FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), also known as the Buckley Amendment, gives specific rights to a post-secondary student:
- to see the education records that the institution is keeping on the student
- to seek amendment of those records
- to have some control over the disclosure of information from his/her records
- to file a complaint with the FERPA Office in Washington, DC, for failure of the college to comply with the law
FERPA applies to educational agencies and institutions that receive funds under programs administered by the Secretary of Education. (Most financial aid is administered by the Secretary of Education.)
For more information on the policies and procedures for confidentiality of student records and student privacy rights, visit The Citadel’s website.
Frequently Asked Questions
Which Citadel officials may have access to education records?
Certain school officials are designated each year as having access to education records, without a student’s consent, including members of the Board of Visitors, the Faculty, and personnel in the Offices of the President, the Provost, the Vice President for Finance and Business Affairs, and the Commandant of Cadets. Also, certain students who assist the above individuals have limited access to education records, including academic officers, certain members of the cadet chain of command, and Honor Committee members. Access of all college officials, however, is limited by the extent of their educational interest in those records.
What must a student’s consent contain?
A student’s consent to disclosure of education records must 1) list the precise records to be disclosed, 2) state the purpose of the disclosure, 3) identify the person(s) to whom the disclosure may be made, and 4) be signed and dated by the student.
What do I do if someone contacts me about an emergency?
If someone needs to contact a student in the case of an emergency, DO NOT give the student’s class schedule to the caller. Take down the caller’s contact information and contact Public Safety. The Public Safety Office will locate the student and provide him/her with the information.
Can student directory information always be released?
NO!!! Before releasing any information about a student, check with the Registrar’s Office to see whether the student has requested that the directory information be withheld. If the student has made such a request, no information can be released. If the student has not requested that information be withheld, directory information may be released. Note that FERPA does not require that directory information be released.
Do parents and spouses have any rights under FERPA?
FERPA provides that parents of students who qualify as dependents, as defined in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) standards, may receive certain information from their student’s records. At The Citadel, parents of dependent students may receive academic information, unless the student has executed a form, available through and maintained by the Registrar, restricting that information. Prior to accessing records, the parent must verify the student’s dependent status. A spouse is not allowed access to a student’s records unless the student in question has granted written permission.
Are there any exceptions to FERPA?
There are certain limited exceptions to FERPA that allow the college to disclose student education records without a student’s consent. These exceptions include disclosure to certain state and federal officials, and release in compliance with a court order or subpoena. Recipients of education records, pursuant to any exceptions, usually may not disclose the information to anyone else. The General Counsel is responsible for evaluating requests pursuant to these exceptions.
What must I do if I receive a subpoena concerning student education records?
Immediately forward the subpoena to the Office of the General Counsel. The Office of the General Counsel will respond to the subpoena on behalf of the college.
Anyone who has questions concerning this policy or The Citadel’s procedures concerning the release of educational information under FERPA or South Carolina State laws and regulations should contact The Citadel’s Privacy Officer. Students who have complaints concerning their privacy rights are also encouraged to visit or contact The Citadel’s Privacy Officer. The Privacy Officer may be reached by e-mail as follows: firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at (843) 953-9502.