The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, or FERPA, is the United States federal law that protects student records privacy review and disclosure rights. The law guarantees these rights for both current and former Iona students.
Additionally, FERPA specifies that IONA faculty and staff in most circumstances may not disclose personally-identifiable information about students or release educational records to 3rd parties without receiving written and signed consent. Circumstances do exist, however, under which Iona may release personally identifiable information or educational records without students’ knowledge or consent.
Personally-identifiable information includes any data or information that includes the student’s name, parent’s name, other family members, and the student’s social security number or student identification number (IONAID). Additionally, any list of personal characteristics or other information that would make the student’s identity traceable is not allowed to be disclosed without consent.
Educational Records are considered confidential. Under most circumstances records will not be released without written and signed consent. FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review educational records within 45 days
- The right to seek to amend educational records
- The right to have some control over the disclosure of information from – educational records
- The right to obtain a copy of the institution’s student records policy
- The right to file a complaint with the Department of Education.
These records may not be released to anyone but the student and only then with the proper identification. The following is a non-comprehensive list of information items that FERPA does not consider as educational records and therefore are not subject to a student’s request for review:
- Law enforcement records
- Records maintained exclusively for individuals in their capacity as employees. Records of those who are employed as a result of their status as students (e.g., work-study, student workers, etc.), however, are considered educational records
- Medical treatment records
- Doctor-patient privileged records
- Alumni records
- Sole source notes
- Records maintained exclusively for individuals in their capacity as employees
Some information, called Directory Information, may be released to 3rd parties without the student’s prior consent, unless the student files a written request to restrict directory information access. Directory Information is considered the following:
- current mailing address
- telephone number
- date of birth
- major field of study
- dates of attendance
- enrollment status
- degrees and awards received
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- athletes’ height and weight
Students have the right to withhold the release of the preceding items by sending request to email@example.com.
Note: for information to appear on your transcripts and diploma when you graduate, you must rescind the any information hold before your graduate.
Frequently Asked Questions
Under FERPA the rights transfer from the parents to the student once they turn 18 years old or enter a postsecondary institution at any age. Although the rights under FERPA have now transferred to a student, a school may disclose information from an “eligible student’s” education records to parents, without consent, if the parent claims the student as a dependent for tax purposes in the last tax year. Neither the age of the student nor the parent’s status as a custodial parent is relevant.
If the student wants to consent to parents access to educational records please fill out the FERPA release form. Go to Student Center > Forms > FERPA release form.
If you have concerns or believe your rights under FERPA may have been violated, please contact the Registrar’s Office by emailing with the subject line “FERPA Concern.”
Students also have the right to file a complaint under FERPA by doing so in writing to the Family Policy Compliance Office, sending pertinent information through the mail, concerning any allegations to the following address:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920
Phone: 1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327)
- Personnel within the University that have a legitimate educational interest.
- School officials at other institutions where the student is seeking to enroll.
- Personnel or organizations determining financial aid decisions or providing
financial aid to the student.
- Parents of students where the student status is determined as a dependent under IRS code of 1986, section 152.
- Accrediting organizations in the performance of their accrediting duties.
- Persons in compliance with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. The institution shall first make reasonable attempt to notify the student, unless the subpoena is issued from a federal grand jury, or issued for a law-enforcement purpose, and orders the University not to notify the student.
- Persons in an emergency, if the knowledge or information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or person.