Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment, helps protect the privacy of student records. The Act provides for:

  • the right to inspect and review education records
  • the right to seek to amend those records
  • the right to consent the disclosure of information from the records
  • the right to obtain a copy of the school's Student Records policy

The Act applies to all institutions that are the recipients of federal funding. Students who are currently enrolled in higher education institutions or formerly enrolled regardless of their age or status in regard to parental dependency are protected. Deceased students are protected under FERPA as long as they were formerly enrolled. Students who have applied but did not attend an institution are not protected.

The following is a list of those who are entitled to student information.

  • The student and any outside party who has the student's written consent
  • School officials who have "legitimate educational interest" as defined in FERPA
  • Parents of a dependent student as defined by the Internal Revenue Code
  • A judicial order or subpoena which allows the institution to release records without the student's consent, however, a "reasonable effort" must be made to notify the student before complying with the order
Morrison Tech will release the following Directory Information on any student, unless the student signs a request to limit its release:
  • Student's full name.
  • Telephone listing: local, permanent, and cellphone.
  • Email address.
  • Parent name and address (for news releases only).
  • Major field of study.
  • Dates of attendance.
  • Class and full-time/part-time status.
  • Approved candidacy for graduation.
  • Degrees and awards received.
  • Photograph.
  • Most recent institution attended by student.
  • Participation in officially recognized activities.
  • Birth date will be validated only when furnished by the person making inquiry, for positive identification of the student.

In order to prevent the publication of any personal data in the Student Directory, a signed "stop of release" must be filed in the Registrar's Office (forms available there) no later than the end of the second week of classes in each semester. The Registrar will accept a request to stop release for other off-campus uses at any time the student signs such a request in the Registrar's Office. The stop of release will remain in effect until the Registrar's Office is notified. Notification to remove the stop of release must be made in person or writing by the student, and notarized.

Parental Access to Student's Educational Record

When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a post-secondary institution, regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer from the parent to the student. Parents must obtain a signed consent from their child to receive non-directory information.

The Office of the Registrar keeps the consent form on file. Should a parent contact a Morrison Tech faculty/staff member regarding their child, records must first be checked for this authorization prior to releasing any non-directory information. If the student is a dependent of the parent according to the IRS code, the parent needs to fill out a Student Dependency form at the Office of the Registrar in order for information to released.

Posting of Grades by Faculty

The public posting of grades by the student's name, ID number or social security number without the student's written permission is a violation of FERPA. This includes the posting of grades for students taking distance education courses.

Instructors and others who post grades should use a system that ensures that FERPA requirements are met. This can be accomplished either by obtaining the student's written permission or by using code words or randomly assigned numbers that only the instructor and individual student should know.

Notification of grades via a postcard violates a student's privacy rights.

Notification of grades via e-mail is not recommended. There is minimal guarantee of confidentiality on e-mail. The institution would be held responsible if an unauthorized third party gained access, in any manner, to a student's educational record through any electronic transmission method.

When in Doubt, Don't Give it Out

Please contact the Academic Office if you have further questions or concerns.