Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Students at Highline College have certain rights regarding their educational records. These rights are part of the federal legislation known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights.
- 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.
- The right to file with the U.S. Department of Education a complaint concerning alleged failures by Highline College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
- The right to obtain a copy of Highline College’s student records policy. You can obtain a copy of the policy from the Registrar’s office.
Highline College has designated the following information as Directory Information:
- name and address
- program of study
- participation in officially recognized activities or sports
- weight and height of members of athletic teams
- dates of attendance
- degrees and awards received
The College may disclose any of those items without prior written consent unless notified in writing to the contrary. Students wishing to withhold the disclosure of any aspects of the “Directory Information” should go to the Registration office. (Building 6, downstairs)
What is the federal law regarding student records?
The “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act” (referred to as FERPA and sometimes called the Buckley Amendment) was passed by Congress in 1974. FERPA and its regulations establish:
- A student’s right to inspect and review educational records that an educational institution is keeping on the student.
- A student’s right to challenge the content of his/her records.
- A student’s right to limit disclosure of his/her records.
- The institution’s obligation to notify students of their rights under FERPA and its regulations.
- Recourse for students and the federal government when an educational institution violates the Act or regulations.
What is an educational record?
Just about any information directly related to a student and maintained by Highline College or by a person acting for the College is considered a student educational record. Any record related directly to a student should be held in confidence.
Examples of educational records include:
- grades / transcripts
- student schedules
- names of students’ advisors
- papers / student thesis / tests
- records of student discipline
- personal information such as social security number, age or birthdate
Educational records are not:
- sole possession records (not accessible or revealed to any other person)
- law enforcement records, as defined in FERPA
- employment records
- medical records
- post-attendance records
The storage media in which you find this information does not matter. A student educational record may be:
- a computer printout in your office
- a class list on your desktop
- a computer display screen
- notes you have taken during an advising session