The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 affords students certain privacy rights regarding their educational records. In general, this means that students need to give their permission for the release of non-directory information about their educational record. These rights are extended to all students in attendance at Mid-America Christian University, regardless of age. Individuals are officially considered students on their first day of attendance in class.
These rights include:
The right to be provided a list of the types of educational records which are maintained by the institution and are directly related to students;
The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
A student should submit to the Office of the Registrar, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
If any material or document in the educational record of a student includes information on more than one student, the right to inspect and review only such part of such material or document as relates to the student or to be informed of the specific information contained in such part of such material.
The right to a response from the institution to reasonable requests for explanations and interpretations of those records;
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 University to amend a record should write to the University 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 University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.
The right to an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of those records under subpart III of FERPA;
The hearing shall be conducted and decided within a reasonable period of time following the request for the hearing.
The hearing shall be conducted and the decision rendered by an institutional official or other party who does not have a direct interest in the outcome of the hearing.
The eligible parents or student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised under subpart C, section 99.20 of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974.
The decision shall be rendered in writing within a reasonable period of time after the conclusion of the hearing.
- The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information other than “directory information” from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
- 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:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
Under FERPA, the following pieces of information are considered “directory,” or public, information. The institution may disclose such directory information, for any purpose, at its discretion. Mid-America Christian University hereby designates the following information as public or directory information:
- Student’s Name
- Date and place of birth
- Local and permanent address
- Telephone number
- E-mail addresses
- Date of attendance at Mid-America Christian University
- Anticipated date of graduation
- Part- or full-time enrollment status
- Major(s), Minor(s) and field(s) of study
- Academic classification
- Degrees and awards granted
- Educational institutions previously attended
- Degree(s) held, date granted, and institution(s) granting such degree(s)
- Participation in officially recognized organizations, activities, and sports
- Photographs, including Student ID photographs for classroom use only
All other information regarding a student is considered private and can be released only with the permission of the student. This includes information about courses in which the student is enrolled, grades received, locations of courses, academic standing information, financial aid information, student account information, etc.
Withholding Directory Information
Students do have the right under FERPA to prevent the release of directory information. If students have exercised their right not to have directory information released, the University may not release it, even to parents, without the student’s permission. A student may elect to withhold directory information by submitting a Directory Information Hold form to the Office of Registrar.
The Directory Information Hold will block the release of all directory information; prevent the release of attendance, withdrawal or graduation information, even after the student leaves the University (unless the student submits a written authorization to release it); and prevent the University from releasing contact information.
For students who withhold directory information, University officials are prohibited from releasing any form of information without a written release from the student. The University requires this release before it will verify employment, enrollment or the status of students who make applications for employment, auto loans, good student discounts, apartment leases, etc.
Student Release of Education Information to a Third Party
Students may authorize the release of their confidential education record to a third party on either a one-time or an on-going basis. The Authorization for Release of Confidential Information form can be obtained by contacting the Office of the Registrar. This form must be signed in the presence of an Office of the Registrar Staff or officially notarized by a notary. Authorizations for release of information on an on-going basis will remain valid until revoked in writing by the student at any time.