FERPA / Solomon Amendment
Frequently Asked Questions
What is FERPA ?
What does it mean to me?
How can I release my records to interested parties?
What is directory information?
How can I block the release of directory information?
Who has access to student information (directory and non-directory) without the requirement of student consent?
How can I see my own records?
Where can I get more information of FERPA?
FERPA is the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and is commonly referred to as the Buckley Amendment. FERPA was enacted in 1974 and applies to those institutions that regularly receive funding from the Department of Education.
FERPA was written specifically for students and guarantees them these primary rights:
- The right to inspect and review education records.
- The right to seek to amend education records believed to be inaccurate or misleading.
- The right to some control over the disclosure of information from education records.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education should the student allege the University is not in compliance with the requirements of FERPA. Family Policy Compliance Officer
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
In order to release any part of your student education record you need to authorize the institution to release the information. The release must state which records are to be released and who the lawful recipient of said records would be. All forms in the Registrars Office (transcript request forms, verification requests, etc.) are standardized releases for routine requests. If you need other information from your records released we need authorization, in writing, to include the following:
- Students name and social security number/student ID
- Recipients name
- As specifically as possible, which records to release
- The purpose the records will be used for
- Signature of the student
Upon receipt of the request the Office of the Registrar will release the desired information as soon as possible.
Institutions may disclose directory information about a student without violating FERPA. Directory information at GCU is defined as follows:
- Telephone Number & E-mail address
- Enrollment Status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate; full-time or part-time)
- Major field of study
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Dates of attendance
- Degrees & awards received
- Most recent previous school attended
- Weight & height of members of athletic teams
If a student desires to have any or all of their directory information blocked from release they must submit a request to the Office of the Registrar. This no release will remain in place until revoked by the student or upon graduation.
FERPA authorizes disclosure to student education records without consent as follows:
- School officials with a legitimate educational interest. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if they need to review an education record in order to fulfill their professional responsibility. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic/research, or support staff position. This includes the law enforcement unit and health staff as well as a person or company the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent).
- Persons or organizations providing student financial aid or determining financial aid eligibility, amount or conditions of financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of aid.
- Accrediting organizations carrying out their accrediting functions.
- Persons in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
- Persons in an emergency if it is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.
FERPA provides students the right to inspect their own education record. Students should make the request in writing to the Office of the Registrar who must comply within 45 days. The education record will be reviewed under the supervision of an agent of the Office of the Registrar. Students may not add or remove any information during the review.
Students have a right to request an amendment of the education record if they believe it is inaccurate or misleading. The student should write the Registrar and clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University determines that the record should not be amended they will inform the student and advise the student to his or her right to a hearing.
More information on FERPA can be obtained from the U.S. Department of Education website (http://www.ed.gov/offices/OM/fpco/ferpa/index.html).
Revision: June 2006