Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: Release of Student Information
Department responsible: Registration and Records and HSL Registrar
Owner: Registration and Records and HSL Registrar
Pertains to: Student educational records
Description: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended, was designated to protect the privacy of education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended, was designated to protect the privacy of education records, and to provide guidelines for the correction of inaccurate or misleading data through informal and formal hearings. Hamline University intends to comply fully with the Act. Students who have questions or wish to take action with respect to any of the FERPA statements below should do so with their respective Registrar’s Office.
FERPA affords students certain rights regarding their education records which include:
- The right to inspect and review their education records within forty-five (45) days of Hamline University receiving the request. Students must submit a signed, written request to the registrar identifying the records they wish to inspect. The registrar will notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Student records are available to them with the following exceptions: confidential letters of recommendation submitted prior to 1975; records of their parents’ financial status; records related to their student employment that are subject to other laws and are administered by the Human Resources office; medical and psychological records, which will be released only to a healthcare professional designated by the student; and, if the student signed a voluntary waiver of access, letters of recommendation related to admission, candidacy for awards, and candidacy for employment — these records may be used only for the purpose originally intended.
- The right to request an amendment to education records that they believe are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask Hamline University, in writing via the registrar, for such an amendment by clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed, and specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading. If Hamline University decides not to amend the record, the registrar will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of the right to a hearing. Additional information about the hearing procedures will be provided to the student with the notification.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One such exception is disclosure to a school official with legitimate educational interest. A school official is a person employed by Hamline University including law enforcement and health staff; contractors, consultants, volunteers, and other outside service providers used by Hamline University to perform institutional services and functions; a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee or assisting another school official. An official has a legitimate educational interest if they must review an education record in order to fulfill professional responsibility. Upon request, Hamline University discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which the students seeks or intends to enroll and to officials of another educational agency or institution if the student is enrolled in or receives services from the other agency or institution. Students must submit a signed request to the registrar for grade reports or transcripts to be released to a third party (such as a parent or spouse).
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Hamline University to comply with the rights of FERPA.
As required by FERPA, Hamline University designates the following categories of student information as public or Directory Information. Such information may be disclosed by Hamline for any purpose, at its discretion:
- Name, student ID number, address, e-mail address, telephone number, dates of attendance, class, full-time or part-time status, photographs taken and maintained by the university for various purposes.
- Previous institutions attended, major and minor fields of study, awards, honors (including dean’s list), degrees and dates conferred.
- Past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, physical factors (height, weight) of athletes, and date and place of birth.
Release of Student Information to Others
Except as specified above, your records will be released only upon completion of a consent form or letter you have signed. Any such release will include a notice that further release by the recipient is prohibited by law. A record of the release will be maintained.
Records about you will be released without your consent to your parents if you are a dependent as defined by the Internal Revenue Service; to federal officers as prescribed by law; as required by state law; to agencies or individuals conducting educational research, provided that the administrator of the records is satisfied concerning the legitimacy of the research effort and the confidentiality to be maintained by the researcher; to agencies responsible for accreditation of the institution or its programs; in response to a lawful subpoena, after making reasonable attempts to provide prior notification and opportunity for objection by you; and to institutional security officers when necessary for a criminal investigation.
Election of Confidentiality
Under FERPA, currently enrolled students may withhold disclosure of directory information (see above) by notifying their registrar and completing a request form. Electing confidentiality has significant consequences. Please see your registrar for more information. Hamline University assumes that non-notification by the student to withhold directory information indicates individual approval for disclosure.
Retention of Records
Hamline University reserves the right to maintain only those records it considers useful and to set retention schedules for various categories of those records according to American Assembly of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO) professional guidelines. However, the administrator responsible for each category of records will ensure that a record being challenged is not destroyed prior to resolution of the dispute.