Family Education Rights & Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is federal legislation regarding the privacy of student records. It governs the disclosure of education records maintained by institutions (including GTCC) and access to those records.
What rights does FERPA give students?
- Inspect & review their education records
- Have some control over disclosure of information from their education records
- Seek to amend incorrect education records
What is an education record?
All records that directly relate to a student and are maintained by the college are considered education records. These records can take numerous forms (paper records, media files, etc.) – they do not only refer to records stored in Student Records or in Colleague.
What type of information may be shared?
Without the student’s written consent, only directory information may be released. At GTCC, the following are considered directory information and may be released without prior written consent from the student:
- Student’s name
- Student’s address
- Student’s telephone number
- Field of study
- Most recent previous institution attended
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of athletes
- Dates of attendance at the College
- College degree completion dates and degrees earned
- Awards earned
While FERPA includes date and place of birth, the College reserves the right to omit this from directory information to protect students from possible discrimination. Disclosure of information other than directory information requires prior written consent of the student. The consent must specify records that may be disclosed, state the purpose of disclosure, and identify the party or class of parties to whom disclosure may be made. Although directory information is not considered an invasion of privacy, and there are exceptions that do not require prior consent from the student, inquiries should be referred to the college Registrar.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.” For more details concerning FERPA, please visit the website of the US Department of Education at http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html?src=rn .
If you are having issues accessing the link, listed below is the actual wording from the US Department of Education website;
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children’s education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are “eligible students.”
- Parents or eligible students have the right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school. Schools are not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for parents or eligible students to review the records. Schools may charge a fee for copies.
- Parents or eligible students have the right to request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. If the school decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the parent or eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
- Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):
- School officials with legitimate educational interest;
- Other schools to which a student is transferring;
- Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
- Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
- Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
- Accrediting organizations;
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
- State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
Schools may disclose, without consent, “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, telephone number, date and place of birth, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. However, schools must tell parents and eligible students about directory information and allow parents and eligible students a reasonable amount of time to request that the school not disclose directory information about them. Schools must notify parents and eligible students annually of their rights under FERPA. The actual means of notification (special letter, inclusion in a PTA bulletin, student handbook, or newspaper article) is left to the discretion of each school.
For additional information, you may call 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) (voice). Individuals who use TDD may use the Federal Relay Service.
Or you may contact us at the following address:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520
Any questions regarding these policies should be directed to the GTCC Registrar:
2nd Floor Medlin
(336) 334-4822 x50064
Last Update 09/16/2014