Confidentiality of Student Records

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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended [commonly called FERPA or the Buckley Amendment] is designed to protect the privacy of educational records, to establish the rights of students to inspect and review their records, and to provide a means of correcting inaccurate or misleading data. “Educational records” include any records in the possession of an employee which are shared with or accessible to another individual. Certain “student records” are not included among educational records under the Buckley Amendment. Among these student records are records held by educational personnel (such as faculty) that are not accessible to or revealed to any other person. Cottey College makes every effort to comply fully with this legislation.

FERPA regulations make clear that, in the case of students who are dependents of their parents for Internal Revenue Service purposes, information from the educational records of the student may be disclosed to the parents without the student’s prior consent. It is the policy of Cottey College to notify both the student and her parent(s) or legal guardian in writing of certain academic warnings from the Office of Academic Affairs, grade reports, probationary status, and dismissal. Any student who is not a dependent of her parent(s), as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, must notify the registrar of the College in writing, with supporting evidence satisfactory to the College, by October 1, of each academic year. In the absence of such notice and supporting evidence, the College will assume that a student is a dependent of her parent(s). If the dependency status changes after October 1, the student shall notify the registrar in writing.

In communications with parents concerning campus life and academic matters other than those listed in the preceding paragraph, it is normally college policy to respect the privacy of the student and not to disclose information from student records without the prior consent of the student. At the student’s request, such information will be provided to parents and guardians.

Certain information is considered public and is released by the College at its discretion. A student must formally request that the registrar withhold disclosure of “directory” information, except to College officials with legitimate educational interests and certain others as specified in the regulations. Directory information includes:

  • student’s full name
  • campus address
  • permanent address
  • date and place of birth
  • assigned student e-mail address
  • campus phone listing
  • permanent phone listing
  • dates of attendance
  • enrollment status
  • expected date of completion of degree requirements and graduation
  • degrees and awards received
  • classification
  • previous educational institution attended
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • photographic, video or electronic images
  • class roster (only released to students in the class)

Transcripts of academic records and statements of academic status are released to third parties only with written authorization from the student. A student has the right of access to her academic records. A student has the right to challenge and request the correction of any contents of her educational records that are considered to be inaccurate, misleading or in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights. Such a challenge should be directed to the registrar.