The Family Educational Rights And Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of education records. The Act provides students the right to inspect and review their education records; the right to seek to amend those records on the grounds that they are inaccurate or misleading; and to have some control over the disclosure of information from the records.
Education records are those records maintained by the Michigan School of Psychology which are directly related to a student and are maintained by individuals acting for MSP. The educational records of currently enrolled and formally enrolled students are protected under FERPA. A student has the right to file complaints with The Family Policy Compliance Office, Department of Education for failure by MSP to comply with FERPA.
The purpose of the Act (FERPA) is to afford students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within forty-five (45) days of the day MSP receives a request for access. The student should submit a request for review to the registrar who will then notify the student when the records are available for review. MSP education records do not include:
- records created by MSP personnel that are in the sole possession of the writer and are not accessible or revealed to any other person;
- employment records, if applicable;
- alumni records.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights. The student should submit this request to the registrar, clearly indicating what part of the record is in question. Applicable MSP personnel will review the record and the student will be notified of the outcome.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Without consent would be to a school official who has a legitimate educational interest such as, when a school official needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his/her responsibility on behalf of the MSP. A school official is a person or persons contracted by MSP to conduct school business (e.g., auditor, attorney, faculty).
- The right to file, with the U.S. Department of Education, a complaint concerning alleged failures by MSP to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave SW
Washington DC 20202-4605
- The right to obtain a copy of MSP’s student policies. These policies can be found in the Academic Catalog, located on the website, or in the registrar’s office.
- The right to withhold information that MSP considers “Directory Information” which is stated below.
At its discretion, MSP may provide “directory information”, should that information not be considered harmful to the student or an invasion of privacy if disclosed, in accordance with the provisions of FERPA. MSP defines the following items as “directory information” and may permit disclosure without written consent of the student:
Name, Home address, Phone numbers, Email address, Current or past enrollment status, Academic program/degree, Dates of attendance, and/or Degree(s) earned
Current or former students have the right to request non-disclosure of directory information only. This must be an annual written request submitted to the registrar.
FERPA authorizes disclosure of educational records without the consent of the student under the following provisions:
- to school officials with legitimate educational interest;
- to officials of other schools in which the student seeks or intends to enroll;
- to federal, state and local authorities involving an audit or evaluation of federal legal requirements for compliance with education programs;
- to Veterans Administration officials;
- to persons or organizations providing financial aid to students if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for an amount of aid, conditions of aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of aid;
- to organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of educational agencies or institutions;
- to accrediting organizations carrying out accreditation functions;
- to parents of dependent students according to the Internal Revenue Code of 1986;
- to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
- to persons in an emergency if the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of students or other persons;
- to a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime or violence or a non-forcible sex offense, the school may disclose the final results of the disciplinary proceeding
- to interested individuals in connection with the final results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding conducted by the institution with respect to that alleged crime or offense;
- to interested individuals in connection with the final results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding related to an alleged crime of violence to include only the name of the student, the violation committed, and any sanction imposed by the institution, if the student was found to be in violation of rules or policies regarding such crimes;
- to the parent of a student under 21 if the institution determines that the student has committed a disciplinary violation of its drug or alcohol rules or policies or violation of any federal, state or local law.
Personally identifiable information (other than “directory information”) contained in the student’s educational record may be disclosed to third parties only with the prior written consent of the student. This written authorization must identify the individual or agency’s name and address and phone number, and specify the records to be released. The registrar will contact this designated individual.
Copies of the school’s written policy statement regarding the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act are available from the registrar.
The Solomon Amendment
The 1996 Solomon Amendment mandates that institutions receiving federal funding must fulfill requests from the armed forces for access to campus and for lists containing “student recruiting information.” The items that have been identified as “student recruiting information” are student name, address, telephone listings, email address, date and place of birth, level of education, academic major, degrees received, and the most recent previous education institution at which the student was enrolled.
The Solomon Amendment must be honored unless there is an exception that precludes the institution from providing the requested information such as a “Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information” under FERPA.