red stamp student information private

This act is a federal law, which provides that academic institutions will maintain the confidentiality of student education records.

College of the Atlantic accords all the rights under the law to students who are declared independent. No one outside the college shall have access to nor will the institution disclose any information from students’ records without the written consent of students, except to persons or organizations providing student financial aid, to accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function, to persons in compliance with a judicial order, and to persons in an emergency in order to protect the health or safety of students or other persons. All these exceptions are permitted under the act.

College of the Atlantic also requests, beyond the requirements of law, that all students, whether or not declared independent, give their written consent in the sending of evaluations and transcripts to parents and to officials of other institutions in which students seek to enroll. Within the COA community, only those members, individually or collectively, acting in the students’ educational interest are allowed access to student educational records. These include personnel in the financial aid, business, admission, student life, internship, and registrar’s offices, provosts, advisors, and faculty, within the limitations of their need to know.

At its discretion, the college may provide directory information in accordance with the provisions of the act. Students may withhold directory information by notifying the registrar in writing within two weeks after the first day of an academic term. Requests for nondisclosure will be honored until the registrar is notified otherwise.

COA defines directory information as:

  • Student’s name
  • Address (campus, email)
  • Hometown, home country
  • Phone number
  • Major / field of study
  • Class year, dates of attendance
  • Degrees and awards received
  • The most recent previous educational institution attended; and
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports.

The law provides students with the right to inspect and review information contained in their education records, to challenge the contents of their records, to have a hearing if the outcome of the challenge is unsatisfactory, and to submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if they feel the decisions of the hearing panels are unacceptable. COA students have unrestricted access to their own records; they may have copies made of their records at their own expense, with certain exceptions (in cases of overdue bills in the business office and/or library).

Education records do not include employment records, alumnx records, student health records, or records of instructional, administrative, and other personnel which are the sole possession of the maker and are not accessible or revealed to any individual. Health records, however, may be reviewed by physicians of the student’s choosing. Students who believe that their education records contain information that is inaccurate or misleading, or otherwise in violation of their privacy or other rights, may discuss their problems informally with the registrar. If the decisions are in agreement with the student’s request, the appropriate records will be amended. If not, students will be informed by the registrar of their right to a formal hearing. Student requests for a formal hearing must be made to the Review and Appeals Committee, which will inform students of the date, place, and time of the hearing.

Students who believe that their rights have been abridged may file complaints with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA), Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, Washington, D.C. 20201, concerning the alleged failures of the college to comply with the act.

More information about The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act can be found on the US Department of Education’s website.