Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

Thomas Edison State College adheres to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended, known as the Buckley Amendment. FERPA affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. Thomas Edison State College makes public announcement of FERPA in its College Catalog.

These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days after the day Thomas Edison State College receives a request for access.  A student should submit to the 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, the registrar will 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 school to amend a record should write to the registrar, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the school decides not to amend the record as requested, the school 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 college 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 Thomas Edison State College 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

Thomas Edison State College has designated the following categories of student information as directory/public information: student name, e-mail address, enrollment status, area of study, degree/honors conferred and dates of conferral. This information may be released for any purpose at the discretion of the College. Students have the right to withhold the disclosure of directory information by written notification to the Office of the Registrar.

Thomas Edison State College 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 Thomas Edison State College; serving on the board of trustees or serving on an official committee.  A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of Thomas Edison State College who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information (PII) from education records.

FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in the FERPA regulations.  Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure.  A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining prior written consent of the student –

  • 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 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. 
  • 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. 
  • To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to:  (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. 
  • To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. 
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
  • To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency.
  • Information the school has designated as “directory information”. 
  • To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. 
  • To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding if the school 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 school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her.