What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Right and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, also referred to as the Buckley Amendment, is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of education records, and the obligations of the institution regarding the release of educational records and the access provided to these records. Student educational records considered confidential may not be released without the written consent of a student unless such action is covered by exceptions permitted by the Act.
What are the students' rights?
- The right to inspect and review their education records.
- The right to request to amend their education records
- The right to limit disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their record.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education.
Who is considered a “student” at BSC?
Students are defined as individuals who are or have been enrolled in credit classes’ at BSC. FERPA does not apply to records of applicants for admission, who are denied acceptance and do not enroll in classes.
What are educational records?
Any record, file, document or other material (handwritten, electronic, email, video or audio tapes, etc.) which contains information directly related to a student's academic progress, student financial information, student worker information, medical condition or personal interest item. It is more than just the Academic Record, and is not confined to the student's file in the Registrar's Office.
Some examples are:
- A document with the student's name and ID
- Personally identifiable information (SSN, EMPLID, Gender, Race/Ethnicity, Residency status etc…)
- Grades/G.P.A./Academic standing
- Class Schedule
- Exams, papers, and other graded projects
- Student Financial Records
- An instructors class list
- A computer display screen
- Notes taken during advisement session
What are NOT educational records?
- Sole possession records: Records (desk drawer notes) of instructional, supervisory and administrative personnel kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record and not revealed to anyone.
- Law enforcement unit records: Records of our campus law enforcement unit created and maintained separately and used solely for law enforcement purposes.
- Employment records: Records relating to persons who are employees. NOTE: Records of individuals who are employed as a result of their status as students (e.g. work-study or graduate assistant) are education records.
- Medical records: Records kept and maintained by a health care professional, used solely in connection with treatment and disclosed only to individuals providing treatment. These records are protected by HIPAA.
- Alumni records: Records created by an institution after a student has left the institution.
Who has access to my educational records?
Within the BSC community, only those school officials having legitimate educational interests as defined in Public Law 93-380. A school official has legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. A school official is a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent), a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, employees of the North Dakota Attorney General's Office providing representation to BSC, to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena and to parents in cases of drug or alcohol violation when the student is under the age of 21.
Upon request, the college discloses education records without consent to officials of another North Dakota University System (NDUS) school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll and in the event of a health or safety emergency.
How do I give third parties (including guardians/spouses) access to my educational records?
Students must provide written consent in the form of a FERPA Release before BSC discloses any personally identifiable information from your education record. Faxed requests are legal written release. The written consent must specify the records to be released state the purpose of the disclosure, identify the party or parties to whom disclosure may be made and be signed and dated by the student and retained.
What is Directory information?
Directory information is information contained in the educational record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Directory information may be disclosed publicly in printed, electronic or other forms without prior written consent.
Directory items shall include:
- Student name*
- Hometown (city, state)
- Campus e-mail address**
- Height, weight and photos of athletic team members
- Major field of study (all declared majors)
- Minor field of study (all declared minors)
- Class level
- Dates of attendance
- Enrollment status (withdrawn, half-time, full-time)
- Names of previous institutions attended
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Honors/awards received
- Degree earned (all degrees earned)
- Date degree earned (dates of all degrees earned)
- Directory photos, photographs and video recordings of students in public or non-classroom settings (photographs from classrooms or class-related activities are NOT directory information)
*If a student provides a preferred name, the college or university tries to use it when communicating directly with the student. Preferred name is a supported business practice, unless there is a documented business or legal reason to use a student’s legal name. When communicating with outside third parties, including parents, the college or university generally uses a student’s legal name.
**Campus email addresses are only disclosed to requestors who agree to not use them for solicitation.
Can I prevent the release of directory information?
If at any time an enrolled student wishes to keep his or her directory information private, BSC has an obligation to meet the student’s request and not share this information. Students who wish to restrict the release of directory information should realize that this action could have negative consequences. The names of students who have restricted their directory will not appear in the commencement program or any other publication. Also employers, loan agencies, scholarship committees and the like will be denied directory information. Should you decide to inform BSC not to release directory information any future requests from non-institutional persons will be refused.
This restriction does not include a right to be anonymous in the classroom, either in person or in a distance education classroom.
Request to Restrict Directory Information
Request to Remove Restriction of Directory Information
What are parental rights under FERPA?
- When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending post-secondary institution regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer to the student.
- Parents may obtain non-directory information when their student has provided a signed consent to the institution.