CONFIDENTIALITY OF STUDENT RECORDS
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution.) These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day Georgetown College (“College”) 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 College 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 College 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 is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
- A student who wishes to ask the College to amend a record should write the College 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 College decides not to amend the record as requested, the College 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 College discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The College discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to College officials with legitimate educational interests. A College official is a person employed by Georgetown College in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A College official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of Georgetown College who performs an institutional service of function for which the College would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the College with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent, or a student volunteering to assist another College official in performing his or her tasks. A College 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 Georgetown College.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Georgetown College 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
See the list below of the disclosures that postsecondary institutions may make without consent.
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to College officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student:
- To other College officials, including teachers, within Georgetown College whom the College has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the College has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) - (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))
- To officials of another College where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
- To authorized representatives of the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal or State supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid,determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the College, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. ((§99.31(a) (7))
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8))
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
- Information the College has designated as “directory information” under §99.37. (§99.31(a)(11))
The College has designated certain information contained in the education records of its students as directory information for purposes of compliance with FERPA. The following constitutes directory information regarding students:
- home address
- campus address
- telephone number and e-mail address
- date and place of birth
- major field of study
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- weight and height of athletic team members
- dates of attendance and full-time/half-time enrollment status
- degrees and awards received
- the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student
- denominational preference, and
- other similar information as determined by the FERPA compliance officer
Directory information may be disclosed by Georgetown College for any purpose at its discretion, without the consent of a parent of a student or an eligible student. However, parents of students and eligible students have the right to refuse to permit the designation of any or all of the above information as directory information. In that case, this information will not be disclosed except with the consent of a parent or student, or as otherwise allowed by FERPA. Any parent or student refusing to have any or all of the designated directory information disclosed must file written notification to this effect with Georgetown College at the Registrar’s Office within two weeks after registration day of the semester. In the event a refusal is not filed, the College assumes that neither a parent of a student nor eligible student objects to the release of directory information designated.
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non- forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§99.31(a)(13))
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the College determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the College’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a) (14))
- To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the College, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the College determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))