The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Notification of Rights under FERPA
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights in connection with educational records maintained at Otterbein University.
These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day Otterbein University receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the records(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the school to amend a record should write the school official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s 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.
- The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The school discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by Otterbein University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of Otterbein University who performs an institutional service of function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist 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 responsibilities for Otterbein University.
The University reserves the right to notify parents or guardians of “dependent” students, regardless of the student’s age or status, of conduct in health and safety emergencies, hospitalization, or where in the University’s judgment the health or well-being of the student, or others, is, or may be at risk.
- Students, parents, and foreign government agencies supporting dependent students have access rights to the educational records maintained about them during their enrollment.
- “Dependent” means being listed as such on the parents’ annual federal income tax statement, or (in the case of foreign students) receiving at least 50 percent or more of their support from parents or foreign government agencies.
- Students who are independent of their parents must file an annual statement by September 30 to this effect on a form available in the Student Affairs office.
- Non-immigrant foreign students have agreed to give the U. S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) access to certain information, as is outlined on the non-immigrant’s form I-20 (page 2) or DS-2019 (page 2). Records pertaining to these students and documents are maintained in the Center for International Education and Global Engagement.
- Certain educational records exempt from this access are as follows:
- Records in the sole possession of a professor, physician, counselor, psychologist or the law enforcement unit of Otterbein University.
- Parental financial statements, and
- Recommendations for which the student has waived rights of access.
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, 99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student –
- To other school officials, including teachers, with Otterbein University whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) – (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (99.31(a)(1))
- To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of 99.34. (99.31(a)(2))
- To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U. S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the University’s State-supported educational programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of 99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (99.31(a)(7))
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (99.31(a)(8))
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (99.31(a)(9))
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to 99.36. (99.31(a)(10))
- Information the school has designated as “directory information” under 99.37. (99.31(a)(11))
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of 99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (99.31(a)(13))
- To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (99.31(a)(15))
- “Directory Information” can be furnished without the students’ permission and is listed below:
- Address – campus and home
- Telephone numbers – campus, home, and/or cell phone
- E-mail address – campus
- Campus SMC number
- Enrollment type
- Date and place of birth
- Field of study
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Dates of attendance at Otterbein University
- Degrees and awards received while attending Otterbein University
- Most recent educational agency or institution attended by students
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- High school of student
- Greek affiliation
- Class rank of student
- SID can be displayed on Student ID Card
Students have the right to file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Otterbein University to comply with the requirements of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U. S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901