The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Notification of Rights under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An "eligible student" under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older, or who attends a postsecondary institution at any age. At Trine, "attendance" begins on the first day of the term in which a student is enrolled.) These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day the University receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The 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 University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. The University will, within a reasonable time after receiving the request, decide whether to amend the record as requested. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. In general, the University will not disclose PII from a student’s education records to any third party without written consent. However, the University may, and from time to time does, disclose education records without a student's prior written consent under several FERPA exceptions. FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in section 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to University officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, section 99.32 of the FERPA regulations requires the University to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. The University may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student —
- To other University officials, including teachers, within the University whom the University has determined to have legitimate educational interests. A University official typically includes a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A University official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside the University who performs an institutional service or function for which the University would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the University with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another University official in performing his or her tasks. A University official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University. (§ 99.31(a)(1))
- To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of section 99.34. (§ 99.31(a)(2))
- To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of section 99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§ 99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§ 99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the University, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§ 99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (§ 99.31(a)(7))
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§ 99.31(a)(8))
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§ 99.31(a)(9))
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to § 99.36. (§ 99.31(a)(10))
- Information the University has designated as “directory information” under § 99.37. (§ 99.31(a)(11))
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of § 99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§ 99.31(a)(13))
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of § 99.39, if the University determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the University’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§ 99.31(a)(14))
- To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the University, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the University determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
FERPA designates certain information related to a student as "Directory Information." FERPA gives the University the right to disclose such information to anyone inquiring without having to ask a student for permission, unless the student specifically requests in writing that all such information not be made public without written consent. Trine University has designated the following as “Directory Information”: Name, local address and telephone number, permanent address, e-mail address, date and place of birth, photograph or likeness, college, curriculum, enrollment status (full/part-time), classification, dates of attendance at Trine University, awards and academic honors, degrees and dates awarded, most recent previous educational institution attended, participation in officially recognized activities and athletic teams, and height and weight of student athletes.
While attending Trine University, students may request to restrict the release of their Directory Information except to University officials with a legitimate educational interest, as outlined in section three above. In order to restrict all information, a signed and dated written request must be made in writing to the Office of the Registrar. Students may notify the University at any time that he or she does not want any or all of the above types of information designated as Directory Information, but the notice will not be applied retroactively by the University.