Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Policy (FERPA)
The following are answers to questions about FERPA.
What is FERPA?
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of a student's educational records. It limits the type of student information that may be released without a student's permission. It also helps to insure accuracy in any educational records that are maintained on a student.
What are a student's rights under FERPA?
Students have the right to review those records, files, documents, and other materials that contain information directly related to them that are maintained by the University. If the student believes anything in his or her record is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise violates one's rights, that student has the right to challenge the content of those records. If a student's suggested corrections are not made by the University, that student may insert into his or her records a written explanation respecting the contents of such records.
The students' access and review are subject to the following conditions:
- The University has 45 days to comply with a student's written request to review his or her records.
- All information declared confidential by the act is not available for inspection.
- After reviewing their records, students may request that the unit maintaining the record remove or modify the information they believe is misleading, inaccurate or inappropriate. If the student's requests are refused, that student may insert in his or her records a written explanation regarding the contents to which he/she objects, or file an appeal with the President's Office, which will be heard by a person or committee designed by the President.
What information may be released without a student's permission?
The following information is construed to be directory information, which may be released to the public without a student's permission.
Date and place of birth
Major field of study
Participation in officially recognized sports and activities
Weight and height of members of athletic teams
Dates of attendance
Degrees and awards received
The most recent educational agency or institution attended
Even though this information is deemed to be public information, all students have the right to inform the University that any or all of the above information should not be released without one's prior consent. If students wish to restrict the release of information, they must complete a written request to that effect to the Registrar's Office. After the student has filed the required written request, the University will notify the appropriate offices and begin to comply with the request as soon as possible. The request is effective for the duration of the academic year for which it was requested. Students must renew their request in writing each academic year.
What are the conditions under which other student information may be released without permission?
- To school officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the records. These school officials include all persons employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or staff position. Also included are those persons employed by or under contract to the University to perform a special task, such as an attorney or auditor.
- In connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid.
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.
- To comply with a judicial order, lawfully issued subpoena, or in the case of legal action between the University and the student or his/her family.
- To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.
- The results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the University against an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence to the alleged victim of that crime.
- Release to officials of another school, in connection with a student's efforts to enroll.
- Release to federal and state educational officials, in connection with certain audits.
- If the student is a minor, release to local juvenile authorities under certain circumstances.
- Release to parents of a student who is their "dependent" within the meaning of the Internal Revenue Code.
11. Release to federal and state law enforcement officials, in connection with certain criminal investigations.
12.Parents of students younger than twenty-one years old may be contacted when students use or possess alcohol or other drugs.
13.In compliance with the U.S. Patriot Act, Stritch may be required to provide to selected U.S. government agencies the following information about international students: name, address, visa classification, academic status, and any disciplinary action taken against the student because of his/her participation in a crime.
Where may one call for more information?
The University registrar can be reached at (414) 410-4080.
How does one file a complaint?
If a student believes that the University is not in compliance with FERPA, she or he may file a written complaint with the:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605