Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
Release of Student Record Information
Under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), student educational records and information should not be released without the expressed written consent of the student. The exception to this information is classified as “Directory (Public) Information” and may be released without the student’s consent.
Directory (Public) Information includes the following:
- Local address
- Home address
- Local telephone number
- Home telephone number
- Date and place of birth
- Parent names and addresses
- E-mail address
- Dates of attendance
- Full-time, half-time, or part-time status (not specific to credit hours)
- Degrees and awards received
- Previous institutions attended
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Photographs, weight and height of member of athletic teams
Directory information cannot include:
- Student identification numbers
- Social Security numbers
The College of Wooster sends names and social security numbers of enrolled students to the National Student Loan Clearinghouse each semester. In addition, the college is required by law to release enrolled student social security numbers and addresses to agencies connected with the U.S. Department of Education when mandated to do so. Students have the right to withhold the release of the above by presenting a written request to the Registrar. A small number of students have requested this and when the name is “accessed in the computer” the statement “Do Not Release Information” will appear.
A student has the right to:
1. Inspect and review education records pertaining to the student.
Students have the right to view their education records wherever these records are maintained on campus. Once a student has submitted a request to inspect his or her records, an institution must comply within 45 days.
When the student has an outstanding financial or other hold on records, the student still maintains the right to review his or her education records. He or she does not have the right to obtain any copies of those records unless failure to do so would effectively deny the student the right to inspect and review records. Also, that student does not have the right to have a transcript sent to a third party until the obligation is fulfilled.
In cases where a student is not within commuting distance (50 miles) of campus and therefore is physically unable to be present to view the record on campus, the institution must make arrangements for the student to obtain access for review of these records. The institution may do so either (a) by making copies of the requested records and sending them to the student by mail or other means; or (b) by making arrangements with an appropriate third party, such as another institution or an attorney’s office located in the vicinity of the student, to act as an agent. Such individuals would agree to abide by the institution’s instructions to allow the student to review but not copy the records. This method would be used particularly in instances where the student has an outstanding financial or other obligation to the college.
2. Request an amendment to the student’s records to insure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights.
Students may ask the college to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the Registrar, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.
If the college decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the college will notify the student of the decision and advise of the student his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing will be provided to the student when notified of a hearing.
3. Limit disclosure of some “personally identifiable information” (information that would directly identify the student or make the student’s identity easily traceable) known as directory information.
Any student who does not want directory information to be released, must submit his or her request in writing to the Registrar’s Office.
Students may complete the FERPA Release Form (.pdf) in order to give their parents access to their educational records. Parents may also complete the FERPA Release Form (.pdf) showing a student is a dependent to gain access to their student’s records.
Additional Information for International Students
FERPA does not distinguish between students based on their immigration status; students or scholars who sign the Form I-20 or DS-2019 consent to the release of this information for the purposes of SEVIS reporting.