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Educational Rights and Privacy

Rights Under FERPA For William Woods University

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) afford students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  • 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 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.

  • The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are 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.

  • 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, research, or support staff position (including campus safety 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.

    In an emergency, FERPA permits school officials to disclose without student consent education records, including personally identifiable information from those records, to protect the health or safety of students or other individuals. At such time appropriate information may be released to appropriate parties such as law enforcement officials, public health officials, and trained medical personnel. This exception is limited to the period of the emergency and does not allow for a blanket release of personally identifiable information from a student's education records. In addition schools may disclose to parents if a health or safety emergency involves their son or daughter.

    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. Upon request, the University may disclose education records, including disciplinary records, without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll

    The university may release non-directory education records to the student's parent under the following conditions:

  • Written consent from the student
  • Documentation provided that shows student is a dependent for tax purposes

The university may also inform parents of a student under the age of 21, if the student has violated any policies regarding the use/possession of alcohol or a controlled substance. More information regarding this policy can be found in the university's alcohol policy found in the Student Handbook.

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


Under the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended, you have the right to withhold the disclosure of "directory information". "Directory information" is described as name, address, telephone number, email address, dates of attendance, class, previous institutions attended, major field of study, awards, honors (including Dean's List), degree(s) conferred (including dates), residential status, past and present participation in officially recognized sports and activities, physical factors (height and weight of athletes), and date and place of birth.

"Directory information" may be released at the discretion of the institution. However, students who do not wish to have such information released may prevent such release by completing and signing a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information (PDF). Students wishing to deny access to their records must complete this form and return it to the Registrar's office by September 15 for semester students or prior to the end of the first class for Online and Graduate Students.

If this form is not received in the Registrar's office by the deadlines noted above, it will be assumed that the information may be released for the remainder of the academic year or program. Semester students must complete a new form for non-disclosure each academic year. Online Undergraduate and Graduate student’s forms stay in effect throughout the entire program. If a student places no-disclosure holds on their records, the holds become permanent once the student leaves the university.