Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The University of Rochester complies fully with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), 20 U.S.C. 1232g. Under FERPA students have, with certain limited exceptions, the right to inspect and review their educational records and to request the amendment of their records to ensure that they are not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy or other rights. Requests to inspect or review records should be addressed to the registrar, or to the appropriate administrator responsible for the record and will be honored within 45 days. Any student questioning the accuracy of any record may state his or her objection in writing to the University administrator responsible for the record, who will notify the student of his or her decision within 45 days of receiving the objection. A student dissatisfied with the administrator’s decision may request a hearing pursuant to federal regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 99. Students concerned with the University’s compliance with FERPA have the right to file complaints with the U.S. Department of Education’s Family Compliance Office.

FERPA further requires, again with certain limited exceptions, that the student’s consent must be obtained before disclosing any personally identifiable information in the student’s education records. One such exception is disclosure to parents of dependent students. Another exception is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests, on a “need-to-know” basis, as determined by the administrator responsible for the file. A “school official” includes anyone employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); any person or company acting on behalf of the University (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); any member of the Board of Trustees or other governance/advisory body; and any student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. 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. Other exceptions are described in the FERPA statute at 20 U.S.C. 1232g and regulations at 34 C.F.R. Part 99.

The University considers the following to be directory information: name, campus address, e-mail address, home address, telephone number, date and place of birth, academic fields of study, current enrollment (full or part time), dates of attendance, photographs, participation in recognized activities and sports, degrees and awards, weight and height of athletic team members, previous educational agencies or institutions attended, and other similar information. The University may publicize or respond to requests for such information at its discretion. However, the use of the records for commercial or political purposes is prohibited unless approved by the appropriate dean.

Currently enrolled students may request that directory information be withheld from disclosure by making a request, in writing, to the appropriate registrar. All requests made on or before September 30 will make it possible to have directory information omitted from printed directories. Requests made after this date should still be forwarded since they will prevent directory information from being released in the future. The University assumes that failure on the part of the student to specifically request the withholding of any directory information indicates approval of disclosure.