Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

 

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment of 1974, is the federal law that protects student privacy. FERPA specifies that students have the following rights:

  1. Students have the right to inspect and access their educational records. 
  2. Students have the right to request inaccuracies on their record amended. 
  3. Students have the right to have some control over the release of their academic records. 

 

Who is protected under FERPA?

Students who are currently or formerly enrolled, regardless of their age or status in regard to parental dependency, are protected. Students who have applied to, but have not attended an institution and deceased students, do not come under FERPA guidelines.

 

Who may have access to student educational records?

  • The student and any outside party who has the student’s written permission.
  • LaGrange College officials who have “legitimate educational interest.”
  • Designees (like a Parent/Guardian) who have been granted access to the student’s educational record through a completed FERPA Form. 
  • A person in response to a lawfully issued subpoena or court order, as long as the college first makes a reasonable attempt to notify the student. 

 

What is Directory Information?

FERPA gives institutions the discretion to share certain student records (Directory Information) to a third party without the student’s written consent. 

LaGrange College considers Directory Information to be:

  • student name
  • class
  • address
  • telephone listing
  • academic major
  • academic minor
  • dates of attendance
  • degrees earned
  • awards received
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • weight and heights of athletic team members.

The above-cited information will not be released if a student notifies the Registrar's Office not to release information.

 

 Resources for Students: How to Make Requests

What rights does FERPA afford students with respect to their educational records?

  • The right to inspect and review their educational records within 45 days of the day the college receives a request for access.
    • Current Students: You have access to your educations records at all times in MyLC. By logging you can view your Unofficial Transcript, current and past schedules, financial data, etc.
    • Former Students: Former student should submit written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect to registrar@lagrange.edu. The Registrar will make arrangements for access to the records and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained in the Office of the Registrar, the Registrar will advise the student of the correct official to whom that request should be addressed.
  • The right to have amended students’ educational records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading, if they do so within one year of the term in question. Based on the nature of the request, the student may be guided to existing processes through the academic department or Office of the Vice President for Academic Affair's (VPAA), but all inquiries are welcome to be emailed to the Registrar's Office (registrar@lagrange.edu) for assistance. 
  • The right to consent to disclosures 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 the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as the Honor Council, or a person 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.
  • 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. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
U.S. Department of Education
Student Privacy Policy Office
400 Maryland Ave, SW
Washington, DC 20202-8520