Notification of Rights under Family Educational Rights and Privacy (FERPA) for All Students
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
1.) The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. A student should submit the University Registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Registrar, she shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
2.) The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes to be inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
3.) The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. The University discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a 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 responsibilities for the University.
4.) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue
SW Washington, DC 20202‐5901
Students who wish to authorize release of their academic information to parents, guardians, spouses or any other individual may do so by submitting a FERPA Waiver Request to the Enrollment Services Center. Once recorded, the student will be able to issue authorization on Spirit Online. By signing a FERPA Waiver Request, the student is waiving his/her rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act and is asking that grades, grade point averages, course schedules, or academic standing be released to the named person(s) indicated on the Waiver. The requested information will be released to the named person(s) via Spirit Online, once the system has been updated; in person with photo identification; or by mail when the named person makes a written request for the information. **
**Please note that absolutely no Non‐Directory Information relating to academic status (e.g., grades and/or grade point average) will be released by telephone or email whether or not a Waiver is submitted. Also, the submission of a Waiver does not include the release of any student passwords.
FERPA provides an exception regarding the release of education records information without the consent of the student when the release is related to financial aid. The disclosure is permitted if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid; determine the amount of aid; determine the conditions for the aid; and/or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
Release of Information Via Telephone
Although FERPA does not preclude an institution from disclosing Non‐Directory Information via telephone to the student or a FERPA Waiver contact, it is the University’s policy that no Non‐Directory Information relating to academic status (e.g., grades and/or grade point average) will be released by telephone, whether or not a Waiver is submitted. Billing information, including tuition and fee charges; outstanding balances; and financial aid information, will be communicated via telephone providing the student or Waiver contact can correctly answer personally identifiable questions that only the student orWaiver contact would be able to answer. These questions may include, but are not limited to, Saint Peter’s Student Identification Number (SPIRIT Number), Permanent address on file, High School or previous institutions attended, and currently enrolled courses.
Statement Regarding Dependent Students
Institutions are not required to disclose information from the student’s education records to a parent of a dependent student. Saint Peter’s University does not accept proof of dependency status in lieu of a FERPA Waiver Request.
School officials with a legitimate educational interest may access student education records with the scope of performing their job duties. A school official is deemed to have legitimate educational interest if the information requested is necessary for that official to
a.) perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his/her position description of by contact agreement; b.) perform a task related to a student’s education; c.) perform a task related to the discipline of a student; d.) provides a service of benefit relating to the student or student’s family. Disclosure to a school official having a legitimate educational interest does not constitute authorization to share that information with a third party without written consent.
Statement Regarding Transfer of Education Records
Saint Peter’s University does not release education records to any external third‐party without a signed request.
Campus Security/Police Records and Disciplinary Records
In order to remain exempt from FERPA, law enforcement and disciplinary records are therefore created by the University’s law enforcement unit and/or Dean of Student’s Office, for a law enforcement or disciplinary purposes, and are maintained separately from education records.
Retention of Academic Documents
Saint Peter’s University does not re‐release official copies of documents submitted for admission, scholarship application, or any other academic reason. This includes, but is not limited to, High School and non‐ Saint Peter’s University transcripts. A student may request copies of materials in the academic file; the copies provided will bear a “FILE COPY” watermark. The student’s signature is required to release copies of any documents from the academic file. Saint Peter’s University follows the American Associate of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officer’s (AACRAO) guidelines for retention and disposal of student records: materials in academic files are destroyed following 5 years of non‐attendance for any reason. The complete policy is available in the Enrollment Services Center.
Release of Information Under Special Circumstances
Records may be released to parents without a signed FERPA Waiver Request under certain exceptions. These include health or safety emergency; or where the student has been found in violation of the University’s code of conduct relating to the use of alcohol and/or another controlled substance if the student is under the age of 21.
Student’s Right to Non‐Disclosure of Directory Information
FERPA requires Institutions to give public notice to students in attendance of the categories of personally identifiable information which the institution has designated as Directory Information. Institutions may disclose Directory Information about former students without meeting the notification requirement; however, if a student has requested, at his or her last opportunity as a student, that Directory Information not be disclosed, the institution must continue to honor that request until informed to the contrary by the former student. If requested to withhold directory information by a student after he or she has left the institution, the institution may, but is not required to, comply with the request.
Information Which May be Designated as Directory Information
Saint Peter’s University hereby designates the following information as public or “Directory Information.” Such information may be disclosed without a student’s previous consent by the University for any purpose, at its discretion:
- Student Name(s) and Spirit Number
- Address Information (local, permanent, and email)*
- Telephone number (local and permanent)
- Date and place of birth
- Program major(s)/concentration(s), and minor(s)
- Student activities including athletics
- Dates of attendance
- Date of graduation, degrees sought/conferred, and other academic awards
- Most recent previous school attended and/or high school
- Academic awards and scholarships, including Dean’s List
- Full or Part‐time status
* Address information is not provided without a written request indicating the reason for the information.
As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and Personally Identifiable Information (PII) contained in such records — including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (Federal and State Authorities) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal‐ or state‐supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use‐restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.
Procedure to Withhold Directory Information
Saint Peter’s University will not partially withhold Directory Information, so students are advised to think carefully before withholding disclosure as this may prevent third‐parties from obtaining critical information in a timely manner, including degree conferral and enrollment verification. To withhold disclosure of Directory Information, written notification must be provided. Saint Peter’s University assumes that failure on the part of any student to specifically request the withholding of Directory Information indicates individual approval for disclosures. If you wish to restrict the release of Directory Information, please contact the University Registrar, who will explain the ramifications and provide a statement for you to sign as indication you do not want Directory Information released.
At the beginning of each Fall and Spring semester, every student enrolled at Saint Peter’s University receives an email from the Registrar containing an updated FERPA policy for the current academic year. The policy also appears in academic catalogs, and printed copies are available in the Enrollment Services Center.
Saint Peter’s University
Office of the University Registrar
Enrollment Services Center
2641 John F. Kennedy Boulevard
Jersey City, New Jersey 07306