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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Privacy of Student Records - The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law that protects the privacy of student educational records. It applies to all schools receiving funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

FERPA requires that Gloucester County College provides enrolled students with information regarding their rights under this law. Compliance with the requirements of FERPA regarding access to and release of records is restricted to the professional staff members of the College who have legitimate need to know their contents. The Division of Student Services will establish procedures for both staff members and students to review records. The College and its staff will remain in full compliance with all FERPA regulations and amendments. 

Confidentiality of Student Records

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College 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 record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The College 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 College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

2. 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 College to amend a record should write the College 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 College decides not to amend the record as requested, the College 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.

3. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

The College 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 the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using College employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting 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 the College.

Upon request, the College also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College 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

Financial Aid FERPA release form:

By completing and signing the FERPA Release Form, you are giving the Office of Financial Aid the right to discuss your financial aid with the person(s) listed.  Examples of information that could be discussed are awards, application data, disbursements, eligibility, and satisfactory academic progress status.  This form does not allow the Office of Financial Aid to discuss grades, course work, or attendance with the individuals listed.

Students may pick a financial aid FERPA release form up at the Office of Financial aid.

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