The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.
Essentially, FERPA states that:
Students at postsecondary institutions must be permitted to inspect and review their education records.
School officials may not disclose personally identifiable information from a student’s education record, without written permission, unless such a disclosure is permitted by one of the FERPA signed-consent exceptions.
Institutions are responsible for ensuring that all of its school officials comply with FERPA.
Who is considered a “student” at CWI?
All enrolled students at College of Western Idaho (CWI) in any program are protected under FERPA. Rights begin when a student registers for any class, regardless of age.
What FERPA rights are given to students?
Students have the right to:
Inspect and review their educational records maintained by the school.
Request that a school correct records which they believe to be inaccurate or misleading.
Limit disclosure of their records. We must have written permission from the eligible student in order to release any information from the student’s educational record that is not directory information (personally identifiable information).
File complaints under FERPA with the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the Act.
What are education records under FERPA?
Education records are defined as records that are:
Directly related to a student
Maintained by CWI or by a party acting on the behalf of the College.
Records that are NOT education records include:
Sole possession records
Law enforcement unit records
Employment records (with the exception of work study)
Post attendance records
What is Directory Information at College of Western Idaho?
“Directory Information” is information that, if disclosed, is not normally considered a violation of a student's privacy and, therefore, can be released without the student's written permission.
Students may submit the Request for Directory Hold form to One Stop Student Services to prevent the release of directory information.
Information that may be released at CWI without written consent:
Student’s address listings
Student’s phone number listings
Student’s e-mail address
The most recent previous educational agency or institution attended
Dates of attendance
Candidacy for degrees/certificates
Degrees conferred and dates
Awards and honors received
Information that cannot be released (written consent is required):
Social Security Number
Student’s date of birth
Academic standing (probation or suspension)
Grade point average/grades
Exact number of enrolled credits
Student disability status
ANY information which is NOT directory information
Eligible students have the right to file a complaint under FERPA with the U.S. Department of Education Family Policy Compliance Office concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the Act. Complaints must be sent in writing, with all pertinent information, to the following address:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920