What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) is a Federal law designed to protect the privacy of student education records. FERPA governs the release of education records and access to education records. The FERPA policy is intended to ensure students have the right to inspect and review their education records, the right to amend their education records as appropriate, and the right to control access to their education records.
Who is Protected Under FERPA?
Current or formerly enrolled students are protected under FERPA. Students who have applied but have not attended Jackson State University (JSU) are not protected. Students are considered to be enrolled and in attendance as of the first day of a term.
What Are Education Records?
Education records are defined as records, files, documents, and other materials in handwriting, print, tape, film, electronic, or other media that contain information that are directly related to a student and are maintained by JSU or a party acting for JSU. Education records do not include post-attendance records, law enforcement records, employment records, medical records and records possessed only by the maker of the records.
What Rights Do Students Have?
Students have the right to: (1) inspect and review their education records, (2) request amendment to their education records, (3) consent to disclosures of non-directory information, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent, and (4) file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by JSU to comply with FERPA requirements.
To Whom May Records Be Released without Written Consent?
JSU will disclose information from a student’s education records only with the written consent of the student, except in the following cases:
What Is Directory Information?
Student record information is confidential and private. In accordance with both federal law (FERPA) and JSU policy, the University does not release student record information without prior written consent of the student. The one exception to this rule under FERPA is that JSU may release certain “directory information” without prior student consent. Directory information is defined as information which, if disclosed, is not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy, however all students may direct the University not to release directory information.
Designated directory information at JSU includes the following:
How Can Students Restrict Disclosure of Directory Information?
Currently enrolled students may request that the University not release any directory information, and the institution must comply with the request. To restrict the release of information, students must complete a FERPA Authorization to Release/Revoke Form, found in the Student Services section on the Student Support tab of the student portal. Directory information is then withheld indefinitely until the Records office receives in writing a revocation of the request for nondisclosure.
Students who wish to restrict directory information should realize that restricting this important information will make it unavailable to all, including employers, loan agencies, scholarship committees, University publications and government and licensing agencies. Usually, it is to a student’s advantage to have directory information available to these important constituents.
Where Can I Get More Information About FERPA?
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, D.C., 20202-4605