Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as FERPA, is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Students have specific, protected rights regarding the release of such records and FERPA requires that institutions adhere strictly to these guidelines.
Two Types of Educational Records
There are two types of educational records as defined under FERPA. Each type of educational record is afforded different disclosure protections.
Some information in a student’s educational record is defined as directory information under FERPA. Under a strict reading of FERPA, the school may disclose this type of information without the written consent of the student. However, the student can exercise the option to restrict the release of directory information by submitting a formal request to the school to limit disclosure. Directory information may include:
- Dates of attendance;
- Degree(s) awarded;
- Enrollment status;
- Major field of study.
Non-directory information is any educational record not considered directory information. Non-directory information must not be released to anyone, including parents of the student, without the prior written consent of the student. Further, faculty and staff can access non-directory information only if they have a legitimate academic need to do so. Non-directory information may include:
- Social security numbers;
- Student identification number;
- Race, ethnicity, and/or nationality;
- Transcripts; grade reports
- Phone number and email address
Transcripts are non-directory information and, therefore, are protected educational records under FERPA. Students have a right to privacy regarding transcripts held by the school where third parties seek transcript copies.
Prior Written Consent
In general, a student’s prior written consent is always required before institutions can legitimately disclose non-directory information.
Prior written consent is not required when disclosure is made directly to the student or to other school officials within the same institution where there is a legitimate educational interest. A legitimate educational interest may include enrollment or transfer matters, financial aid issues, or information requested by regional accrediting organizations.
Click here to download a PDF of the John A. Logan College Release of Information form. Students are required to either personally submit the form to the Admissions and Records Office or email the completed document to email@example.com. All email submissions must be sent from the student’s VOLmail or personal email address that is on file with the College.
Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information
In compliance with the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), the following items of student information have been designated directory information and may be released by John A. Logan College officials upon request without prior written consent:
- Enrollment status (full-time or part-time)
- Dates of attendance at John A. Logan College
- Honors (including honor roll)
- Degree(s) conferred (including dates)
- Past and present sports participation
- Physical factors of athletes (height and weight)
Under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, you have the right to request that any or all of your directory information not be released to non-institutional persons or organizations. Please consider very carefully the consequences of a decision to withhold directory information. Should you decide that your directory information is not to be released remember that any requests for such information as verification of a degree earned or enrollment for possible employment or insurance purposes will be refused.