Student Services - FERPA
Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. FERPA affords certain rights with respect to their education records. This website provides general information about FERPA. Students have the right to inspect and review their education records maintained by the school. The student also has the right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information other than directory information from their education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
Directory information, which may be disclosed without consent, includes a student's full name, mailing address, telephone number, enrollment status, athletic program information, previous institution most recently attended, degrees and awards received, dates of attendance, date of graduation, major, academic classification and participation in officially recognized organizations and activities. A student may opt out of disclosing directory information by contacting the Office of the Registrar.
FERPA- Student Records Policy and Procedures
- Annual Notification
- Start of FERPA Rights
- Procedure to Inspect Education Records
- Right of University to Refuse Access
- Disclosure of Education Records
- Discloser of Information
- Parental Access to Educational Records
- Directory Information
- FERPA Rights Upon Death
- Correction of Education Records
- Complaint - Contact FERPA
- Types, Locations, and Custodians of Education Records
For the purposes of this policy, Cameron University has used the following definitions of terms.
Student - any person who is enrolled or has enrolled at Cameron University.
Education Records- any record (in handwriting, print, tapes, film, or other medium) maintained by the University or an agent of the University which is directly related to a student, except :
- A personal record kept by a staff member, if it is kept in the personal possession of the individual who made the record, and information contained in the record has never been revealed or made available to any other person except the maker's temporary substitute.
- An employment record of an individual whose employment is not contingent on the fact that he/she is a student, provided the record is used only in relation to the individual's employment.
- Records maintained by the Student Wellness Center if the records are used only for treatment of a student and made available only to those persons providing the treatment.
- Alumni records which contain information about a student after he/she is no longer in attendance at the University and the records do not relate to the person as a student.
- Law enforcement records
F E RPA - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
Students will be notified of their FERPA rights annually electronically at the beginning of each semester via their University provided email address.
Start of FERPA Rights
A student’s FERPA rights begin with their registered enrollment at the University. There is no end point for FERPA rights, as long as the student is living
Procedure to Inspect Education Records
Students may inspect and review their education records upon request to the appropriate record custodian.
Students should submit to the record custodian or an appropriate University staff person a written request which identifies as precisely as possible the record or records they wish to inspect.
The record custodian or an appropriate University staff person will make the needed arrangements for inspection as promptly as possible and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. Availability to inspect records must be granted in ten (10) working days or less from the receipt of the request.
When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records which relate to them.
Right of University to Refuse Access
Cameron University reserves the right to refuse to permit a student to inspect the following records:
- The financial statement of the student's parents.
- Letters and statements of recommendation for which the student has waived their right of access, or which were placed in file before January 1, 1975.
- Records connected with an application to attend Cameron University if that application was denied.
- Those records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of education records.
- Records that contain information on more than one student. A student may only inspect information which relates to their self.
If health reasons or extreme distance from the University prevents the student from inspecting the education record, copies of the specific education record requested will be mailed to the student. The student must pay all copying expenses in advance of the release of the record. The student's Cameron University transcript shall be provided at the fee set forth in the current University catalog.
The University reserves the right to deny official transcripts and/or copies of records not required to be made available by FERPA in any of the following situations:
- The student has an unpaid financial obligation to the University; or
- There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student; or
- The student lives within commuting distance of the University.
The University reserves the right not to provide copies of transcripts it has received from other educational institutions.
Disclosure of Education Records
The University will not disclose information from a student's education records without the written consent of the student, except:
1. To school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records.
A school official is:
a. a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position;
b. a person elected to the Board of Regents;
c. a person employed by or under contract to the University to perform a special task, such as the attorney or auditor.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official is:
a. performing a task that is specified in their position description or by a contract agreement;
b. performing a task related to a student's education;
c. performing a task related to the discipline of a student;
d. providing a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, counseling, job placement or financial aid.
2. To officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
3. To certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, and state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs.
4. In connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
5. If required by a state law requiring disclosure that was adopted before November 19, 1974.
6. To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
7. To parents of an eligible student who claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes.
8. To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
9. In the event that the release of information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other individuals.
FERPA does not preclude an institution from disclosing non-directory information from a student's record to the student over the phone. The University is, however, responsible for implementing the necessary procedures to verify the individual's identity before any information is released. In person, the student must present either their official University or government issued I.D. The University can disclose FERPA protected information to students via email, but only to their university provided email account. When in doubt, don’t give out information.
The following is a list of questions that can be asked in any combination by university officials to verify a student’s identity, prior to releasing any information to a student over the phone:
- Student identification number
- Emergency contact information
- High school attended and graduation date
- Major program
- Class level
- Recent courses taken
- Current enrollment
- Year of first attendance
Only the following information can be released over the phone:
- Class schedule
- Cameron ID
- Financial student account balance
- Refund amount
- Specific charges
Parental Access To Educational Records
At the elementary and secondary school level, FERPA gives parents the right to access education records. When a student reaches 18 years of age or is attending an institution of post-secondary education, FERPA rights transfer from parent to student. Therefore, at the postsecondary level, parents have no inherent rights to inspect their students’ education records.
Information regarding education records is best obtained by direct communication between the parent and the student. If desired, students can obtain grades, class schedules, billing, and other information and provide a copy to their parents. Student may consent to release their education records to parents, legal guardians, or other individuals by completing the Student Request to Share Information & FERPA Waiver form.
The University designates the following items as Directory Information: the student’s:
- Full name
- Mailing address
- Telephone number
- Enrollment status
- Athletic program information
- Previous institution most recently attended
- Degrees and awards received
- Dates of attendance (i.e. semester/years)
- Date of graduation
- Academic classification
- Participation in officially recognized organizations and activities
The University may disclose any of these items without prior written consent, unless the student has opted out of disclosing directory information by completing a Request to Revise Status of Student Directory Information and submitting to the Office of the Registrar.
FERPA Rights Cease Upon Death
It is the University’s policy that no records of deceased students (other than directory) be released to third parties after the date of death, unless specifically authorized by the executor of the deceased’s estate or by the next of kin.
Correction of Education Records
Students have the right to ask to have records corrected that they believe are inaccurate, misleading or in violation of their privacy rights. Following are the procedures for the correction of records:
- A student must ask the Registrar of the University in writing to amend a record. In so doing, the student should identify the part of the record he/she wants changed and specify why he/she believes it is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of their privacy or other rights.
- The University may comply with the request or it may decide not to comply. If it decides not to comply, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise them of their right to a hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's rights.
- Upon request, the University will arrange for a hearing and notify the student reasonably in advance of the date, place and time of the hearing.
- The hearing will be conducted by a disinterested party appointed by the University. The student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student's education records. The student may be assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney.
- The University will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reasons for the decision.
- If the University decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's right of privacy, it will notify the student that he/she has a right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision.
- The statement will be maintained as part of the student's education records as long as the contested portion is maintained. If the University discloses the contested portion of the record, it must also disclose the statement.
If the University decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student's right of privacy, it will amend the record and notify the student, in writing, that the record has been amended.
Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education if the student believes that the University has failed to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The complaint must be made within 180 days of when the infraction was discovered, and there must be sufficient evidence to prove the violation. The written complaint should be sent to:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW,
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920
For additional information visit the U.S. Department of Education's FERPA website , or call (202) 260-3887 (voice). Individuals who use TDD may call the Federal Information Relay Service at 1-800-877-8339.