The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (frequently referred to as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment) is a federal law that requires the College to maintain the confidentiality of student educational records and is intended to be a safeguard against unauthorized release of information contained in student education records. This act applies to all enrolled students, former students and alumnae. It does not apply to students seeking admission.
Under the provisions of the act, it is the right of the student to inspect and to review without charge her educational records. Educational records are defined as records regarding a student that are maintained by the College. Not included in this definition are:
- Confidential letters of recommendation written before January 1, 1975.
- Campus safety records.
- Financial records submitted to the College by the parent(s) of a student.
- Those parts of education records that reveal confidential information about another student.
- Records created by a member of the faculty or an academic or administrative official of the College for his/her private use.
- Records to which a student has waived her/his right to access.
- Alumnae records compiled from information after the student has graduated.
Records for each student are maintained in the Registrar’s office located in the Ferry Administration Building. The records in the Registrar’s office include applications, transcripts, transfer credit evaluations, correspondence, grade reports, forms completed by the student, etc.
To inspect or review her/his records, a student must submit a written request to the Registrar’s office. The request will be honored within 45 days of receipt. If requested, copies of a student’s record are available to the student for a fee to cover the cost of duplicating. The College has the right to deny a student a copy of the following records:
- An original transcript for any student for which a financial “hold” exists (a “hold” is imposed if the student fails to pay term bills, fees or fines).
- A copy of an original transcript from another institution.
Within the PMC community, academic and administrative officials, including personnel of the Registrar’s office, are permitted access to student educational records. It is the responsibility of the Registrar’s office to keep a log that verifies the name of each person other than academic and administrative officials who have viewed the record, the reason and the date of access. Students have the right to see this log.
A student’s records are not accessible to parties outside the College without written authorization from the student. Exceptions include:
- Officials of institutions to which students seek to enroll or have enrolled.
- Persons or organizations providing students financial aid.
- Accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function.
- Parents of students who declare the student a “dependent for federal income tax purposes.”
- Persons acting in compliance with a judicial order.
- Persons acting in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons.
- Federal and state educational officials acting pursuant to their official duties.
- Organizations conducting educational testing research.
- Alleged victims of any crimes of violence who seek from the College the results of any disciplinary proceedings conducted by the College against the alleged perpetrators of such crimes with respect to such crimes.
Upon request, a student has the right to receive an interpretation of her education records from the Registrar’s office. A student who believes that her educational records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading or otherwise violates the privacy or other rights may contest the information in question by submitting a written request to the Registrar. If the correction or clarification is not made, the student has the right to a hearing before the Dean of the College. The student also has the right to place in her/his records a statement disputing or clarifying the records.
A student has the right to waive her/his right of confidentiality and any and all restrictions on access to her/his education records. The College may request a student to waive her/his right to access to her/his education records, but the student may not be required to do so.
Under FERPA, the College may publish a student’s Directory Information, which may include name, name of parent(s)/guardian(s), telephone number, dates of attendance, degrees earned, dates of degrees, awards/honors/scholarships, major, sports and activities, height and weight of members of athletic teams, adviser, concentrations, and computer user name.
The College may disclose any of those items without prior written consent unless notified in writing to the contrary. Students wishing to withhold the disclosure of any aspects of the “Directory Information” must file a “Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information” form with the Registrar’s office.
If the College should fail to comply with any of the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act or the regulations there under, the student may submit a written complaint to the Family Policy and Regulations Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, DC 20202.
FERPA Waiver Form