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FERPA FAQs

ivy on the BFAC

Generally the law provides that, with certain exceptions, no education records may be released without prior written consent from the student to which they pertain.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 ("FERPA"), as amended, is a federal law regarding the privacy of education records and the obligations of the College, primarily related to the release of education records and access provided to education records. The law also mandates that students be provided access to their own education records for purposes of inspection and review. The College's policy on the Confidentiality of Education Records may be found at D'Youville College FERPA Policy.

Below are answers to specific instructional situations.

What are FERPA rights?

  • the right to have some control over the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your education records;
  • the right to access your own education records;
  • the right to seek amendment of your education records; and
  • the right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office regarding alleged FERPA violations.

When do FERPA rights begin?

FERPA rights begin when you enroll as a student at D’Youville College. Applicants who were denied admission to D'Youville College or who do not attend the College do not have rights under FERPA.

What are education records?

Education records are records that are directly related to a student and that are maintained by an educational agency or institution or a party acting for or on behalf of the agency or institution. These records include, but are not limited to, grades, transcripts, class lists, student course schedules, student financial information, and student discipline files. Education records can exist in any medium, including, but not limited to, typed, handwritten, print, computer generated, videotape, audiotape, film, microfilm, microfiche and email.

What is Directory Information?

Directory information is information contained in an education record that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Directory information may be disclosed, without prior written consent, unless you have chosen to affirmatively opt-out of the disclosure of directory information.

Directory information includes: the student's name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.

Can a student restrict the release of directory information?

Students may opt-out of the disclosure of directory information. If you choose to opt-out of the disclosure of directory information, the College may not disclose such information without prior written consent. Students may not opt-out of the disclosure of directory information in classes in which they are enrolled.

At D'Youville College, students who wish to opt-out of the disclosure of directory information must provide a written request to do so to the Office of the Registrar, located in KAB-221. The request must be submitted in person and must be accompanied by a photo I.D. The restriction will remain in effect unless and until the student withdraws the request.

Students who wish to restrict the release of directory information should realize that this action could have negative consequences. For example, the names of students who have restricted their directory information will not appear in the commencement bulletin and other College publications.

Can parents access student education records?

At the College’s discretion, education records and information from education records may be disclosed to parents where: (1) the student has provided written consent to the disclosure; or (2) the student is a dependent for tax purposes under the IRS rules. This includes mid-semester and final grades which are available to students on their STACI account but are not mailed to the students' homes. Students may request that a copy of their transcript be mailed to their parents by completing a Transcript Request form at the Office of the Registrar, located in KAB-221.

FERPA also permits the College to disclose information from a student's education records to parents if a health or safety emergency involves their son or daughter. Another provision in FERPA permits the College to let parents of students under the age of 21 know when the student has violated any law or policy concerning the use of possession of alcohol or a controlled substance. School officials may also share information with a parent about a student that is based on that official's personal knowledge or observation and that is not based on information contained in an education record.

What about crisis situations or emergencies?

An educational institution may disclose personally identifiable information from education records to appropriate parties, without the student’s consent, if the institution determines that the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals. Appropriate parties may include: law enforcement officials, public health and safety officials, medical professionals and personnel, or parents.

An educational institution must make this determination on a case-by-case basis, taking into account the totality of the circumstances pertaining to a threat to the health or safety of a student or others. Factors considered in making this assessment are: the severity of the threat to the health or safety of those involved; the need for the information; the time required to deal with the emergency; and the ability of the parties to whom the information is to be given to deal with the emergency.

When can a student seek to amend his or her education records?

A student may seek to amend his or her education records on the grounds that the information contained in the education records is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the privacy rights of the student. A student's right to seek amendment of his or her education records generally applies only to scriveners errors, and is not meant to create an avenue to challenge earned grades or other assessment results.

Who should I contact for more information?

General questions may be directed to the Office of the Registrar or to the office responsible for the information being sought. Comments or suggestions should be addressed to the Office of the Registrar at registrar@dyc.edu, or by calling 716-829-8347.

What other resources are available?