The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who attends a postsecondary institution.) These rights include:
1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day the University receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The University official 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 University official to whom the request was submitted, that official 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 is 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.
3. 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. The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
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
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in §99.31 of the FERPA regulations. The University may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student –
- To other UMBC officials, including instructors, within UMBC whom the University has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the University has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in §99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) – (a)(1)(i)(B)(2) are met. (§99.31(a)(1))
- A UMBC official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A UMBC official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of the University who performs an institutional service or function for which the University would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the University with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, IT specialist, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another UMBC official in performing his or her tasks. A UMBC 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.
- To officials of another institution of higher education where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of §99.34. (§99.31(a)(2))
- To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U. S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal- or State-supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- In connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the University, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§99.31(a)(6))
- UMBC is partnering with Maryland community colleges in an inter-institutional transfer initiative to enhance the success of students who transition from community college to UMBC. UMBC and its community college partners wish to gather and mutually disclose data to help improve the efficiency and transparency of the transfer process; to develop necessary support structures, networks, and programs for students who transition from the community college to UMBC; to enhance and improve instructional and programmatic collaboration and alignment; and to conduct ongoing research regarding the transfer/transition process.
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (§99.31(a)(7))
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§99.31(a)(8))
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§99.31(a)(9))
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to §99.36. (§99.31(a)(10))
- To the public the information the University has designated as “directory information” under §99.37. (§99.31(a)(11))
- UMBC has designated the following as directory information: Name; Address; Telephone listing; Electronic mail address; Photograph (when created by the University for the purposes of promotion or advertisement); Date and place of birth of members of athletics teams; Major field of study; Grade level (e.g., junior, senior); Enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate, full-time or part-time); Dates of attendance; Participation in officially recognized activities and sports; Weight and height of members of athletic teams; Degrees, honors, and awards received; Most recent educational agency or institution attended; and Status as a Graduate Assistant.
- A student may request that UMBC not release his or her directory information to the public. To do so, a student must follow the procedures and adhere to the timelines articulated by the Registrar’s Office. That request will also prevent UMBC from releasing a student’s directory information to prospective employers, student loan servicers, insurance companies, and other organizations to which a student would customarily want UMBC to transmit information without explicit consent.
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of §99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§99.31(a)(13))
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of §99.39, if the University determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the University’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§99.31(a)(14))
- To parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any Federal, State, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the University, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance if the University determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21. (§99.31(a)(15))