The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA gives parents certain rights with respect to their children's education records. These rights transfer to the student when he or she reaches the age of 18 or attends a school beyond the high school level. Students to whom the rights have transferred are "eligible students." These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review their education records maintained by the University within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Requests to inspect and review educational records should be made in writing to the appropriate University official that maintains the records. The University 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 University is not required to provide copies of records unless, for reasons such as great distance, it is impossible for eligible students to review the records. The University may charge a fee for copies.
- The right to request that a school correct a record that they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. The student should write to the University official, clearly identify the part of the record he/she wants changed, and specify why he/she believes it is inaccurate. The University will notify the student of the decision. If the school decides not to amend the record, the eligible student then has the right to a formal hearing. After the hearing, if the school still decides not to amend the record, the eligible student has the right to place a statement with the record setting forth his or her view about the contested information.
Note: FERPA was not designed to provide a process to be used to question substantive judgments which are correctly recorded. The rights of challenge are not intended to allow students to contest, for example, a grade in a course because they felt a higher grade should have been assigned.
- The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes consent without disclosure. Some of the circumstances under which FERPA permits disclosure without consent are listed below. This is not an exclusive list. Disclosure is permitted to:
- University officials with a legitimate educational interest;
- University officials include but are not limited to people employed by the University in administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff positions; people or companies, such as attorneys, auditors, collection agencies or the National Student Clearinghouse, with whom the University has contracted; employees of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system office and Board of Regents; university volunteers; students serving on an official committee or assisting another university official in performing tasks.
- A university official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill professional responsibilities.
- Officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled;
- Accrediting organizations to carry out their functions;
- Comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- Appropriate parties in cases of health and safety emergencies;
- State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law;
- Certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the U.S. Comptroller General, U.S. Attorney General, state and local educational authorities, and their researchers and evaluators in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs (see Notice below);
- Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the University;
As described below, disclosure is also permitted of Directory information, as defined in the University’s policy.
- 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 20202-4605.
The University may disclose, without consent, directory information. Central Connecticut State University identifies directory information in its University Catalog to include: student's name, permanent mailing address, telephone number, dates of attendance, class standing, photographs, academic major, minor and concentration, degree candidacy, degree(s) earned, graduation date and any awards or honors received. Additional information that is also considered directory information includes participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and the weight and height of members of an athletic team.
Students have the right to request that the University not disclose directory information to individuals or organizations outside the University (although we are required to provide information to organizations which have provided the student any type of financial aid, including loans). A student who wishes to have his/her directory information restricted should contact the Office of the Registrar.
Notice to Reflect Possible Federal and State Data Collection and Use
As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. 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 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 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.