The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, protects the privacy of students by limiting third party access to student education records. FERPA affords students the following rights:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the record(s) may be inspected. If the record(s) are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
Students may grant permission to release academic, financial aid and student financial account information to third parties, including parents, by submitting a “Student Consent to Release Information” form online.
FERPA also permits disclosure of directory information without consent unless the student has filed a Request for Non-Disclosure of Directory Information. Directory information at the University of San Francisco includes: student’s name, USF email address, school of enrollment, credit hour load (full-time, part time), periods of enrollment, degree(s) awarded and date(s) of conferral, honors, participation in athletic activities, weight and height of athletic participants, major and minor fields, and dean’s list.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University of San Francisco to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and the address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.