Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 protects the privacy of student educational records. FERPA applies to any higher education institution receiving federal funds administered by the Department of Education. WHAT IS FERPA?
FERPA REGULATIONS • FERPA law and regulations are found at the following citations: • U.S. Code: 20 U.S.C § 1232g • CFR : 34 CFR Part 99 • www.ed.gov (type in keyword: FERPA) • Also see Policy & Procedure 09-08-01
WHO IS PROTECTED UNDER FERPA?Students who are currently enrolled in higher education institutions or formerly enrolled, regardless of their age or status in regard to parental dependency. Students who have applied but have not attended an institution do not have rights under FERPA.
RIGHTS OF STUDENTS • Inspect and Review their Education Records • Exercise limited control over disclosure of Education Records information • Seek to correct their Education Records • Report violations of FERPA to the Department of Education • Be informed of their FERPA rights
EDUCATION RECORDS “Education Records” generally include any records which contain information directly related to the student that is in the possession of the University. The records may be in printed form, handwritten, computer, magnetic tape, e-mail, film or some other medium.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN AN EDUCATION RECORD? Records or notes in the sole possession of educational personnel not accessible to other personnel (i.e. contained in a faculty member’s notes) Law enforcement or campus security records (Pitt Police records) Records relating to individual’s employment by the University (Work Study records ARE educational records) Medical treatment records (made or maintained by a Physician, Psychiatrist, Psychologist or related paraprofessional) Alumni records Peer-graded papers
LIMITATIONS ON STUDENT’S RIGHT TO INSPECT AND REVIEW Students may review their records by submitting a written request to the appropriate Record Custodian. • The Student is not permitted to inspect and review financial records of his/her parents. 2. The Student is not permitted to inspect and review confidential letters and recommendations in their education record (if the student signed a waiver). The items listed above are to be removed from the file prior to the student’s review of his/her education record.
LIMITATIONS ON STUDENT’S RIGHT TO INSPECT AND REVIEW 3. Copies are not required unless it is unreasonable for the student to come in and inspect his/her records. 4. The University is responsible to provide the student’s records for inspection no later than 45 days after requested.
WRITTEN CONSENT OF STUDENT Voluntary written consent of Student to specific third parties. Document should be signed and dated by the Student and state the following: --Specific records to disclose --Identity of party to whom disclosure is to be made The consent will remain valid until the student requests that it be revoked. Sample form at Policies & Procedures page – Procedure Exhibits.
WHAT IS DIRECTORY INFORMATION? The University may disclose information about a student without violating FERPA through what is known as “directory information”. Annually the University is required to notify students in attendance of what information constitutes “directory information.” This notice must also provide procedures for students to restrict the University from releasing his/her directory information. This notice is provided in the annual Student Code of Conduct, on the Registrar’s website, in University Policy, and published in the student newspaper.
DIRECTORY INFORMATION • Student’s name • Student’s address • Telephone number • Place of Birth • Major field of study • Degrees and awards received • Previous educational institutions • Participation in officially recognized sports and activities • Weight and height for athletes • Dates of attendance • Electronic mail address • Student’s photograph
STUDENT’S REFUSAL TO PERMIT RELEASE OF DIRECTORY INFORMATION Student can refuse to permit release of directory information by completing the form in the student paper or on the Registrar’s website or by forwarding the following statement to the University Registrar’s office at G-3 Thackeray Hall: “I hereby request that no personal information included in my Directory Information be released.” This request must be signed and dated by the student with his/her name, address and social security number. Once this request is received at the Registrar’s office, no future disclosures will be made without the student’s written consent. The refusal to permit release of Directory Information is permanent. A student may rescind this action in-person or by submitting a notarized request in writing to the Office of the University Registrar.
RECORDKEEPING REQUIREMENT • The University is required to keep a record of each request for access and disclosure of personally identifiable information from the education record of each student. • This record must be maintained with the education record of each student as long as the education record is maintained.
FERPA AND INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS • International students have the same rights to inspect their records and request amendments. • International students consent to release of their records to certain governmental agencies on various forms. • Cooperate with the Department of Homeland Security.
RETENTION OF RECORDS Refer to the General Record Retention Schedule listed on the University’s Records Management web site http://www.library.pitt.edu/libraries/archives/records_management.html#Retentionfor guidelines on the length of time required to retain student educational records.
RETENTION OF RECORDS Refer to the Financial Record Retention Schedule listed on the University’s Budget and Controller’s website http://www.bc.pitt.edu/frs/FinancialRecordRetentionSchedule.htmlfor guidelines on the length of time required to retain financial records.
CORRECTING EDUCATION RECORDS Students are permitted to inspect and review their Education Records, and to seek to change any part that they believe is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights. a. If the requested change falls within the individual’s Academic Integrity Guidelines, then Academic Integrity Guidelines shall control the procedure to follow. FERPA gives the student the right to correct an inaccurately recorded grade, notto have the grade evaluated and changed. b. If the requested change is not a violation of the Student or Faculty obligation, then the standard access and release of records will be followed (see University Policy and Procedure 09-08-01).
RIGHT TO REPORT VIOLATIONS TO THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION Any complaint filed by a Student regarding a violation of their FERPA rights is investigated and processed by the Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education. If a determination is made that the University is in violation, both the University and the Student will be advised and informed of the measures to be taken in order to come into compliance with the law.
STUDENT’S RIGHT TO BE INFORMED OF THEIR FERPA RIGHTS The University is required to annually inform student’s of their FERPA rights. The notification must also indicate the location of the student’s records and the procedure to be followed to inspect and review their record.
Release of Student Educational RecordsUnder the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
DECEASED STUDENTS • The privacy rights of an individual expires upon that individual’s death. FERPA does not apply and it is the University’s discretion to disclose any information of the deceased student.
FERPA Questions • If you have questions not addressed in this presentation, please contact the University Registrar’s Office at 4-7600 or the Office of General Counsel at 4-5674. • Also, see the Office of the University Registrar or the Office of General Counsel websites for further information.