The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), with which SCI-Arc complies, is a United States Federal law that was enacted to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the right of students to inspect and review their educational records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading statements. FERPA governs access to students’ records maintained by the school and the release thereof. The law provides that students are entitled to certain access to records directly related to the student, as well as an opportunity, should it be necessary, for a hearing to challenge such records if they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate.
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Access to Records:
Official student records are secured and maintained in the Registrar’s Office. Student records are accessible to faculty members, Program Chairs, Academic Leadership, and staff who have legitimate educational interest in examining them. These individuals have specific responsibilities in connection with campus academic, administrative, or service functions and have reason to use student records connected with their campus or other related academic responsibilities. Information is not released to any other party (including relatives of the student) without the knowledge and written consent of the student. Students have automatic access to all parts of the records except the following:
- Financial records and statements of their parents or any information contained therein. Information from the Parents’ Confidential Statement or equivalent information may be released to the student on condition that the proper authorization has been signed by the parent(s).
- Confidential letters and statements of recommendation that were placed in student records prior to January 1, 1975, provided that:
- The letters and statements were solicited with a written assurance of confidentiality, or sent and retained with a documented request for confidentiality.
- The letters and statements are used only for the purposes for which they were specifically intended. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in a student’s records after January 1, 1975, with regard to admission, employment, or the receipt of an honor, if the student has waived the right to inspect those recommendations.
Requesting Correction of Education Records:
If a student believes there is an inaccuracy in the college records, the student should write to the SCI-Arc Registrar, clearly identify the part of the record(s) the student wants changed and specify where it is inaccurate or misleading. If SCI-Arc decides not to amend the record as requested, it will notify the student of the decision within 30 business days and advise the student of their 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 a hearing under this law does not include any right to challenge the appropriateness of a grade as determined by the instructor. After the hearing, if SCI-Arc decides not to amend the record, students have the right to place a statement with the record setting forth their view about the contested information.
SCI-Arc is authorized under FERPA to release public “directory information” on its students. The term “directory information” includes the student’s name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the name of the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student. At any time, SCI-Arc can and will release to interested parties the above information unless it has received prior written objection from the student. This objection is required annually and must be renewed at the start of the fall term.
According to FERPA, students also have access to the “completion or graduation” rate data. The information is available on the College Navigator website at nces. ed.gov/collegenavigator.
Filing a Complaint:
A student has the right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failure by the school to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, US Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-5920 / 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327).
FERPA Annual Notice to Reflect Possible Federal and State Data Collection and Use:
As of January 3, 2012, the US Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records — including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without your consent. First, the US Comptroller General, the US Attorney General, the US Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal or state supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
FERPA rights of an individual expire with that individual’s death, however it is SCIArc’s policy not to release educational records of deceased students or alumni, unless required to do so by law or authorized to do so by (1) the executor of the deceased’s estate, or (2) the deceased student’s spouse, parents, or children. SCI-Arc may request proof of death.
The Solomon Amendment
The Solomon Amendment is a United States federal law that allows military recruiters to access some address, biographical, and academic program information on students ages 17 and older.
FERPA and the Solomon Amendment
The Department of Education has determined the Solomon Amendment supersedes most elements of FERPA. An institution is therefore obligated to release data included in the list of “student recruiting information,” which may or may not match SCI-Arc’s FERPA directory information list. However, if the student has submitted a request to the Academic Advisor to restrict the release of their Directory Information, then no information from the student’s education record will be released under the Solomon Amendment.
Definition - “Student Recruitment Information” or “Solomon Information”
- Address (home and mailing)
- Telephone (home and cell)
- Age (is not defined as Directory Information at SCI-Arc)
- Place of birth (is not defined as Directory Information at SCI-Arc)
- Level of education
- Academic major
- Degrees received
- Educational institution in which the student was most recently enrolled