beyond secondary level. In a situation where a student is enrolled in both a high school and a postsecondary institution, the two schools may exchange information on that student. If the student is under 18, the parents still retain the rights under FERPA at the high school and may inspect and review any records sent by the postsecondary institution to the high school . FERPA Quiz TRUE / FALSE 2. An institution may release course and billing information to the parent if the parent pays the student’s tuition. FERPA Quiz • One of the parent’s must claim the student on income tax & have a signed form in the Admissions and Records Office. FERPA Quiz TRUE / FALSE 3. In cases of divorce, educational records may only be disclosed to the parent who claims the student as a dependent for income tax purposes. FERPA Quiz • Neither the age of the student nor the parent's status as a custodial parent is relevant. If a student is claimed as a dependent by either parent for tax purposes, then both parents have access under this provision FERPA Quiz TRUE / FALSE 4. An institution can provide confidential academic information to the spouse of a student without the student’s prior written consent if they file federal income taxes jointly. FERPA Quiz • False FERPA Quiz TRUE / FALSE 5. An institution must provide copies to a student of his or her academic records if requested in writing to do so. FERPA Quiz • The Institution is generally required to give copies only if failure to do so would effectively deny access – an example would be a student or former student who does not live within commuting distance. • Schools may not destroy records if a request for access is pending. FERPA Quiz TRUE / FALSE _____6. An institution that designates certain types of information as “directory information” must offer a student the opportunity to decline to have the information about the student so designated. FERPA Quiz • True – The student will need to complete a form in the Admissions and Records office to restrict access. QUESTIONS: • Do you inform them of their daughter’s grades? • What is your rationale for that decision? • If you do not grant their request, what options do you discuss with the parents?