Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)


College students' rights of privacy and access regarding their educational records are articulated in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), commonly known as the Buckley Amendment. The Act helps protect the privacy of student records by requiring that institutions limit the disclosure of information from these records to third persons, notify students (or their parents, if dependency has been established) of the right to review the student educational records and the right to seek correction of information contained in the records.

 

The Buckley Amendment deals only with educational records. Its provisions extend protection to students enrolled or formerly enrolled in higher education institutions regardless of whether they are eighteen years old. Except in the case of dependent students, parents have no access to the records of students in post-secondary institutions. Although FERPA provides students the opportunity to challenge the accuracy of their educational records, it does not permit students to challenge grades or other evaluations of academic performance.

 

Institutions must allow individuals to inspect their transcripts and other educational records, but they are not required by FERPA to issue to students certified copies of students' transcripts. Institutions also may withhold copies of the transcripts of students who have defaulted on college loans or who have not met their financial obligations to the institutions. Harmful and improper university disclosure of a student's record may sustain a claim of violation or privacy rights in states whose laws extend the right of privacy to student records. Inquiries regarding this policy and requests for a complete policy statement are to be directed to the office of the College Registrar, Knapp Hall 101 (518-255-5521).

 

SUNY Cobleskill has designated directory information, according to FERPA as Amended, to be the student's: full name, campus or local address, local telephone number, home address, major, department, dates of attendance, date(s) of graduation, degree(s) awarded, awards, full-time/part-time status, and birth date and e-mail address. This information can be released without written prior consent from the student. All other educational records will be released only under compliance with FERPA. Students currently enrolled at this institution may object to the release of certain categories of "directory information" pertaining to them by providing written notification to the Registrar's Office, Knapp Hall 101, within 14 days following the first day of classes each semester.

 

Emergency situations will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

 

As a student you have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by State 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 20202-5920

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