FERPA (Students Rights and Privacy)

Notification of Rights under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. Each of these rights, with any limitations or exceptions, is explained in further detail in the Right of Privacy: Student Records Policies and Procedures for Hollins University found in most major offices on campus and in the Wyndham Robertson Library. These rights are:

  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. Students should submit to the registrar, the associate dean of student academic affairs, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish 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 are inaccurate or misleading. Challenging a grade does not fall under the purview of FERPA regulations, and has no bearing on FERPA listed regulations and conditions. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her 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 hearing.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.** One exception which permits disclosure without consent is 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 (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or 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 responsibility.
  4. The right to notify the University in writing if the student does not want any or all of the information designated as directory information to be released internally or externally. All or individual directory items may be declared confidential provided written expression is received by the Dean of Students office no later than three days from the beginning of any term. Hollins designates the following as directory information:
    • A. Category I: Campus Directories and Publications: Student name, class year or program, nickname, local mailing address, local residence address, local telephone number, parent name, student’s permanent mailing address (usually the parent address), e-mail address, weight and height of athletes, photographs, date and place of birth, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, most recent previous school attended, field of study, dates of attendance, degree awarded and date, awards and honors, and full or part-time status.
    • B. Category II: External Requests: The University reserves the right to provide the following directory information to callers external to the university who request information such as confirmation of a student’s attendance at Hollins; dates of attendance (if known); degree awarded and date (if known); and withdrawal date (if known).
  5. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Hollins 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
      600 Independence Avenue, SW
      Washington, DC 20202-4605

**Effective January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expanded the circumstances under which students’ education records and personal identifiable information (PII) – including social security number and grades – may be accessed without the student’s consent.  Organizations and offices which may request student records and PII without consent include the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, Federal and State Authorities.  The data may be used within evaluations of federal- or state-supported education programs, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, and as part of federal- or state-supported research studies.  Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from entities they authorize to receive and compile student PII.  They may also track student participation in education and other programs by linking PII to additional personal information obtained from other federal and state data sources including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.