What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), as amended, is a federal law that influences record keeping in colleges and universities. The law requires that the educational records of students in colleges and universities receiving Department of Education funds, directly or through students receiving federal financial aid, remain confidential. The law allows others to access a student’s educational records only if the student consents, subject to a few exceptions (refer to The Compass, “Confidentiality of Students Records”, page 78, for additional information). Certain information, known as directory information, may be released without the student’s consent.
What does this mean?
Because Christian Brothers University accepts federal Department of Education monies, parents may not have access to their son or daughter’s educational records unless the son or daughter has signed a Consent to Release Information form, which can be obtained through the Registrar’s Office.
What are the ramifications?
Students own their educational records. FERPA ensures that records cannot be released without written consent of the student except directory information and exceptions as permitted by the Act (refer to The Compass, “Confidentiality of Students Records”, page 78, for additional information).
What is directory information?
Christian Brothers is allowed to release directory information at any time. Directory information includes the student’s name, address, telephone number, e-mail address, photo or electronic images, date and place of birth, major field(s) of study, enrollment status, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, the most recent previous educational institution attended by the student, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height of members of athletic teams. Under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, students have the right to withhold disclosure of such directory information by signing a request with the Office of the Registrar within two weeks after the first day of classes. If the student chooses not to have directory information released, this means any information that might be needed by a potential employer cannot be given out, etc. For additional information regarding the “Freedom of Information” please refer to The Compass, pages 77-79.
What is the procedure for obtaining confidential information?
No one outside the institution shall have access to nor will the institution disclose any information from students’ educational records without the written consent of the student except, in instances sited in The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (for additional information refer to The Compass, “Confidentiality of Students Records”, page 78). To obtain a “Consent to Disclosure” form, please contact the Registrar’s Office at (901) 321-3889. Disciplinary records will not be released to other institutions or employers unless the University is instructed to do so by civil authorities or by permission of the student.
Health and Safety Information
A health and safety exception permits the disclosure of personally identifiable information from a student’s record in case of an immediate threat to the health or safety of students or other individuals. CBU follows the provisions outlined in the regulations as follows: The school only discloses personally identifiable information from an education record to appropriate parties in connection with an emergency, if knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals.
• Student Rights
• FERPA for Parents