FERPA and Student Rights
Rights of Students
Annually, Immaculata University informs students of The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), which affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
- 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, written requests that identify 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 advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students 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 the vice president of the area concerned will 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.
- 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. Exceptions include disclosure to personnel within the institution who are acting in the student’s educational interest; to officials of other institutions in which the student seeks to enroll; to federal agencies; to persons or organizations providing the student with financial aid; to organizations conducting studies for educational agencies or institutions developing, validating, or administering tests, student aid programs or educational improvement programs; to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function; to persons in compliance with a judicial order; to disciplinary records pertaining to alcohol and drugs, sexual assault or physical harm; and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Immaculata 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 Avenue, SW Washington, DC 20202-4605.
Immaculata University designates the following categories of student information as public, or directory information. Such information may be disclosed by the institution for any purpose, at its discretion: Currently, enrolled students may withhold disclosure of any category of information under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. To withhold disclosure, written notification must be received in the Office of the Registrar. Forms requesting the withholding of directory information are available in the Registrar’s Office and on this website.
- Category I Name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, dates of attendance, full- or part-time enrollment status, class
- Category II Previous institution(s) attended, major field of study, awards, honors, expected graduation date, degree(s) conferred (including dates)
- Category III Participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of athletic team members
Immaculata University assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of categories of directory information indicates individual approval for disclosure. Immaculata students may be assured that even with their permission, directory information is disclosed only on rare occasions. The policy of Immaculata University allows the disclosure of such information to non-institutional personnel only for serious reasons and at the discretion of the person responsible for the student record involved.
Statement of FERPA Practice
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as amended is a federal law which is designed to protect the privacy of and limit access to the educational records of students. This means that institutions generally must withhold such information from parents and others who believe their relationship with the student entitles them to have the information, sometimes even on occasions when the student prefers the information to be released. As a result, parents, guardians, or spouses often ask why they cannot have information about a student’s grades, financial obligations, or standing with the University. Education records generally covered by federal privacy laws include grades, housing information, medical treatment (including hospitalization), enrollment and attendance information, financial status, results of disciplinary proceedings, etc.
If a student has not given permission to release information to someone, the University generally CANNOT release the information under the provisions of FERPA. The University is able to release information IF there is proof of the student’s status as a dependent under the Internal Revenue Service Code for the period covered on file. However, tax returns on file with the University cover the preceding year; often the proof is out of date and may no longer be applicable.
Students grant Immaculata University permission to release information concerning their educational records to a third party by submitting the FERPA agreement form. Students must identify each individual to whom they wish to grant access/information regarding their student records. To identify people, students must log into SSIU via MyIU and fill out the FERPA Agreement. When it is submitted, the University will be able to disclose information and respond to inquiries from the designated individuals. The consent will remain valid until students leave the University; however, they may revise the consent information at any time.