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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA)

This act governs the release of and access to education records maintained by Ohio University. This website is designed to help you better understand FERPA and the rights of students and parents with respect to students’ education records.

FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy 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 of nondisclosure of designated directory/public information.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Ohio University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Complete details of the above rights are available in the Annual Notification of Student Rights.

FAQ

What are education records?

What is directory information?
May parents access their son’s/ daughter’s education records without written consent?
As a parent, how can I find out about my student’s grades and/or academic probation status?
As a parent, I had easy access to my child’s school records before. Why don’t I have the same access to records kept by Ohio University?
What if students violate Ohio University policy or other state/federal laws? Will the students’ parent(s) be notified?
What if I want to file a complaint?

What are education records?
An education record is any record, in any form or medium that is directly related to a student by way of personally identifiable information and is maintained by Ohio University or an agent acting on behalf of Ohio University.

Some types of information are not considered education records and are not protected by FERPA (although the information may be protected by other state and/or federal laws). These types of information not protected by FERPA include:

  • Ohio University Police Department records,
  • Employment records, except for those whose employment at Ohio University is tied to their status as a student,
  • Notes made by and remaining in the sole possession of the maker,
  • Ohio University medical and psychological records used only in connection with the provision of treatment of the student,
  • Ohio University alumni records.

What is directory information?
FERPA requires institutions to define what it considers to be directory information and permits release of that information to third parties without consent from the student. Ohio University defines directory information as the following:

  • Name, addresses, telephone number, email address
  • Major academic program(s), dates of enrollment and current enrollment status, degrees and awards, standing and degree level, primary advisor, expected graduation date, current college and campus,
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports with weight and height of athletic team members,
  • Previous institution(s) attended, a.k.a. name(s), residency and admission status, record hold(s), and deceased status.

Note: Ohio University will never release to third parties the following information without the student’s written consent: Social Security or student personal identification (PID) numbers, race, gender, grades, schedule, grade point average, citizenship, or religious preference.

Students who do not want their directory/public information released to third parties or students who do not want to be listed in the Ohio University online directory must complete the Ohio University Confidentiality Status Request form.

Note: Students should be aware that submitting the Confidentiality Status Request form may result in undesirable repercussions such as denied enrollment and degree verification to persons, agencies, and institutions requesting this information for employment, insurance discounts, school transfer, or related purposes. The non-disclosure order is permanent and must be removed by submitting a Request to End Confidentiality Status form before graduation if the student wants to be listed in the graduation commencement program.

May parents access their son’s/daughter’s education records without written consent?
Students may give their parent(s) or guardian(s) permission to access their records or grades by providing a signed and dated request to the department at Ohio University that maintains that particular record.

A parent or guardian may request access to his/her student’s records and grades without student consent if he or she claims the student as a dependent according to the IRS tax code. This requires submission of the Certificate of Dependency Form.

As a parent, how can I find out about my student’s grades and/or academic probation status?
Information about grades and academic standing is given directly to students. Most parents find out this information by asking their students. Doing so fosters trust and a sense of mutual respect and responsibility.

As a parent, I had easy access to my child’s school records before. Why don’t I have the same access to records kept by Ohio University?
Under FERPA, once a student has turned 18 or is attending any post-secondary educational institution, the access rights that parents and legal guardians had in the elementary and secondary school setting change.

What if students violate Ohio University policy or other state/federal laws? Will the students’ parent(s) be notified?
As permitted by FERPA, when first-year students who are under the age of 21 are found responsible either for a Code B or a Code A alcohol or other drug offense of the Student Code of Conduct, the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility will routinely notify students’ parents/guardians in writing. Written notification will detail the fact that the student has been found responsible for an alcohol or other drug offense and provide the specific disposition of the case. The notice will not include specific details of the offense(s) for which the student is found responsible, or the circumstances surrounding the offense(s). Parents/guardians interested in specific information concerning the outcome of their student’s judicial case are encouraged to discuss the case with their student. If questions remain, parents/guardians are encouraged to contact the Office of Community Standards and Student Responsibility. Please visit www.ohio.edu/communitystandards for more details.

What if I want to file a complaint?
Students who believe Ohio University has failed to comply with FERPA requirements have the right to file a complaint with the Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education.

See the Ohio University Student Records policy 12.020 for additional information.

Yvonne Nice revised this page on February 25, 2014.
Please email comments or suggestions to registrar@ohio.edu

Office of the University Registrar
Chubb Hall
Phone: 740.593.4191
Fax: 740.593.0216
e-mail:
registrar@ohio.edu

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