FERPA – Student Records Access and Confidentiality

Date of Original Implementation: August, 2011

Date of Last Revision: October 2011

In compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, the College does not permit the release of personally identifiable information in student records without the written consent of the student, except as specifically allowed by FERPA statute or regulation. The Registrar controls access to and disclosure of student education records and maintains safeguards against unlawful disclosure. Record of the access and disclosure of student records must be maintained by the office providing such records (usually the Registrar), and will be made available to the student upon request.

Students have the right to inspect and review all College records, files and data directly related to themselves with certain exceptions such as financial records of the student’s parents, confidential recommendations which were received before January, 1975, or records to which students have waived their right of access. Official records and data related to a student are incorporated into his/her file, kept in the Registrar’s Office. Other student records may be maintained in the office which created the records such as Academic Deans, Faculty, Dean of Students, etc. The College reserves the right to charge for copies of student records and will prohibit release of official transcripts for students who have financial holds.

FERPA allows, without prior written authorization from individual students, release of personally-identifiable directory information. Non-directory information may be accessed by individuals determined to have legitimate education interest, authorized representatives of federal, state and local educational authorities, accrediting organizations, and officials of another institution of postsecondary education where a student seeks or intends to enroll. Directory information at Cambridge College includes name, class year, home address and telephone number, e-mail address, dates of attendance, program status/major, degrees awarded, high school and any college previously attended.

Students who wish to keep their entire directory information private (a “FERPA block”) may contact the Registrar. Students will be annually notified of this FERPA policy by web notice, catalogue, email or other appropriate delivery method.

FERPA does not apply to the records of applicants for admission who are denied acceptance, nor does it apply to applicants who are accepted but choose not to attend Cambridge College. Admitted students are covered by FERPA once they have enrolled. A student is considered enrolled on the first day of classes.

FERPA defines student as any individual who is or has been in attendance at an educational agency or institution and regarding whom the agency or institution maintains education records. 34 CFR 99.3. In interpreting this definition with respect to application materials, Cambridge College has generally taken the position that records sent by the student to the college are not protected as education records unless/until the student matriculates.

If students take exception to anything in their folders on the grounds that it is inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate, they have the right to challenge its inclusion and seek to have it corrected or deleted. A written request must be submitted to the Registrar for a joint meeting with the Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, the Registrar, and any other appropriate person to discuss the matter.

If the College fails to comply with FERPA requirements, written complaints may be submitted to the Family Policy and Regulations Office, U.S. Department of Education, Washington, D.C. 20202.

 

Individual Responsible for Revision and Implementation: Provost, Dean of Enrollment Management, Director of Admissions, Registrar