FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is the federal law that governs the release of and access to student education records.

These rights include:

  • The right to inspect and review your education record within a reasonable time after the University receives a request for access. If you want to review your academic record, contact the Office of the Registrar to make appropriate arrangements. The University has up to 45 days to respond.
  • The right to request an amendment of your education record if you believe it is inaccurate or misleading. If you feel there is an error in your record, you should submit a statement to the University official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record you want changed and why you believe it is inaccurate or misleading. That office will notifiy you of their decision within 45 days and advise you regarding appropriate steps for a hearing if you do not agree with the decision.
  • The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in your 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 education interests. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official has a need to know information from your education record in order to fulfill his or her official responsibilities. Examples of people who may have access, depending on their official duties, include university faculty and staff, agents of the institution, students employed by the institution or who serve on official institutional committees and representatives of agencies under contract with the University.
  • 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.

To File a Complaint

The Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-8520

Release of student record information is generally not done at Life University without the expressed, written consent of the student. There are, however, some exceptions.

For example, directory information includes the following and may be released without the student’s consent:

  • name
  • local address
  • home address
  • email address
  • local telephone number
  • home telephone number
  • date and place of birth
  • dates of attendance
  • field of study
  • degrees and awards
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • most recent school attended

You have the right to withhold the release of directory information. To do so, you must notify the Office of the Registrar in writing. The University receives many inquiries for directory information from a variety of sources outside the institution, including friends, parents, relatives, prospective employers, the news media and honor societies. Having a No Release on your record will preclude release of such information, even to these people.

A No Release applies to all elements of directory information on your record. Life University does not apply a No Release differentially to the various directory information data elements.

More details about your rights and any University policies related to FERPA are available in the Academic Catalog, the Academic Quarterly and the Student Handbook. Questions concerning FERPA should be referred to the Office of the Registrar.


Possible Federal and State Data Collection and Use

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records – including your Social Security Number, grades or other private information – may be accessed without your consent.

First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood edcuation and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution.

Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities.

In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain and share PII from your education records without your consent, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service and migrant student records systems.