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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Of 1974 (FERPA) Impact

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Of 1974 (FERPA)

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, commonly known as FERPA, provides students with the right to inspect and review information contained in their educational records, to challenge the contents of their educational records, to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if they feel the decisions of the hearing panels are unacceptable.  Students who want to review their educational records must complete the FERPA Document Request Form and allow 45 days for release.  Students may not inspect records to which they have waived their rights of inspection and review. 

FERPA applies to currently enrolled or formerly enrolled students (regardless of age or parental dependency status). 

Certain information, defined as “Directory Information” may be disclosed by Fairmont State University for any purpose.  The following items are designated as “Directory Information:"

  • Name of student
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Place of birth
  • Date of birth
  • Major
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees and awards obtained
  • Previous school(s) attended
  • Participation in activities and sports
  • Height/weight of members of athletic teams

Students may request that directory information be treated as confidential.  This request must be submitted in writing to Student Services located in Turley Student Services Center.  Fairmont State University is not responsible for Information released prior to the recording of the confidentiality request. 

Within the Fairmont State community, only those members, individually or collectively, acting in the student’s educational interest are allowed access to student education records.  These members include personnel in the offices of Admissions, Recruiting, Records Processing, Registrar, Financial Aid, Business, academic colleges, schools and departments, academic advisors and athletic department. Occasionally, individuals outside of the Fairmont State community may also be identified as school officials, such as parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions.

These school officials have a legitimate educational interest in the student’s education record if the school official requires such information to: fulfill his or her responsibility or duty to the University; perform tasks within the scope of his or her employment or within the scope of a contract with the University; perform a task related to a student’s education; perform a task related to the discipline of a student; provide a service or benefit relating to the student or student’s family, such as health care, counseling, job placement, pastoral counseling, or financial aid; or maintain the safety and security of the campus.

Fairmont State University may disclose academic information to parents of students by having parents establish the student’s dependency as defined by Internal Revenue Code.  Dependency status may be established by the presentation of a certified copy of the parents’ most recent federal income tax form which lists the student as a dependent.

A student may grant a third-party access to his or her records using the Proxy Access Online Portal. Information that is protected from disclosure pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), such as grades, financial aid details, and student account/billing information is maintained in a secure online environment. A student may grant permission to a parent or guest to access this information through this portal.

Due to the protection of students’ rights under FERPA, a student may restrict the information that a parent or guest is able to access and revoke access at any time.