Notification of Rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
HCU is subject to the provisions of a federal law known as the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (also referred to as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment). This law affords matriculated students certain rights with respect to their education records.
These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the HCU Office of Academic Records written requests that identify the record(s) they wish 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, he or she 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 privacy rights guaranteed by FERPA. Students who wish to ask the University to amend a record should write the HCU official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it should be changed. Students should complete the FERPA Request to Amend or Remove Education Records form to accomplish this request. 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 a hearing. If the student desires a hearing to protest the University’s decision not to amend his/her record, the student must complete a FERPA Student Request for Formal Hearing form.
- 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. In order to document their consent to such disclosures, students should complete the FERPA Authorization to Release Education Records form.
One exception, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by HCU in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including University law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom HCU has contracted (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, 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 responsibilities for the University.
FERPA provides the University the right to disclose student’s education records to parents or legal guardians if the student is a dependent as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954. The Internal Revenue Service requires a child who is a dependent be both a student under the age of 24 and claimed as a dependent on the parent’s most recent income tax return. Parents desiring access to their student’s records must complete a FERPA Parent’s Certification of Dependency form and submit it, along with a photocopy of the first page of their most recent federal income tax return, to the Office of Academic Records.
FERPA further provides the University the ability to designate certain student information as “directory information.” Directory information may be made available to any person without the student’s consent unless the student gives notice as provided for below. HCU has designated the following as directory information:
- Student’s name
- Local and permanent addresses
- Telephone numbers
- Email addresses
- Date and place of birth
- Major field(s) of study
- Dates of attendance
- Degrees, honors, and awards received
- Most recent educational institution attended
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
Any new or currently enrolled student who does not want his/her directory information disclosed should notify the HCU Registrar in writing by using the FERPA Request to Withhold / Release Directory Information form. Such notification must be received by the end of the first full week of classes for any term to ensure that the student’s directory information is not released, except to officials with legitimate educational purposes as authorized by FERPA.
The request to withhold directory information will remain in effect as long as the student continues to be enrolled or until the student files a written request with the HCU Registrar to discontinue the withholding. To continue nondisclosure of directory information after a student ceases to be enrolled, a written request for continuance must be filed with the HCU Registrar during the student’s last term of attendance.
If a student believes the University has failed to comply with the requirements of FERPA, he or she may file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education. 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
Complaints must be timely submitted, no later than 180 days from the date the student learns of the circumstances of the alleged violation; and must contain specific allegations of fact giving reasonable cause to believe that a violation has occurred, including: relevant dates, names and titles of those University officials and other third parties involved; a specific description of the education record about which the alleged violation occurred; a description of any contact with University officials regarding the matter, including dates of telephone calls, meetings and/or any correspondence between the student and HBU; the name and address of the University; and any additional evidence that would be helpful in reviewing the complaint.
Questions about the application of the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act should be directed to either the University Registrar.