Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
- About FERPA
- Directory Information
- FERPA Annual Notice - Possible Federal and State Data Collection and Use
- FERPA Tutorial
Student educational records are considered confidential and may not be released without the written consent of the student.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.) These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day Emerson College receives the request for access. A student should submit to the Registrar a completed Request to Inspect and Review Education Records that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Registrar 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 Registrar, the student will be directed to the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify the student in writing of the decision and of the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to provide written consent prior to the disclosure by the College of personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
The school discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by Emerson College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official may also include a volunteer or contractor outside of Emerson College who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review and education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for Emerson College.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Emerson College 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
To read more about FERPA, consult the Course Catalogue.
Emerson College has designated the following as Directory Information: name, address, telephone number, current enrollment, full-time/part-time status, dates of attendance, degrees earned, dates of degrees, awards/honors/scholarships, major(s), minor(s), sports and activities, height and weight of members of athletic teams, photographs or recorded images, advisor, concentrations, and computer user name.
The College may disclose any of those items without prior written consent unless notified in writing to the contrary. Students wishing to withhold the disclosure of any aspects of the above-mentioned Directory Information must file a Request to Opt-Out of Directory Information form, available at the Office of the Registrar, located on the 2nd floor of 216 Tremont St.
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 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.