The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (1974) is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of education records and is enforced by the Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education (FPCO). Essentially, the act states that 1) "students" must be permitted to inspect their own “education records” and 2) “school officials” may not disclose personally identifiable information about a student without written permission from the student.
Students are defined as those individuals who are enrolled and have a final admission status. Persons who applied for admission but were not admitted, or have not enrolled after the 10th day of a term, have no rights under FERPA. However, if admitted and enrolled, all admission records are then "folded into" the education record.
Education records are defined as those records directly related to a student and maintained by LCSC, or by a party acting for LCSC. These records may contain a student’s name, social security number, student ID number, address, or any other piece of information that could be considered “personally identifiable.”
“Sole possession notes” (those made by one person and kept in the possession of the maker) are not considered education records. However, sharing these notes with another person or placing them in an area where they can be viewed by others will make them education records and, therefore, subject to FERPA.
Other records that are NOT considered education records:
Student consent must be obtained before disclosing non-directory information, with some exceptions. Any information not defined explicitly as directory information is considered non-directory information. FERPA permits disclosure of non-directory information without student consent in circumstances outlined below:
As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA regulations expanded the circumstances under which education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records, including Social Security number, grades, or other private information, may be disclosed without student consent.
First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities ("Federal and State Authorities") may be allowed to disclose student records and PII to a 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 be allowed access to education records and PII to provide researchers performing certain types of studies, with information; in certain cases even when LCSC objects to or does not request such research. Federal and State 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 consent, PII from student education records, and they may track a student’s participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about a student 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.
School officials typically include (but are not limited to):
Notice of Directory Information
FERPA permits the release of “Directory Information” without student consent. FERPA requires the institution to define and provide notice to students of information that is included within the term Directory Information. Lewis-Clark State College has defined “Directory Information” as follows:
This information CAN be released without written consent (directory information).
This information CANNOT be released (written consent is required).
Instructors may post grades without the written consent of the students only if the identities of the individuals are completely disguised such that no direct correlation to each student can be determined from the list.Student ID numbers are never to be posted. Accordingly, instructors should refrain from openly discussing grades in class or distributing graded material in such a way that the grades may be seen by other students.
At Lewis-Clark State College, students who wish to restrict disclosures of their directory information, as listed above, may do so by submitting a Directory Information Restriction Request to the Registrar.
Please understand that placing a full Non-Disclosure hold on student records will cause any and all future requests for contact information from LCSC persons, on non-essential matters, and from non-institutional persons and organizations, including scholarship organizations, prospective employers, and transcript request, etc., to be denied. The restriction will remain in place even after students have stopped attending or have graduated from Lewis-Clark State College.
FERPA gives certain rights to parents regarding their children's educational records at the primary and secondary level. These rights transfer to the student upon reaching 18 years of age or attending any school beyond the secondary level.
Under FERPA a student does not have a right to access and review certain records including:
A student’s class schedule is non-directory information. For the safety of the student, we cannot tell another person where a student is at any time.
When this situation arises, the school official should forward the inquiring person to the Office of Admission/Registrar and we will contact the student directly. However, we will not contact students for non-emergency reasons.
Under this 1996 amendment, institutions are required to provide directory-type information on students at least 17 years of age who are registered for at least one credit, upon request from the Department of Defense for military recruiting purposes.
If personably identifiable information (such as GPA, grades, etc.) obtained from a student's record is included in a letter of recommendation, the writer is required to obtain a signed release from the student which 1) specifies the records to be disclosed, 2) states the purpose of the disclosure, and 3) identifies the party to whom the disclosure can be made.
Statements made by a person making a recommendation that are made from that person's personal knowledge do not require a written release from the student.
U.S. Department of Education FERPA site
U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) site
Lewis-Clark State College contact: Registrar's Office, (208) 792-2223, email@example.com