Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
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 at any age.) This notice, published in the Hood College Catalog, serves as the yearly student notification of their rights under FERPA.
Education records are defined as records that are directly related to a student, and maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the institution, if certain conditions are met.
Education records are not: sole possession records, law enforcement unit records, employment records medical records or post-attendance (alumni) records.
These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day the Hood College receives a request for access. A student should submit to the Registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
- Records not included: information about other students; financial records of parents; confidential letters of recommendation if student waived the right of access.
- 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 school to amend a record should write the registrar, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
- If Hood 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 Hood discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
- Hood College 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 typically includes a person employed by the 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 school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the College who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school 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 school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically 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 College.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the 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
As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records - including Social Security Number, grades, or other private information - may be accessed without consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to student records and PII without consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to education records and PII without consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without consent PII from education records, and they may track participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
Disclosure of Directory Information
Hood College may disclose any information deemed as Directory Information without prior consent unless notified in writing to the contrary. The following items are considered Directory Information and will be released in response to any inquiry, unless the student notifies the Registrar in writing that she/he does not wish this information released:
- Class level
- Enrollment status
- Date of birth
- Dates of attendance
- Name and dates of attendance at other institutions
- Degrees and dates awarded
- Honors and awards received
Students should carefully consider the consequences of withholding directory information as this hold would prevent the verification of attendance or degree awarded to all inquiries, including potential employers.