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 email@example.com.
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)
- 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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org if you do NOT wish Trident to disclose directory information or images related to you.
The USA PATRIOT Act and FERPA
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.