The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the College or University receives a request for access.
Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College or 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 College or 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.
2. The right to request amendment of an education record that the student believes is inaccurate.
Students may ask an appropriate College or University official to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate, misleading or a violation of the student’s right to privacy. However, FERPA is not intended to provide a process to question substantive judgments that are correctly recorded. Consequently, FERPA amendment requests do not allow a student to contest a grade in a course because the student believes that a higher grade should have been assigned.
To request amendment of an education record, the student should write to the official, clearly identifying the part of the record he or she wants changed and specifying why he/she believes it is inaccurate. The institution will notify the student of the decision. If the institution decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, a College or University official will advise the student of his or her 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.
3. The right to provide written consent before the College or University discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
FERPA permits disclosure without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials who have a legitimate educational interest. A "school official" is a person employed by a College or University 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 Regents; an employee of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities system office; 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 or University who performs an institutional service or function for which the College or University would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the College or University 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 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 or University. Upon request, the College or University also discloses education records to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll without the prior consent of, or notice to, the student.
FERPA also permits disclosure of education records without consent in connection with, but not limited to:
To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena;
To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency;
In connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid;
To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, to state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs;
To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions;
To organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the College or University;
The results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence to the alleged victim of that crime with respect to that crime.
Directory information as defined in the policy of the Board of Regents.
4. The right to refuse to permit the College or University to release Directory Information about the student, except to school officials with a legitimate educational interest and others as indicated in paragraph 3 above.
To do so, a student exercising this right must notify the University's or College's Registrar, in writing. Once filed, this notification becomes a permanent part of the student's record until the student instructs the University or College, in writing, to remove it. A student may exercise his or her right to opt out of Directory Information, prohibiting disclosure of the student's information without the student's consent as noted in section 3, except however, that pursuant to the Solomon Amendment, military recruiters must be provided the same access to student information as is provided to nonmilitary recruiters.
5. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Colleges to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.