Family Educational Rights and Privacy ActThe Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, is a Federal Law which
states (a) that a written institutional policy must be established and (b) that a
statement of adopted procedures covering the privacy rights of students be made
available. The law provides that the institution will maintain the confidentiality of student
Piedmont College accords all the rights under the law to students who are declared
independent. No one outside the institution shall have access to, nor will the institution
disclose, any information from the students' educational records without the prior written
consent of students, except to personnel within the institution, to officials of other
institutions in which students seek to enroll, to persons or organizations providing
student financial aid, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to
persons in compliance with a judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to
protect the health and safety of students or other persons. All these exceptions are
permitted under the Act. Within the Piedmont College community, only those members,
individually or collectively, acting in the students' educational interest are allowed access
to students' educational records. These members include personnel in the Offices of
Student Affairs, Registrar, Business, Financial Aid, Alumni, and academic personnel within
the limitations of their need to know.
At its discretion, the institution may provide directory information in accordance with the
provisions of the Act to include: student name, address, telephone number, email address,
date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received,
the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student, participation in
officially recognized activities and sports, and weight and height of members of athletic
teams. Students may withhold directory information by notifying the Registrar. Requests
for non-disclosure will be honored for only one academic year; therefore, authorization to
withhold directory information must be filed annually in the office of the Registrar.
The law provides students with the right to inspect and review information contained in
their educational records, to challenge the contents of their educational records, to have a
hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and to submit explanatory
statements for inclusion in their files if the decisions of the hearing panels are
unacceptable. The Registrar at Piedmont College has been designated by the institution to
coordinate the inspection and review procedures for student records, which include
admissions, personal, financial files, and academic and placement records.
Students wishing to review their records must make written requests to the Registrar
listing the item(s) of interest. Only records covered by the Act will be made available.
Students may have copies made of their records with certain exceptions, (e.g., a copy of
the academic record for which a financial "hold" exists, or a transcript of an original source
document which exists elsewhere). These copies would be made at the students' expense
at rates listed in the current catalog. Educational records do not include records of
instructional, administrative, or educational personnel which are the sole possession of the maker
and are not accessible or revealed to any individual except a temporary substitute, records of the law
enforcement unit, student health records, employment records or alumni records. Health
records, however, may be reviewed by physicians of the students' choosing.
Students may not inspect and review the following as outlined by the Act: financial
information submitted by parents; confidential letters and recommendations associated
with admissions, employment or job placement, or honors to which they have waived their
rights of inspection and review; or educational records containing information about more
than one student, in which case the institution will permit access only to that part of the
record which pertains to the inquiring student. The institution is not required to permit
students to inspect and review confidential letters and recommendations placed in their
files prior to January 1, 1975, provided those letters were collected under established
policies of confidentiality and were used only for the purpose for which they were collected.
Students who believe that their educational records contain information that is
inaccurate or misleading, or is otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights may
discuss their problems informally with the Registrar. If the Registrar or other holder of
the student's records is in agreement with the student request, the appropriate records
will be amended. If not, the student will be notified within a reasonable period of time that
the records will not be amended; and informed by the Registrar of right to a formal
hearing. Student requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the Registrar,
who within a reasonable period of time after receiving such requests, will inform students
of the date, place, and time of the hearing.
Students may present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or
represented at a hearing by one or more persons of their choice, including attorneys, at
the students expense. The hearing panel which will adjudicate such challenges will be the
Academic Policies Committee. Decisions of the hearing panel will be final, will be based solely
on the evidence, and will be delivered to all parties concerned. Appropriate educational
records will be corrected or amended, if necessary, in accordance with the decisions of the
hearing panel. If a decision is unsatisfactory to a student, the student may place with the
educational records statements commenting on the information in the records, or
statements setting forth any reasons for disagreeing with the decisions of the hearing
panels. The statements will be placed in the educational records, maintained as part of the
student's records and released whenever the records in question are disclosed. Students
who believe that the adjudication of their challenges were conducted unfairly or not in
keeping with the provisions of the Act may request, in writing, assistance from the
President of the institution to aid them in filing complaints with the Family Educational
Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA), Department of Education, Room 4074, Switzer
Building, Washington, D.C. 20202. Revisions and clarifications will be published as the law
and the institution's policy warrant.
No information concerning a student's educational records may be disclosed over the telephone to
anyone, including the student.
Information on the Solomon Amendment:
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