FERPA Policy

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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act / Retention of Student Records

Family Education Rights and Privacy Act

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.

Under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students also have the right to:

  • Inspect and review their education records
  • Seek amendment of inaccurate or misleading information in their education records
  • Consent to most disclosures of personally identifiable information from education records


Requests pertaining to education records must be directed to Office of the Registrar at registration@trident.edu.

In compliance with FERPA, Trident University will require written permission from students in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99. 31):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest
    • Trident considers school officials to include faculty members, administrators, board members, advisors, support or clerical staff, and information technology staff, as well as any contractor, consultant, volunteer, or other party to whom Trident has outsourced institutional services or functions including research studies.
    • Trident considers a school official to have a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school
  • Accrediting organizations
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
    • Under certain circumstances, Trident will make a reasonable effort to notify the student of an order or subpoena in advance of compliance, so that the student may seek protective action.
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies
  • State and local authorities within a juvenile justice system pursuant to specific state law


Complaints of alleged compliance violations may be addressed to:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920
Phone: 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327)

Complaints must:

  • Be submitted in a timely manner, no later than 180 days from the date you learned of the circumstances of the alleged violation
  • Contain specific allegations of fact giving reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, including:
    • Relevant dates, such as the date of a request or disclosure and the date the student learned of the alleged violation
    • Names and titles of those school officials and other third parties involved
    • A specific description of the education record around which the alleged violation occurred
    • A description of any contact with school officials regarding the matter, including dates and estimated times of telephone calls, or any correspondence exchanged between the student and the school (or both) regarding the matter
    • The name and address of the school, school district, and superintendent of the district
    • Any additional evidence that would be helpful in the consideration of the complaint


Directory Information

Trident may at any time, without consent, disclose “directory” information such as a student’s name, address, email address, telephone number, date and place of birth, program of interest, date of inquiry, dates of attendance, and status and/or degree received, if any, including honors or awards. Trident also considers student images (photographs, videos, or other media containing a student’s image or likeness obtained at various events or functions) as directory information and uses such student images in efforts to promote Trident and publicize its activities. Please contact Trident at registration@trident.edu if you do NOT wish Trident to disclose directory information or images related to you.


President George W. Bush signed the Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT) Act on October 26, 2001. Section 507 of the USA PATRIOT Act amends FERPA by permitting institutions to disclose, without the knowledge or consent of the student, personally identifiable information from the student’s education records to the Attorney General of the United States or his designee in response to an ex parte order (one filed without notice to the student) in connection with the investigation or prosecution of terrorism crimes. Also, the school is not required to record such disclosures.

Retention of Student Records

It is the policy of Trident University that all formal student records will be maintained in the Office of the Registrar.

These records are currently maintained at:
3420 Bristol Street, Suite 600
Costa Mesa, CA 92626

Trident University International shall maintain a file for each student who enrolls in the institution whether or not the student completes the educational program for a period of no less than 5 years. In particular, Trident shall maintain records of the name, address, e-mail address, and telephone number of each student who is enrolled in an educational program.

Trident shall maintain, for each student granted a degree or certificate by Trident, permanent records of all of the following:

  1. The degree or certificate granted and the date on which that degree or certificate was granted.
  2. The courses and units on which the certificate or degree was based.
  3. The grades earned by the student in each of those courses.


In addition, the student file shall contain all of the following pertinent student records:

Written records and transcripts of any formal education or training, testing, or experience that are relevant to the student’s qualifications for admission to the institution or the institution’s award of credit or acceptance of transfer credits including the following:

  • Verification of high school completion or equivalency or other documentation establishing the student’s ability to do college level work, such as successful completion of an ability-to-benefit test;
  • Records documenting units of credit earned at other institutions that have been accepted and applied by the institution as transfer credits toward the student’s completion of an educational program;
  • Grades or findings from any examination of academic ability or educational achievement used for admission or college placement purposes;
  • All of the documents evidencing a student’s prior experiential learning upon which the institution and the faculty base the award of any credit;
  • Personal information regarding a student’s age, gender, and ethnicity if that information has been voluntarily supplied by the student;
  • Copies of all documents signed by the student, including contracts, instruments of indebtedness, and documents relating to financial aid;
  • Records of the dates of enrollment and, if applicable, withdrawal from the institution, leaves of absence, and graduation; and
  • In addition to the requirements of section 94900(b) of the Code, a transcript showing all of the following:
    • The courses or other educational programs that were completed, or were attempted but not completed, and the dates of completion or withdrawal;
    • Credit awarded for prior experiential learning, including the course title for which credit was awarded and the amount of credit;
    • Credit for courses earned at other institutions;
    • Credit based on any examination of academic ability or educational achievement used for admission or college placement purposes;
    • The name, address, website address, and telephone number of the institution.
  • For independent study courses, course outlines or learning contracts signed by the faculty and administrators who approved the course;
  • The dissertations, theses, and other student projects submitted by graduate students;
  • A copy of documents relating to student financial aid that are required to be maintained by law or by a loan guarantee agency;
  • A document showing the total amount of money received from or on behalf of the student and the date or dates on which the money was received;
  • A document specifying the amount of a refund, including the amount refunded for tuition and the amount for other itemized charges, the method of calculating the refund, the date the refund was made, and the name and address of the person or entity to which the refund was sent;
  • Copies of any official advisory notices or warnings regarding the student’s progress; and
  • Complaints received from the student.