FERPA for Students


Louisiana State University at Eunice students should note that the application of the privacy rights as defined by Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act extend to all students enrolled, regardless of site or methodology of instruction. This includes all students enrolled in distance education technology.

 

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (also known as the Buckley Amendment) is a Federal law that helps protect the privacy of student education records. The Act provides students the right to inspect and review education records, the right to seek to amend those records, and the right to limit disclosure of information from the records. The intent of the legislation is to protect the rights of students and to ensure the privacy and accuracy of education records. The Act applies to all institutions that are recipients of federal aid administered by the Secretary of Education.

 

When do my FERPA Rights Begin?

The student’s FERPA rights begin when the student is enrolled; that is, when classes are scheduled, fees are paid, and classes have begun.

 

FERPA:  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974

FERPA governs and protects students’ rights to their individual educational records. The primary rights protected under FERPA are as follows.

 

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day LSU Eunice receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar’s Office, dean, vice chancellor, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The LSU Eunice 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 LSU Eunice 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 record that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask LSU Eunice to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write the campus official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If LSU Eunice decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, LSU Eunice will notify the student of the decision and 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 consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by LSU Eunice in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom LSU Eunice has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Regents; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, LSU Eunice discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by LSU Eunice to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is

    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education 600 Independence Ave., SW,
    Washington, DC 20202-4605.

 

What are “Education Records?

With certain exceptions, education records are records which directly related to a student and are maintained by the University or a party acting for the University.  A student has the right of access to these records.

Education records include any records in whatever medium (handwritten, print, magnetic tape, film, diskette, etc.) that are in the possession of any school official. This includes transcripts or other records obtained from a school at which a student was previously enrolled.

 

What is not included in an education record?

  • Sole possession records or private notes held by school officials that are not accessible or released to other personnel;
  • Law enforcement or campus security records that are solely for law enforcement purposes and maintained solely by the law enforcement unit;
  • Records relating to individuals who are employed by the institution (unless contingent upon attendance);
  • Records relating to treatment provide by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional and disclosed only to individuals providing treatment; and
  • Records of an institution that contain information about an individual obtained only after that person is no longer a student at that institution, i.e., alumni records.
  • Financial information submitted by parents.
  • Education records containing information about more than one student; however, in such cases the institution must permit access to that part of the record which pertains only to the inquiring student.

What is Directory Information?

Directory information is information contained in an educational record of a student that generally would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. LSU Eunice has established the following as directory information and it may be released to those requesting it, unless the student specifically requests otherwise by submitting written notification to the Office of the Registrar.

  • Student’s name, local address, and telephone number
  • Student’s home address
  • Student’s e-mail address
  • Student’s major field of study/classification
  • Student’s participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • Dates of student’s attendance
  • Degrees, awards, and honors received by student
  • The most recent previous educational institution attended by the student

LSU Eunice will not disclose any other information without written consent from the student, with some exceptions as provided by FERPA.

Students have the right to refuse the disclosure of personally identifiable information as directory information subject to other overriding provisions of law. To withhold directory information, students must fill out the non-disclosure form in the Office of the Registrar in the Geaux Center Acadian Building Room 117.

If a student has chosen to restrict the release of directory information, NO information can be released without further written permission of the student. Should someone inquire about an individual who has restricted the release of his/her directory information, the appropriate faculty/staff response is, “I am sorry, I do not have any information on any such person.”

Students should note that written, dated, and signed consent must generally be obtained from students for the release of information from education records, specifying what is to be released, the reasons for release, and name of the party or class of parties to whom the record are to be released, with a copy of the record sent to the student if he or she desires.  However, as of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records — including the Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without the student’s consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to the records and PII without the student’s consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to education records and PII without the student’s consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when the university objects to or does not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive the PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without the student’s consent PII from education records, and they may track a student’s participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about the student that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

For more information concerning the privacy rights of students, please refer to the official university policy statement, PS-34: Privacy Rights of Parents and Students.