FERPA

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 
FERPA Acknowledgement Form Confidentiality of Education Records

Education Records at the University of West Georgia are defined as any portion of the educational history of a student that is maintained by the University for the purpose of sharing by other academic officials and is intended to support the academic degree progress of the student. Typical examples are the academic files maintained in a department or university administrative office. These records include: files, documents and materials in multiple mediums (handwritten, tape, disks, microfilm, CD-ROM, etc.) which contain information directly related to the academic educational efforts of the student. Academic records do not include law enforcement unit records, medical records (vis-à-vis doctor patient privilege), alumni records, or human resource records.

Sole Possession Records are defined as records (notes maintained by a faculty member) that are not shared with any other educational official. Notes maintained in a sole possession record are not subject to the guidelines of FERPA. Sole Possession records that are merged with the academic record require full disclosure per FERPA guidelines.

Third Party Disclosures are prohibited by FERPA without the written consent of the student. Any persons other than the student are defined as Third Party, including parents, spouses, and employers. All educational officials are required to secure written permission prior to the release of any academic record information.

Directory Information: Directory information will be withheld if requested by the student. To withhold directory information, the student must complete the Non-Disclosure Form and mail the request to the Office of the Registrar, 1601 Maple Street, Carrollton, GA 30118 or hand deliver the request to the Office of the Registrar located in Parker Hall or fax the request to 678-839-6439. This form must be filed annually by September 15 to assure that locator information not be published in the student directory.

The items below are designated as “Directory Information” at the University of West Georgia and may be released for any purpose at the discretion of the University of West Georgia.

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone Number
  • Major Field of Study
  • Dates of Attendance
  • Previous Institutions Attended
  • Degrees and Awards Received
  • Participation in Officially Recognized Activities and Sports
  • Height and Weight of Members of Athletic Teams
  • Photograph
  • Full- or Part-Time Status

 

Students should consider very carefully the consequences of any decision to withhold "Directory Information." Choosing the item "Student Confidentiality" will result in the exclusion of all student record information, including student name/address from printed materials. Informing the University of West Georgia not to release "Directory Information" means any future requests for such information from non-institutional persons or organizations will be refused.

Notification of Rights under FERPA for Postsecondary Institutions

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.

A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The University official 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 University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of 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 are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA.

A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University 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 University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and 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 before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

The University 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 the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for the University. Upon request, the University also discloses education records without consent to:

  • Officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll
  • To parents of dependent students, as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986
  • In case of a health or safety emergency
  • Results in disciplinary hearings to an alleged victim of a crime of violence

 

The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University 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 20202-5901

http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html

U.S. Department of Education link for parents.