FERPA - Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) - Overview
FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. FERPA, also known as the Buckley Amendment, gives students to right to inspect and review their education records to ensure the accuracy of their contents.
Under federal law, colleges are not allowed to release any information to parents or others about a student’s educational record or disciplinary proceedings without the written consent of the student.
Marymount Manhattan College is committed to the confidentiality and protection of student education records by adhering to the FERPA guidelines.
FERPA requires that the College provide notification annually to students of their rights under FERPA. Marymount Manhattan College will inform students of these guidelines and of their rights under FERPA and the Department of Education’s FERPA regulations. The annual notification includes the rights outlined below:
Student Rights Under FERPA
FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review your education records.
- The right to request the amendment of education records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of a student’s privacy or other rights.
- The right to consent or to refuse to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in your educational records, except to the extent that FERPA and regulations issued pursuant to it, authorize disclosures without consent.
- The right to file with the US Department of Education a complaint concerning alleged failures by Marymount Manhattan College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
Educational records are all records that contain information directly related to a student especially personal identifiable information. Education Records are maintained by the college, or by a party acting on its behalf. Education records include information stored by any media such as handwritten notes/documents, print, computer printout, photograph, magnetic tape, film, microfilm, microfiche, diskette, computer display screen, and digital images
There are two types of educational records as defined under FERPA; Directory Information and Non-Directory / Personally Identifiable Information.
Directory information – FERPA defines “directory information” as information contained in the education records of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. An institution may identify certain student information as directory information, which may be released to third-parties without a student’s consent. Marymount Manhattan College directory information includes the following:
Personal data which includes: Student’s name, Permanent Address, Telephone number, MMC e-mail address, Place of Birth,
Enrollment data which includes: Academic Program – Degree Program, major, expected graduation date, Academic Level (e.g.Senior, Junior), Current Enrollment Status (e.g. full-time, part-time, withdrawn), Dates of Attendance, Anticipated Date of Graduation, Graduation Date, Degrees and Awards received, Previous Education including all past schools and/or institutions attended
Participation data which includes: the student’s participation in officially recognized activities and sports
The student has the right to restrict disclosure/release of directory information to third-parties by submitting a formal request to the school to limit disclosure.
Non-directory/Personally Identifiable Information
Non-directory or personally identifiable information is any educational record not considered directory information.
Non-directory/personally identifiable information cannot be released to another party, without the prior written consent of the student. Further, faculty and staff can access non-directory information only if they have a legitimate academic need to do so. Non-directory information may include:
- Social security number
- Student identification number
- Race, ethnicity, and/or nationality
Exception - when prior consent is not required - The institution may release records without student’s consent under the following circumstances:
- Administrators, faculty, staff members, or third party acting on behalf of Marymount Manhattan College who may need review education records to perform their legitimate educational and business duties such as:
- Performing a task that is specified in his/her position description or contract.
- Performing a task related to a student’s education or to student discipline.
- Providing a service or benefit related to the student or student’s family.
- Maintaining safety and security on campus.
- In compliance to a subpoena or judicial order, provided that the college attempts to notify the student of the order or subpoena. If, in the case the college receives a Federal grand jury subpoena or other lawfully issued subpoena that specifically orders that such notification not be made, compliance to release records will not require student’s consent.
- In compliance to a court order issued in connection with the investigation or prosecution of terrorism / The USA Patriot Act permits educational agencies and institutions to disclose - without the consent or knowledge of the student or parent- personally identifiable information from the student’s education records to the Attorney General of the United States or to his designee in response to an ex parte order in connection with the investigation or prosecution of terrorism crimes.
- If records are requested by the following organizations:
- Parent or guardian may obtain non-directory information at the discretion of the college if the student is a dependent per federal tax law/ Internal Revenue Code of 1954, Section 152.
- to accrediting, testing, and similar organizations;
- to certain federal, state, and local officials and authorities, in connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or received, under the conditions set forth in the FERPA Regulations
- In connection with a health or safety emergency - If the college determines there is “articulable and significant threat” to the health and safety of the student or others, information from education records can be released “to any person whose knowledge of the situation is necessary to protect” the health and safety of the student or other individuals.
- An alleged victim of violent crime may be told the results of any disciplinary proceedings arising out of the commission of that crime.
- Another institution requests such records for a student who is planning to enroll, is already enrolled, or receiving service from, that institution while he or she is attending MMC, provided that the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer
- Parent(s) may be notified if a student under 21 years of age is found responsible for a violation involving use or possession of alcohol and drugs.
- Military recruiters requesting student recruiting information/data upon request (Solomon Amendment - 1997) “Student Recruiting Info.” includes: student’s name, address, telephone number, age, date of birth, place of birth, class, major, degrees, most recent educational institution attended* Students who have opted out or have chosen not to have directory information disclosed are excluded.
What are not education records?
- Sole possession records or records kept in the sole possession of the maker, such as privacy notes. Sole possession records are used only as a personal memory aid and are not accessible or reviewed by any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record.
- Medical or psychological treatment records that include those maintained by physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional and disclosed only to individuals providing treatment.
- Employment records, provided that employment is not contingent upon being a student
- Law enforcement records or campus security records that are solely for law enforcement purposes and maintained solely by the law enforcement unit
- Alumni records that have been collected about an individual after that person is no longer a student at MMC.
- Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in records after January 1, 1975, may not be released if the student has waived access to such letters and recommendations and if such letters and recommendations relate to the student’s admission to an educational institution ), application for employment, or receipt of an honor or honorary recognition
- Financial information submitted by parents.
- Confidential letters and recommendations placed in their files prior to January 1, 1975.
- The right to inspect and review education records – Upon written request to the Registrar, Marymount Manhattan College’s, custodian of academic records, the college must grant access to the student’s education records within 45 days from the day the college receives the request. When a record contains information about more than one student, the student may inspect and review only the records that relate to him/her.
- Limitation on Right of Access: Marymount Manhattan College reserves the right to refuse to permit a student to inspect the following records:
- The financial statement of the student’s parents.
- Letters and statements of recommendation for which the student has waived his/her right of access, or which were maintained before January 1, 1975.
- Records connected with an application to attend the College or a component unit of the College if that application was denied.
- Those records which are excluded from the FERPA definition of educational records.
- Marymount Manhattan College reserves the right to deny copies of records, including transcripts, not required to be made available by FERPA in any of the following situations:
a. The student lives within commuting distance of the College.
b. The student has an unpaid financial obligation to the College.
c. There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student.
d. The education record requested is an exam or set of standardized test questions. (An exam or standardized test that is not directly related to a student is not an education record subject to FERPA’s access provisions.)
- The right to request an amendment to the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights. A student must ask the appropriate college official to amend or delete a record. In so doing, the student should identify the part of the record to be amended and specify why the student believes it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his/her privacy rights.
The College may comply with the request or it may decide not to comply. If it decides not to comply, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his/her right to a hearing to challenge the information believed to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s privacy rights.
Upon request, the College will arrange for a hearing and notify the student reasonably in advance, of the date, place, and time of the hearing. The hearing will be conducted by a hearing officer who is a disinterested party; however, the hearing officer may be an official of the College. The student shall be afforded a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised in the original request to amend the student’s education records. The student may be assisted by one or more individuals, including an attorney.
The College will prepare a written decision based solely on the evidence presented in the hearing. The decision will include a summary of the evidence presented and the reason for the decision. If the College decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s privacy rights, it will amend the record and notify the student, in writing, that the record has been amended. If the College decides that the challenged information is not inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of the student’s rights of privacy, it will notify the student that she/he has the right to place in the record a statement commenting on the challenged information and/or a statement setting forth reasons for disagreeing with the decision.
The statement will be maintained as part of the student’s education record as long as the contested portion is maintained. If the College discloses the contested portion of the record, it must also disclose the statement.
- The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records. With exception to the parties below, requests for non-directory information or personally identifiable information will not be disclosed to a third party, unless a student consents by filing a Student Consent to Release of Personal Identifiable Information form with the Office of the Registrar.
- Students have 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, D.C. 20202-8520
For additional information on FERPA, go to U.S. Department of Education.
Campus Security Act - to alleged victims of any crime of violence (murder, robbery, aggravated assault, rape, burglary, motor vehicle theft) the results of the conduct proceedings conducted by the institution against an alleged perpetrator with respect to such crime. The Campus Security Act also requires that both accused and the accuser be informed of campus conduct proceedings involving a sexual assault.
Directory Information - FERPA defines “directory information” as information contained in the education records of a student that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Typically, “directory information” includes information such as name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and dates of attendance. A school may disclose “directory information” to third parties without consent if it has given public notice of the types of information which it has designated as “directory information,” the parent’s or eligible student’s right to restrict the disclosure of such information, and the period of time within which a parent or eligible student has to notify the school in writing that he or she does not want any or all of those types of information designated as “directory information.”
Education Records - Those records directly related to a student and maintained by the institution or by a party acting for the institution are considered education records. The term “education records” does not include the following:
- Records of instructional, supervisory, administrative, and certain educational personnel which are in the sole possession of the maker thereof, and are not accessible or revealed to any other individual except a substitute who performs on a temporary basis (as defined in the institutional personnel policy) the duties of the individual who made the records.
- Records maintained by a law enforcement unit of the educational agency or institution that were created by that law enforcement unit for the purpose of law enforcement.
- Records relating to individuals who are employed by the institution, which are made and maintained in the normal course of business, relate exclusively to individuals in their capacity as employees, and are not available for use for any other purpose.
- Records created or received after an individual is no longer a student: ex-alumni records or activities.
- Records relating to a student which are:
- Created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional, acting in his/her professional capacity or assisting in a paraprofessional capacity.
- Used solely in connection with the provision of treatment to the student.
- Not disclosed to anyone other than individuals providing such treatment
Legitimate Educational Interest - the demonstrated need to know by those officials of an institution who act in the student’s educational interest, including faculty, administration, student employees, clerical and professional employees, and other persons who manage student records information. Any school official who needs information about a student in the course of performing instructional, supervisory, advisory, or administrative duties for Marymount Manhattan College.
Student – An eligible “student” is defined as person who reaches 18 years of age or who has been in attendance at a postsecondary institution. A person who has applied to and been admitted by the College, but who has not yet begun to attend classes, are not eligible to review their records.
USA PATRIOT Act amends FERPA by permitting institutions to disclose, without the knowledge or consent of the student, personally identifiable information from the student’s education records to the Attorney General of the United States or his designee in response to an ex parte order (one filed without notice to the student) in connection with the investigation or prosecution of terrorism crimes. Also, the school is not required to record such disclosures.
FAQs for Students
According to the law, a person becomes a student for purposes of FERPA when they are “in attendance” at an institution. This includes attendance in person or remotely by video conference, satellite, Internet, or other electronic and telecommunications technologies.
According to MMC policy, FERPA becomes effective on the first day of classes for those newly admitted students who have scheduled at least one course.
Marymount Manhattan College must annually notify students in attendance of their rights FERPA, including:
- Right to inspect and review your education records
- Right to amend an incorrect record under certain circumstances
- Right to consent to disclosure (with exceptions) of information from your education record
- Right to file a complaint with US Department of Education
Education records are records, files, documents, and other materials that contain information directly related to a student and that are maintained by the College. A student has the right of access to these records. Education records include any records in whatever medium (handwritten, print, magnetic tape, film, diskette, etc.) in the possession of any school official.
- A person employed by Marymount Manhattan College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel, health staff and volunteers)
- A person or company with whom the College has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using MMC employees or officials (including attorneys and auditors)
- A person serving on the Board of Trustees
- 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.
When a student begins attending a postsecondary institution regardless of age, FERPA rights transfer to the student. Hence, parents have no inherent rights to access or inspect their son or daughter’s education records, unless the student is a dependent as defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 or parents have obtained a consent from their child to release some or all of their education record information
Can I grant my parent/guardian/other party access to my student records?
Students may grant access to parent/guardian/other party by going on MMC Connect. Under “Academic Profile” a student can add a parent/guardian/other and grant rights. Once the student grants the parent(s)/guardian access, the grantee will be emailed, within 72 hours, a login id and password, provided a valid email has been given. Once the login id and password are received, parent/guardian/other will be able to log onto our Parent Connect system and view the accessible records (bill, grades, class schedule, etc). The level of access is determined by the student. Students can change the level of access or revoke access at any time. Parent Connect is a College’s intranet system.
You can download the Restrict Directory Information form. Fill out the form and submit it to the Center for Student Services, Lower Level, Nugent Building in person. You may also fax the form to 212-517-0491 or email a scanned copy of your form to email@example.com.
You need to download the . Fill out the form and submit it to the Center for Student Services, Lower Level, Nugent Building in person. You may also fax the form to 212-517-0491 or email a scanned copy of your form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a website that gives me more information about FERPA?
You can access FERPA information from the US Department of Education (Family Compliance Office)
Who do I contact if I think my record is inaccurate?
Center for Student Services
Lower Level Nugent Building – Room 502
Financial Aid records
Center for Student Services
Lower Level Nugent Building – Room 502
Director of Financial Aid
Center for Student Services
Lower Level Nugent Building – Room 502
Director of Student Accounts
Academic integrity records
Office of Academic Affairs
8th Floor, Main Building
Assistant VP of Academic Affairs
Student Disciplinary records
Office of Student Affairs
8th Floor, Main Building
Vice President for Student Affairs/Dean of Students
International student records
Office of International Services
1st Floor, Main Building
Director, International Student Service Coordinator
FAQs for Parents/Guardians
Parental Access to Student’s Educational Record
At the post-secondary level, according to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and college policy, no inherent rights are given to parents to inspect a student’s education records, unless the parent/guardian can submit evidence that the child/ward is declared a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax return. According to FERPA,your rights to inquire, access, or view your child’s education records end When a student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending a postsecondary institution at any age, FERPA rights transfer from the parent to the student
Records may be released to the parents only under the following circumstances: In compliance with a subpoena, By submission of evidence that the parents declare the student as a dependent on their most recent Federal Income Tax form (IRS Code of 1954, Section 152). In the case of a dependent student, information may be exchanged without the written consent of the student for the sole purpose of completing a student’s financial aid application or the payment of tuition and fees. Through the written consent of the student via Parent Connect. At Marymount Manhattan College, you can obtain access to your child’s education records and be in compliance with FERPA. Parent Connect is online access to view the same information our students have access to view via the internet. Our students can choose who has access to view their information along with the level of access granted. These different access levels include academic information (grades, class schedule, student profile), financial information (account, financial aid, payment info), or both academic/financial information. For more detailed information on Parent Connect and how to gain access, please click on the following link.
Do I have a right to access my child’s records?
When a student begins attending a postsecondary institution, FERPA rights no longer automatically extend to the parents. This is the case regardless of the student’s age. Your child may grant you access to his/her records adding your name through our Parent Connect module. See Parent Connect information link.
Exception - If the student is declared financially dependent as set forth in the Internal Revenue Code, you may have access to your child’s records.
I am paying for my child’s tuition. Can I see my student’s account and invoice?
No, student account and invoice information is confidential information and part of student’s education records which is protected under FERPA. Your child can grant you access to his/her financial information by adding your name to the Parent Connect module. See Parent Connect Information.
How can I get a copy of my son or daughter’s grades?
The quickest, easiest way for parents to receive information about their child’s grades, financial statement, or other student information is for the student to provide it. Students can look up information on MMC Connect. For grade information, the student can click on “Grades” or “Academic History” under Academic Profile to view grades online, and print a copy to their parents.
Another way to get a copy of your son’s or daughter’s grades is to access the information on Parent Connect. In order for you to have access, your son or daughter needs to grant you access by going on MMC Connect.
Can you send me a letter certifying that my child is enrolled as a full-time student at your institution?
Yes. Since current enrollment status is considered directory information the college can release enrollment verification to parents, unless the student has specifically requested to restrict the release of his/her directory information. You need to complete the and return the form to the Center for Student Services at 212-517-0491 (fax) or email@example.com.
Can I request to receive progress reports?
No. Progress in a course, deficiencies in a subject area, final grades, grades on exams, and other information about academic progress are examples of the confidential information that makes up part of a student’s education record. This information is protected under FERPA and parents do not have access to it unless the student has provided consent to the release of this information.
My child gave me access to his/her records. Can you email a copy of his/her transcript?
MMC does not release private information over the phone or by email. You child needs to request a transcript by filing a Transcript Request form. Your son or daughter can provide the mailing address. We will mail out the transcript within 3 – 5 working days provided your child does not have any financial holds on his/her account.
If your child authorized the college to grant you access to his/her academic records, you can view your child’s grades on Parent Connect and print out a copy.
Does Marymount Manhattan College notify parents if a student is put on academic probation or is subject to academic dismissal?
No. Information about grades and academic standing is sent directly to students. However, a letter of probation or dismissal to a student may direct the student to a FERPA release form and request that he or she complete it to allow the appropriate University representative to speak with a parent. Under some circumstances, a parent will be notified of a change in a student’s enrollment status, but in such event, no explanation will be provided.
I have a family emergency and am calling to find out where my child is at this moment. Can you tell me where he/she is?
No, a student’s class schedule is not directory information. If your child gave you access to his/her academic records, you should be able to view your child’s class schedule through Parent Connect.
In a case of a crisis or emergency situation, Marymount Manhattan College may contact Campus Security, 212-517-0411 in an effort to contact the student for you.
If non-directory information is needed to resolve a crisis or emergency situation, an education institution may release that information if the institution determines that the information is “necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.” Factors considered in making this assessment are: the severity of the threat to the health or safety of those involved; the need for the information; the time required to deal with the emergency; and the ability of the parties to whom the information is to be given to deal with the emergency
Annual Notification of Student Rights
TO: Marymount Manhattan College Students
FROM: Center for Student Services/Office of the Registrar
SUBJECT: Annual Notification of Student Privacy Rights under FERPA
Dear MMC Student:
MMC is committed to maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of your education records. We want to take this opportunity to give you a brief summary of your rights with respect to your education records under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. This federal law governs the release of and access to student education records. These rights include:
1. The right to inspect and review your education records within 45 days after the college receives a request for access. If you want to review your records, you may contact the Office of the Registrar or college official that maintains the record in writing to make appropriate arrangements.
2. The right to request an amendment of your education record if you believe it is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of your privacy rights under FERPA. If you feel there is an error in your record, you should submit a written request to the institution’s office maintaining that record, clearly identifying the part of the record you want changed, and specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading. The college official will notify you of their decision and advise you regarding appropriate steps if you do not agree with the decision.
Note: This does not apply to disputes about grades assigned by faculty.
3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Below are circumstances in which your consent is not required:
- To MMC officials with “legitimate educational interests”. – An MMC official is a person employed by Marymount Manhattan College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel, health staff and volunteers) who has a “need to know” about information from your education record in order to fulfill his or her official responsibilities at the MMC.
- A third party or organization whom MMC has contracted as its agent to performing a business function or service on behalf of the institution (i.e. National Student Loan Clearinghouse, collection agent, auditors)
- A person serving on the Board of Trustees
- A student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
- Information may be released to a parent or guardian if the student is declared financially dependent upon the parent or guardian as set forth in the Internal Revenue Code.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the 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 20202-5901
Marymount Manhattan College may release directory/public information without a student’s consent. Marymount Manhattan College has identified the following as directory information: student’s name, home address, telephone/cell number, MMC e-mail, academic program, degree, majors, minors, concentration, anticipated date of graduation, academic level (classification), current enrollment status (full, half, part-time, etc.), dates of attendance, degree received, previous attended institutions attended , and participation in college recognized activities and sports.
You may request to restrict the disclosure of directory information by filing “Request to Restrict Directory Information” form. Written authorization to withhold directory information must be made each academic year and must be submitted within five days of the start of the fall semester in order to ensure non-disclosure of directory information.
Students may authorize the release of information from their education records to their parents by accessing MMC Connect. Under “Academic Profile”, students can click on “Add/Update Parent/Guardian/Other” or “Grant Rights to Parents/Guardian”. The parent/guardian or other designated individual will be given his/her own login id and password. Access to academic and/or financial information is available online via MMC’s intranet system, Parent Connect.
For more specific details about FERPA, you may view Marymount Manhattan FERPA policy or on the U.S. Department of Education’s Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO) website.
If you have questions regarding FERPA, you may contact the Office of the Registrar via email firstname.lastname@example.org or the Center for Student Services at 212-517-0500.