The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
FERPA is federal legislation that controls the disclosure of “personally identifiable information” contained in a student’s “education records.” Student disciplinary records, and all information contained therein, are considered “education records” under FERPA and should not be disclosed without the student’s prior written consent.
Students wishing to grant third parties (such as parents, guardians, academic advisors, coaches, faculty, other students, etc.) access to their disciplinary records need to sign a Release of Information form with the Office of Student Conduct before any information will be released.
No information should be released to any third party unless and until a signed Release of Information form is on file with Office of Student Conduct. Students should submit the Release of Information form directly to the Office of Student Conduct before any information will be released to a third party. The Release of Information form will be retained in the student’s disciplinary file.
FERPA permits the University to disclose limited information about a student’s education record when a student is found in violation of the University’s alcohol or drug policy and the student is under 21 years of age at the time of the disclosure. In such cases, parents or guardians will be notified in writing after the final outcome of the student conduct process. If this type of notification is received, parents or guardians are encouraged to speak directly with their student to learn more information about the student’s involvement in the incident or ask the student to sign a Release of Information form with the Office of Student Conduct.
Records may be released to parents if one of the following expectations are met:
- through the written consent of the student, or
- by submission of evidence that the parents declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax form (see Internal Revenue Code of 1986, Section 152).
One exception to the above: FERPA permits disclosing information contained in a student’s record without the student’s prior written consent when the information is disclosed to a “school official” who has a “legitimate educational interest” in the information. See the Registrar’s website or the US Department of Education for further information.