A student's rights regarding their Education Records include:
The right to inspect and review the student’s Education Records within 45 days of the day the student’s Institution receives a request for access.
The right to request amendment of the student’s Education Records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading and to place within the Education Record a statement about the contents of the record. If the Institution decides not to amend the records as requested, the student shall be notified of this decision and advised of the right to a hearing. Additional information about the hearing procedures shall accompany the notification.
The right to limit disclosure of information contained in the student’s Education Records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent, and the right to consent to disclosures that are not otherwise authorized by law or by this policy.
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the Institution to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave. SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.
Directory information includes, but is not limited to,
- Student’s name
- Telephone listing
- Electronic mail address
- Date & place of birth
- Major field of study
- Grade level
- Enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate, full-time or part-time)
- Dates of attendance
- Participation in officially recognized activities & sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Degrees, honors, and awards received
- The most recent educational agency or institution attended
- Potential graduation date
A student’s responsibilities include:
- The responsibility to read the Student Record Privacy Statement and Annual Notification published by the Offices of the Institution Registrars.
- The responsibility to manage any restrictions on the disclosure of Directory Information, so that these restrictions do not interfere with the student’s work or academic life by preventing disclosures intended for his or her benefit.
- The responsibility to manage any consent that the student has given for disclosures to be made to any other person, and to withdraw such consent, in writing or via a Student Online Portal when the student no longer wishes to permit such disclosures. Written withdrawal of consent must be submitted to the office where the written consent form was filed.
Disclosure of Education Records
The following procedures apply to the disclosure of information from a student’s Education Record. Additional procedures and forms may be established by the Office of the Registrar.
Directory Information may be disclosed without notice or consent; however, students have the right to request that their Directory Information be kept confidential, in which case, the Institution shall not disclose that information without consent, or as authorized by law. However, students should be aware that restricting the release of Directory Information or placing a full confidential hold on their account may have unintended consequences. For example, such restriction may make it difficult for potential employers or other schools to verify enrollment, a student’s name may be excluded from the commencement program, and student organizations, fellow students and others may have difficulty locating the student through the institutional directory. Except as specifically required by law or by an approved Institutional contract, the Institution shall neither create nor distribute aggregate lists or compilations of Directory Information elements such as students’ email addresses, or students’ mailing addresses except as necessary for official business purposes, as approved by the Registrar or Dean of Students at the Institution.
Education Records may be disclosed to a person or party internal or external to the Institution, without the student’s consent, as authorized under the FERPA regulations, 34 C.F.R. §99.31, including (but not limited to):
- To School Officials who have a Legitimate Educational Interest.
- When required pursuant to a subpoena or other court order.
- When the disclosure is to the student’s Parent, and the conditions for disclosures to Parents are met as set forth below.
- When the disclosure is required by law. In particular, federal law requires that the Institution disclose the “final results” of any disciplinary proceeding dealing with an alleged crime of violence or an alleged non-forcible sex offense to the alleged victim of the offense (or the alleged victim’s next of kin, or to any person whom the Institution determines to have a legitimate interest in such information). As used herein, “final results” that may be disclosed after all hearings and determinations are final under the Institution’s rules and policies, are: the student’s name; the violation committed under the Institution’s Student Conduct Code; and any sanction imposed by the Institution against the student.
- When the Institution determines that there is a health or safety emergency that warrants such disclosure. A health or safety emergency exists whenever there is an articulable and significant threat to the health or safety of the student or another person.
- When the disclosure is to officials of another institution of higher education where the student is enrolled, or is seeking to enroll, for purposes related to that enrollment.
- Where there is a legitimate business or research need for such disclosure to a third party, and the disclosure is controlled by the Institution with provisions for data to be securely transmitted, stored, and accessed. Access must be limited by contract so as to preserve an individual’s privacy, with strictures to enforce data retention and disposal and extension of FERPA obligations to the third party. All other requests for Education Records to be shared with external entities for the purposes of research shall be formally approved by the Institutional Review Board (IRB).
- For financial aid purposes.
- Any other exception provided under FERPA applies.
Disclosures to Parents & Trusted Designees
According to FERPA, the Institution may but is not required to disclose any part of the student’s Education Record to a student’s Parents. The Institution primarily provides Parents and Trusted Designees with access to limited information through Online Portals for Trusted Third Parties or with written student consent. In those instances where a Parent or any individual or entity requests Education Records that are not available via Online Portals for Trusted Third Parties or the student has not provided written consent, the request should be referred to the Dean of Students at CSU-Fort Collins, and the Registrar’s Offices at CSU-Pueblo and CSU-Global for additional review and response. A qualified Parent or Trusted Designee is granted access to the student’s Education Record when any of the following conditions are met:
- A Parent of the student has claimed the student as a dependent on the Parent’s federal tax return and the Parent’s identity has been verified by the Office of the Registrar, the Office of Financial Aid, Business and Financial Services, or another authorized School Official. If one Parent has claimed the student as a dependent, another Parent of the student may also be allowed to receive such disclosures. The “Parent Affidavit and Request for Student Academic Information” form or a copy of the tax return in the Office of Financial Aid can serve as verification the Parent claimed the student on the federal tax return.
- The student has authorized the disclosure in writing by providing the Institution with a signed permission to release academic records.
- The student has authorized the disclosure in writing or consented to access via a Student or Online Portal for Trusted Designees. The Trusted Designee may view defined areas of the student record. Discussions with Institutional officials of details of the student record require a signed FERPA disclosure.
- There is a health or safety emergency which, in the discretion of the Institution, warrants disclosing the information.
- The student is under the age of 21, and the information relates to a violation of law or policy involving the use or possession of drugs or alcohol. It is an Institution’s policy to notify a student’s Parents in these circumstances in order to help reduce alcohol and drug use by students, engage Parents in dialogue about their student’s behavior related to alcohol/drugs, and assist students and the community in understanding that the Institutions take underage alcohol/drug use seriously; or
- The information relates to a law enforcement matter and is contained in a record made by a law enforcement authority, including, but not limited to, campus police.
Disclosures Between Institutions
An Institution may disclose Education Records of a student to School Officials of another Institution, or to the CSU system office, whenever there is a Legitimate Educational Interest in doing so. Examples include, but are not limited to:
- When a student seeks to earn credit at another Institution or transfer credits between the Institutions.
- When a student wishes to attend another Institution and have their application materials transferred.
- When the system office and/or the Institutions are working together to create, maintain, process or report information for accreditation, compliance, or business purposes, including enhancing student success.
Information Other Than Education Records
FERPA neither requires nor prohibits a faculty member or other School Official from sharing concerns or observations with a Parent about their student based on personal knowledge or observation rather than on the Education Record. If the information is contained in any written Education Record (other than a Sole Source Note), he or she must first confirm that the appropriate written consent form for the disclosure (discussed below in Section 6) has been received.
How to Provide Consent to a Disclosure
A student may consent to the release of any or all of his or her Education Record by completing a written consent form and returning it to the Office of the Registrar or other responsible School Official. Consent may be ongoing or may be given for a specified period of time or limited to a single instance. Forms are available from the Registrar’s office at the Institution. Financial information consent forms are available in Student Online Portals and must be submitted to Accounts Receivable Operations. Students are also afforded the opportunity to consent to the release of certain Education Records to be viewed by any individual without the necessity of giving consent each time the disclosure is requested. This is done by registering the email address of the Trusted Designee to whom the disclosures will be made in the Student Online Portal and therein designating the information to be disclosed. The types of information that may be designated for disclosure are limited and do not mean School Officials may speak to the Parent or Trusted Individual about the Education Record. Consent to release information not accessible through the Student Portal requires a separate, written release form signed by the student.
Financial Aid Information
Information from a student’s application for need-based financial aid (including Parental income) and the status of that application will be released only to a Parent whose income information is included on the application (e.g., the Free Application for Federal Financial Aid, or FAFSA, application form).
Medical Treatment Records
Medical treatment records are not Education Records under FERPA so long as they are shared for treatment purposes only. If an Institution keeps or maintains a medical treatment record that is disclosed by the student for purposes other than medical treatment, the medical record is then considered an Education Record subject to FERPA. Further disclosures must be limited to only such portions of the medical record that are relevant and necessary to the matter for which disclosure is authorized.
Responsibilities of Faculty & Staff
Faculty, staff, and agents of the Institutions who have access to student Education Records are responsible for:
- Understanding the requirements of FERPA and this policy.
- Understanding, observing, and reaffirming statements of acceptable use in accessing Institutional administrative systems and student Education Records.
- Protecting the confidentiality of student Education Records as required by this Policy.
- Accessing student Education Records only when they have a Legitimate Educational Interest for doing so.
- Authenticating the identity of those requesting student Education Record information and confirm their right to access prior to release of information. For assistance with authentication procedures, Institutional employees should contact their Office of the Registrar.
All Institutions’ employees and units with access to Education Records shall take all reasonable measures to assure the security and confidentiality of such records.
Special Responsibilities of the Office of the Registrar
Institutional registrars are responsible for disseminating the Student Record Privacy Statement and Annual Notification under FERPA, for obtaining written consent and authorization to release a student’s records, and for facilitating authorized disclosures.
Institutional registrars shall inform parties to whom Education Records are released that recipients are not permitted to disclose the information to others without the written consent of the student (unless the disclosure is required or permitted by law without the student’s consent).
Institutional registrars shall periodically review FERPA policies and procedures with the assistance of the Office of the General Counsel and the Office of Policy & Compliance at CSU-Fort Collins.
Concerns, complaints, questions or suggestions regarding the release of student records should be addressed to their Office of the Registrar