The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as FERPA, is federal law that protects the privacy of your education records. The law applies to all schools receiving funds under the U.S. Department of Education.
FERPA grants current and former students the following rights:
- The right to inspect and review your education record
- The right to have control over the disclosure of information from your education record
- The right to seek to amend incorrect education records
- The right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education
Educational records are records directly related to you as a student and maintained by the College. Examples of educational records are, though not limited to, transcripts, course schedule, grade point average, and HCC ID number. Your written consent is required prior to the release of protected information with a few exceptions. To release information, you must submit a signed “Release of Information” (PDF) form in the Records Office (CCB 1600).
To view your education records, you must submit a signed letter to the Records Office (CCB 1600). The College must respond to your request within 45 days.
Exceptions to the written consent requirement
FERPA allows schools to disclose education records, without consent, under the following conditions:
- School officials with legitimate educational interest
- Other schools to which a student is transferring
- Specified officials for audit and evaluation purposes
- Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid
- Accrediting organizations
- Organization conducting approved studies for the college
- Compliance with judicial order or subpoena
- Directory information
FERPA allows schools to release, at their discretion, information that is generally not considered to be harmful or an invasion of privacy without prior consent from students. Heartland Community College identifies the following as directory information:
- Name and address
- Telephone number
- Dates of attendance
- Degree, honors, and certificates received or anticipated
- Major field of study
- HCC email address
- Weight and height of student athlete
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Institutions previously attended
- Photograph of student athlete
- Enrollment status
You may request that Directory Information not be released by submitting the “Prevent Release of Directory Information” form (PDF) to the Records Office (CCB 1600). The request remains in effect until the College receives written authorization to revoke the request.
FERPA and students under the age of 18
FERPA guidelines indicate rights transfer from the parent/guardian to the student once the student enrolls in a college course. Although the rights under FERPA transfer to the student, the College may disclose educational records to the parents, without written consent, if the student is a dependent for tax purposes (tax information must be submitted to the College).
You are encouraged to visit the Records Office (CCB 1600) or email Records@heartland.edu with questions regarding FERPA. Additional information may be obtained at:
- U.S. Department of Education http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html
Issues or complaints should be directed to:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-8520