FERPA and Your Privacy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that requires Elms College, with certain exceptions, to obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your education records.  However, Elms College may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have instructed the College to restrict this information.  Students who object to the disclosure of directory information must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing within thirty (30) days following registration each semester. The request for nondisclosure may also be rescinded by written notification to the Office of the Registrar.

Elms College has designated directory information to include a student’s name, telephone numbers, addresses, e-mail, addresses, month and day of birth, dates of attendance at the College, participation in officially recognized College activities, height and weight of members of athletic teams, and photographs. FERPA considers directory information as generally not harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Directory information cannot include student identification numbers, Social Security Numbers, citizenship, gender, race, religious preference, grades, or GPA.

Student education records are confidential and may only be released with consent of the student or as otherwise permitted by law.  The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records:

  1. Each student has the right to inspect his or her education record, subject to reasonable time, place, and manner restrictions.  A student must submit a written request to the registrar, academic dean, chair of the academic division, or other appropriate official, that identifies the specific record they wish to inspect.  The request will be granted as soon as possible, but not later than forty-five (45) days from the date of the receipt of the request.  The college official will make arrangements for access, and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.  At the time of inspection, the student must present identification and must inspect the records in the presence of a designated college official.  

  2. Each student has the right to request the amendment of his or her education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.  They should contact the college 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 college decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the college will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.

  3. Each student has the right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in his or her education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

  4. Each student has the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  Complaints should be filed in writing by submitting an electronic complaint form found at the Family Policy Compliance Office at http://familypolicy.ed.gov/complaint-form or by writing to the following address:

 

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-8520