The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law that requires colleges and universities to protect the confidentiality of student education records. The law states that no one outside the institution shall have access to a student's education records, nor will the institution disclose any information from those records without the written consent of the student, unless a specific exception outlined in the law applies.
"Education records" are records that 1) Contain information that is directly related to a student, and 2) Are maintained by an education agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. Examples of Education Records are: student's transcript, their GPA, their class schedule, attendance information, financial aid information, etc.
The following records are not "education records", for the purpose of FERPA:
* Limitations exist on student's rights to inspect and review their educational records. The institution is not required to permit students to inspect and review the following:
Nassau Community College is required to notify parents and eligible students about their rights under FERPA. Section 99.7 of the FERPA regulations sets forth the requirements for the notification and there is a model notification on this Web site.
Schools do not have to individually notify parents and eligible students but do have to notify them by any means that are reasonably likely to inform the parents or eligible students of their rights.
At the post-secondary level, parents have no inherent rights to inspect a student's education record. The right to inspect is limited solely to the student. Parents may gain access to non-directory information (grades, GPA, etc.) only if they obtain consent from the student.
As noted above, the rights under FERPA transfer from the parents to the student, once the student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution at any age. However, although the rights under FERPA have now transferred to the student, a school may disclose information from an "eligible student's" education records to the parents of the student, without the student's consent, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes.
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 either parent may have access under this provision. (34 CFR § 99.31(a)(8).)
Pursuant to FERPA, the College may disclose a student's education records without a student's written consent under certain conditions. These include, but are not limited to the following circumstances:
In compliance with FERPA, Nassau Community College annually notifies students of the rights afforded to them under FERPA. This notification is also available on the College Catalog Website and is distributed to students via email.
U.S. Dept. of Education, Family Policy Compliance Office at http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html
FERPA defines "directory information" as information contained in the education records of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. At Nassau Community College "directory information" includes information such as name, address, enrollment status, students ID number, major field of study, degrees being pursued, dates of attendance, photographs, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and degrees, honors and awards received.
A school may disclose "directory information" to third parties without consent if it has given public notice of the types of information which it has designated as "directory information," the parent's or eligible student's right to restrict the disclosure of such information, and the period of time within which a parent or eligible student has to notify the school in writing that he or she does not want any or all of those types of information designated as "directory information."
The means of notification could include publication in various sources, including a newsletter, in a local newspaper, or in the student handbook. The school could also include the "directory information" notification as part of the general notification of rights under FERPA. The school does not have to notify a parent or eligible student individually. (34 CFR § 99.37.)
If the student is a dependent for income tax purposes, the institution may disclose any education records, including financial records to a student's parents. If the student is not a dependent, then the student must generally provide consent for the school to disclose the information to the parents.
If a student is attending a postsecondary institution - at any age - the rights under FERPA have transferred to the student. However, 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.
Yes, if the student is under the age of 21 at the time of the disclosure. FERPA was amended in 1998 to allow such disclosures. See § 99.31(a)15 of the FERPA regulations. Also, if the student is a "dependent student" as defined in FERPA, the institution may disclosure such information, regardless of the age of the student.
One Education Drive, Garden City, New York 11530-6793 - 516.572.7501
Nassau Community College A Part of the State University of New York System (SUNY)
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