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Academic

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy

Section: Academic Policies
Policy Name: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy
Policy Owner: Provost
Responsible University Office: Office of the Vice President for Enrollment Management
Origination Date: August 20, 1997
Revisions: October 12, 2002; October 24, 2014
Legacy Policy Number: 4-20
  1. SCOPE OF POLICYThis policy addresses the benefits of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended that are extended to all University of Delaware students. It further insures that University personnel are advised of their responsibilities regarding this act.
  2. DEFINITIONS
    1. “Custodial Department” shall be defined as a department responsible for maintaining the official education record. At the University of Delaware, these include:
      Types Location Custodian
      Cumulative Academic Record University Visitors Center University Registrar
      Disciplinary Records Hullihen Hall Office of Student Conduct
      Financial Aid Records Student Services Building Student Financial Services
      Financial Records Student Services Building Student Financial Services
      Placement Records Career Services Center Career Services Center

      Questions regarding the specific location of education records maintained by the University may be directed to the Office of the University Registrar.

    2. “Directory Information” shall include name, address, telephone number, college, class, major, dates of attendance, and degree, honors and awards conferred.
    3. “Education Record” shall be 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 agency or institution.   Records means any information recorded in any way, including but not limited to, handwriting, print, computer media, video or audio tape, film, microfilm and microfiche, electronic, biometric, or other medium maintained by the University of Delaware, or an agent of the University, which is directly related to a student, except:
      1. “Alumni Record” shall be defined as records created or received by an educational agency or institution after an individual is no longer a student in attendance and that are not directly related to the individual’s attendance as a student.
      2. “Employment Record”  shall be defined as  an employment record of an individual, whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he or she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual’s employment.
      3. “Health Records” shall be defined as records maintained by Student Health Services which are solely for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment.
      4. “Law Enforcement Unit Record” shall be defined as records maintained by the University of Delaware solely for law enforcement purposes, revealed only to law enforcement agencies of the same jurisdiction, and separated from other education records maintained by the University.
      5. “Peer Graded Record” shall be defined as peer graded assignments and papers that are shared among students in a class before they are collected and recorded by the class instructor.
      6. “Psychological Record” shall be defined as records maintained by the Center for Counseling & Student Development which are maintained solely for the treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing treatment.
      7. “Sole Possession Record” shall be defined as records that are kept in the sole possession of the maker, are used only as a personal memory aid, and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record.
    4. “Eligible Student” shall be defined as student who is 18 years of age or older or who attends a postsecondary institution. The term does not include an individual who has not been in attendance at the University, for example an applicant for admission.
    5. “Legitimate Educational Interest” shall be defined as the demonstrated need to know by those individuals of an institution who act in the student’s educational interest, including faculty, administration, clerical and professional employees, and other persons who need student record information for the effective functioning of their office or position.
      1. “School Official”  shall be defined as person employed by the University of Delaware 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 University of Delaware 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 personally identifiable information 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.
      2. A School Official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is:
        1. Performing a task that is specified in his or her position description or by a contractual agreement.
        2. Performing a task related to a student’s education.
        3. Performing a task related to the discipline of a student.
    6. “Personally Identifiable Information” shall include but is not limited to: student’s name; name of the student’s parent or other family members; address of the student or student’s family; personal identifier such as the student’s social security number, student number or biometric record; other indirect identifiers such as the student’s date of birth, place of birth and mother’s maiden name; other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student that would allow a reasonable person in the school community who does not have personal knowledge of the relevant circumstances, to identify the student with reasonable certainly; or information requested by a person who the educational agency or institution reasonably believes has direct personal knowledge of the identity of the student to whom the education record directly relates.
  3. POLICY STATEMENTThe Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 grants to students certain rights,  privileges, and protections relative to individually identifiable student education records which are maintained by the University. Specifically:
    1. Students’ education records (with the exception of directory information) will be released to third parties outside the University only with the written consent of the student. The University reserves the right to release education records to appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency or when the student’s well-being is of concern.
    2. Students have the right to inspect their own personally identifiable education records. The right may be exercised by completing a request form at the service desk of the University Visitors Center.
    3. Students have the right to challenge information contained in personally identifiable education records. The procedure is described in the Annual Notification of Rights printed below.
  4. POLICY STANDARDS & PROCEDURES
    1. Directory Information
      1. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act permits the release of directory-type information to third parties outside the institution without written consent of the student provided the student has been given the opportunity to withhold such disclosure.
        The University releases directory information without written consent of the student, upon inquiry by education-related third parties or third parties acting as agents of the University. Relevance to educational purposes is determined by the University. Directory information incudes name, address, telephone number, college, class, major, dates of attendance, and degree, honors and awards conferred.
        Students may withhold directory information by contacting the Registrar’s Office or by changing privacy settings through UDSIS.  See directions.
    2. Student Rights With Regard to Education Record
      1. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible 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 after the day the University of Delaware receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school 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 school 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 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 school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
          If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school 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.
        3. The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
          The school discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests.
        4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of Delaware to comply with the requirements of FERPA. For more information, see gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/FR-2011-12-02/pdf/2011-30683.pdf. 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
      2. Disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information (PII)
        1. FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, §99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student –
          1. To school officials at the University of Delaware and other educational institutions who have legitimate educational interest in the record.
          2. To other school officials, including teachers, within the University of Delaware whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) – (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))
          3. The University of Delaware shall determine on a case-by-case basis whether a school official has a legitimate educational interest in the disclosure of personally identifiable information from an education record, based on application of the following considerations:
            1. Whether the information to be disclosed is necessary for that official to perform an appropriate task that comes within or is consistent with the official’s job duties or the duties spelled out in the official’s contract;
            2. Whether the information is relevant to a task, determination, proceeding, or other matter relating to the student; and
            3. iii. Whether the information is to be used in a manner consistent with the purpose or purposes for which the education record is maintained.
          4. To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
          5. To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35))
          6. In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§99.31(a)(4))
          7. To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
          8. To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. ((§99.31(a)(7))
          9. To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8))
          10. To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
          11. To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
          12. Information the school has designated as “directory information” under §99.37. (§99.31(a)(11))
          13. To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§99.31(a)(13))
          14. To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
          15. To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))