The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) 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, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Mount Saint Mary’s 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 Mount Saint Mary’s University official to whom the request was submitted, the official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by Mount Saint Mary’s University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom Mount Saint Mary’s University 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.
More information concerning Personally Identifiable Information (Directory Information)
The primary focus of FERPA is to ensure that a student has reasonable access to his / her educational records (as mentioned above in #1) and, along with this openness, must come the assurance of the privacy of the record. All information belongs to the student and cannot be released without written permission. The only exception to this written permission clause pertains to what the institution defines as directory information. Directory information is information the institution may publish and distribute without written consent. Mount Saint Mary’s University considers the following items directory information – (1) Name;(2) Address; (3) Phone Number; (4) Class; (5) Major; (6) Campus of attendance; (7) Degree program; (8) Degree(s) and awards received;(9) Enrollment status/ Dates of attendance.
- Students have the right to withhold directory information and can do this by filing an Information Hold Request with the Registrar’s Office. The form must be filed each semester in order for the information to be withheld.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Mount Saint Mary’s University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
U.S. Department of Education
600 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605