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FERPA Information

FERPA Information for Reports

FERPA or the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (1974) imposes on any school, college or university that receives federal funds, restrictions over the release of student records. Since this includes Arkansas State University, the university has adopted rules that comply with FERPA.

FERPA protects a student's educational record, regardless of how the record is maintained and who maintains it. An education record consists of paper as well as electronic data. Besides grades, it typically includes test scores, comments, evaluations and similar assessments about a student, maintained by an instructor, counselor or any other school official.

FERPA prohibits any person connected with the institution, including administrators and faculty from improperly disclosing student information. At institutions of higher education, students may authorize the release of their educational records, but only the student has the exclusive right to decide whether or not to authorize the release. There are some circumstances where educational records may be released without the student's permission. For instance, records may be disclosed to other school officials, including teachers, within the institutions, whom the institution has determined to have legitimate educational interests.

The U.S. Department of Education is responsible for enforcing FERPA and has created a detailed complaint procedure for those who feel an institution has violated their FERPA rights. It is important then for anyone with access to students' educational records, to use care when sharing such records. To ensure that student records are not accessible to other students or unauthorized individuals, instructors and other school officials should exercise caution in the way student records are maintained.

ASU System Policy

Effective Date: July 1, 2010

Subject: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

  1. Purpose
    Arkansas State University will comply with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).
  2. Definitions

    Arkansas State University.
    Arkansas State University (ASU) means all the campuses within the Arkansas State University System, now and in the future.

    Student means an individual who attends or has attended classes at ASU. This policy does not apply to the records of applicants for admission who are not accepted to ASU nor does it apply to applicants who are accepted but choose not to attend ASU.

    Education Record.
    Education records are those records, files, documents, and other materials which contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by ASU or a person acting for ASU.

    Directory Information.
    Directory Information is designated to be the student’s name; local and permanent physical addresses; electronic mail addresses; telephone listings; photographs and electronic images; date and place of birth; major field of study; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; weight and height of members of athletic teams; dates of attendance; degrees and awards received; and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.
  3. Arkansas State University Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Policy
    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act requires that institutions of higher education strictly protect the privacy rights of all students who are or who have been in attendance. Information contained in the student’s education records can be shared only with those persons or entities specified within the Act. The law also provides that students have the right to review their education records for the purpose of making any necessary corrections. The Office of the Registrar maintains a copy of the full text of FERPA, posts electronic information on FERPA, and processes all FERPA requests and challenges. Arkansas State University will utilize the following process to implement the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.
  4. Process

    A. Disclosure of Education Records

    I. Disclosure With Student Consent.
    A student may consent in writing to disclosure of education records. The student’s written consent must be signed, dated, and specify which records are to be disclosed, to whom, and for what purpose. The consent must be delivered to the office of the Registrar. The student may retract the consent in writing at any time. Proper proof of identity may be required by the Registrar’s office before consent is retracted.

    II. Disclosure Without Student Consent.
    ASU may disclose education records without the student’s written consent to any school official within the institution with a legitimate educational interest. School officials include administrators, supervisors, faculty members, instructors, support staff, members of the Board of Trustees, persons with whom ASU has contracted for special tasks (e.g. National Student Clearinghouse), and university committee members. 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 responsibility. School officials of ASU are considered to be within the institution for the purposes of FERPA and may exchange education records without student consent so long as they have a legitimate educational interest.

    Disclosure without student consent may also be made to other persons and entities as allowed by FERPA.

    Faculty sponsors of registered honor societies may have access to student education records for the sole purpose of determining eligibility for membership on the basis that they are acting in an official university capacity that is integral to the educational function of ASU.

    The parents of students may exercise rights under FERPA if the student is claimed as a dependent by the parents for income tax purposes. Dependency must be proven by submission of a copy of income tax returns.

    B. Disclosure of Directory Information
    Directory information may be disclosed to any person or entity without student consent unless the student submits a completed request for non-disclosure of directory information form to the Office of the Registrar. If a student elects not to allow disclosure of directory information, ASU cannot share information regarding the student with any person or entity including prospective employers, licensing agencies, government agencies, the media, and others. The student may retract the directory information non-disclosure in writing at any time. Proper proof of identity may be required by the Registrar’s office before the directory information non-disclosure is retracted.

    C. Inspection, Review, and Correction of Education Records
    Students have the right to inspect and review their education records except for specific exclusions contained within the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. A student should contact the Office of the Registrar to arrange for inspection, review, and correction of an education record. The Registrar may charge a fee for copies of any education records.

    D. Ownership of Education Records
    Education records are the property of ASU. Education records, including transcripts and diplomas, will not be released to any student who has a delinquent financial obligation to the University.

    (Adopted by the Arkansas State University Board of Trustees on December 11, 2009, Resolution 09-94.)