The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:
- 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 when and the place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, such 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.
A student should write the university official responsible for the record in question, clearly identifying the part of the record the student wants changed, and specifying why it is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights.
If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university will notify the student of the decision in writing and advise the student of their 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 consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
Personally identifiable information is information that, if disclosed, would make a student's identity easily traceable, e.g., name, address or social security number. An exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to university officials with legitimate educational interests. A university official is a person employed by Youngstown State University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, 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 a student or volunteer serving on an official committee, or assisting a university official in performing their tasks.
A university official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill their professional responsibility for Youngstown State University.
Also, the requirement for consent does not apply to the following:
- Requests by officials of another institution where the student seeks to enroll or is already enrolled for purposes related to enrollment or transfer.
- Requests in compliance with a lawful subpoena or judicial order.
- Requests in connection with a student's application for or receipt of financial aid.
- Requests by state authorities and agencies specifically exempted from the prior consent requirements by FERPA, conducting studies on behalf of the university, if such studies do not permit the personal identification of students to any persons other than to representatives of such organizations and if the personal identification data is destroyed when no longer needed.
- Information submitted to accrediting organizations.
- Requests by parents of a dependent student, when claimed by a parent on one's Federal Income Tax Return.
- In the case of a health or safety emergency, the university may release information from education records to appropriate persons in connection with an emergency, if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of a student or other persons.
- To authorized federal officials who have need to audit and evaluate federally-supported programs.
- The results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the university against an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense to the alleged victim of that crime.
- Disclosure to a parent of an underage student in violation of university policy governing the use or possession of alcohol or drugs.
- The right to prevent the university from disclosing any or all of the information about the student the university has designated as directory information.
FERPA permits the disclosure of directory information without the consent of the student. Directory information is information contained in a student education record which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Youngstown State University has designated the following types of information as directory information:
- address (local, home, and email);
- telephone listing (campus and home);
- enrollment status (e.g., full-time, part-time, withdrawn);
- field of study (including college of enrollment, major and campus);
- participation in officially recognized activities and sports;
- weight and height of members of athletic teams;
- dates of attendance and graduation;
- degrees, honors, and awards received;
- previous educational institutions or agencies attended; and
- photographic, video or electronic images of student.
Any student wishing to exercise this right must inform the Registrar in writing by submitting the Student Privacy Hold form. If no such written notification is submitted, the university will assume that a student does not object to the release of the directory information. A student's request for such non-disclosure will remain in effect until the student notifies, in writing, the Registrar otherwise
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Youngstown State 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, S.W.
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920
Sharing Academic Record Information with Others
A student may authorize a third party (i.e., a parent, guardian, spouse, etc.) access to academic record information. Education Information Release via Proxy allows students to grant access for others to see and/or discuss academic grades/records, billing records, financial aid records, and other student information such as academic advising, housing information/action, student advocacy and support, and student conduct. Students have the ability to grant or restrict access to any or all of this information at any time. If parents/guests are granted access via Proxy, they will be notified via email with instructions on how to access student information; they will also be notified if their access has been removed. This online form is designed to give students specific control over the parties to whom protected academic record information may be released.
Filing a Complaint if FERPA Rights are Violated
If a student believes their rights have been violated under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a complaint can be filed internally by completing a Student Complaint Form. The student also has the right to complete a complaint form through the U.S. Department of Education.
Contact for Questions/Concerns
Office: Office of the Registrar
Location: Meshel Hall