The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  1. 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 or Dean of Students written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

  2. 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 to be 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.

  3. 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) to perform an institutional service or function for which the University would otherwise use its employees; 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.

    Upon request, the University discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

    As a matter of policy, the University includes in its educational records of a student information concerning disciplinary action taken against the student for conduct that posed a significant risk to the safety and well-being of that student, other students or other members of the University community.

  4. The Act applies only to "educational records" and does not include records maintained by alumni associations or published directory information. Such "directory information" includes:
    • Names
    • Addresses
    • RMU electronic mail addresses
    • List of extracurricular activities
    • Major field(s) of study
    • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
    • The student's photograph
    • Weight and height of members of athletic teams
    • Dates of attendance (including, but not limited to, dates of withdrawal, re-admittance, and graduation)
    • Achievements, degrees and awards received

    Any student who does not wish to have their directory information disclosed by the University has the right to be "unlisted" by notifying the Dean of Students' Office in writing of their desire within two weeks of the beginning of each semester.

  5. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

    The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is:
         The Family Policy Compliance Office
         U.S. Department of Education
         400 Maryland Avenue, SW
         Washington, DC 20202-4605.

  6. The right to obtain a copy of the policy adopted by the University with regard to the requirements of FERPA.