Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA)
Annual Notification of Rights under FERPA
PCCUA complies with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974. A student has the right to inspect and review all personal records that meet the definition of educational records. No third party has the right to review student records without the student’s consent, with very limited lawful exceptions. Under 20 USC 1232g(d), parents lose their FERPA rights when a child turns 18 or starts attending or taking classes in college or any post-secondary institution, whichever happens first. However, parents of a financially dependent student defined by the IRS may obtain their child's records, but must submit proof of the student's dependency via the most recent tax form prior to receiving the requested information. Please note that a student's spouse is an "unrelated third party" and, therefore, has no rights under FERPA. While there is an exception that allows a college to disclose education information to parents of a financially dependent student in the absence of consent, there is no such exception for a spouse, even if the spouse is supporting the student. Directory information can be provided unless the student requests that it be withheld.
Please note that PCCUA has a certain amount of control regarding the disclosure of information from educational records. The college can disclose educational records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception of school officials needing information for legitimate educational interests. An illustration of a school official needing such information includes an official needing to review an education record to fulfill professional requirements for the college. Examples of people who may have access to educational records is based upon official college duties and information can only be sought and used in the context of their job, include:
- A person employed by a college in an administrative capacity who has been deemed as having a legitimate educational interest in such information
- A participant serving on the Board of Trustees
- A person or third-party company with whom the college has contracted as its agent to provide a service of collection, verification, and dissemination of information such as the National Student Clearinghouse.