FERPA for Students

What are FERPA rights?
Students have three primary rights under FERPA. They have the right to:

- inspect and review their education records;

- have some control over the disclosure of information from their education record;

- seek to amend their education records, under certain circumstances

When do FERPA rights begin?
A student's FERPA rights begin when the student registers and attends his/her first class. NOTE: Students who originally sought admission to one program of study at the college and are denied, but subsequently are admitted and enrolled in a different program of study have FERPA rights only in their admitted/enrolled program of study.

What are education records?
Under FERPA, education records are defined as records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by an education agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. Education records can exist in any medium, including: typed, computer-generated, videotape, audiotape, film, microfilm, microfiche and email, among others.

Withholding the release of information
According to FERPA, a student can request, while still enrolled, that the institution not release directory information about him/her. Institutions must comply with this request. At Clark College, students who wish to restrict the release of directory information about themselves must complete a "Request to Restrict Directory Information" form, available by visiting the Enrollment Services Office in Gaiser Hall 128. The complete form must be submitted in person to the Enrollment Services Office with photo ID.

Students who wish to restrict directory information should realize that THIS ACTION COULD HAVE NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES. The names of students who have restricted their directory information will not appear in the commencement bulletin and other college publications. Also, employers, loan agencies, scholarship committees and others will be denied any directory information and will be told: "We have no information about that person."

Parent's access to a student's records
At the postsecondary level, parents have no inherent rights to access or inspect their children's' education records. This right is limited solely to the student. At Clark College, records may be released to parents only if the student submits to the Enrollment Services Office a signed release form along with photo ID or in compliance with a subpoena.

Crisis situations/Emergencies
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 to be considered or questions to be asked in making a decision to release such information in these situations are: (1) the severity of the threat to the health or safety of those involved; (2) the need for the information; (3) the time required to deal with the emergency; (4) the ability of the parties to whom the information is to be given to deal with the emergency. Contact the Registrar for assistance in making this decision.