Emory University Policy and Procedures under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
Emory University adheres to a policy of compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act. The policy (1) permits students to inspect their education records, (2) limits disclosure to others of personally-identifiable information from education records without students’ prior written consent, and (3) provides students the opportunity to seek correction of their education records where appropriate.
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(Last emailed September 10, 2015)
Student referred to in both the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) and the University’s Policy Statement on the Confidentiality and Release of Information About Students includes “any person with respect to whom an educational agency or institution maintains educational records or personally identifiable information, but does not include a person who has not been in attendance at such agency or institution.” This therefore excludes applicants who have been admitted and did not enroll and applicants who were denied admission.
Educational Records are records that are 1) Directly related to a student, and 2) Maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution, if certain conditions are met. Education records are not:
- Records about students made by instructors and/or administrators for their own use and not shown to others (sole possession records);
- Employment records for students who are University employees unless the student was employed as a result of his/her status as a student;
- Records about University students “created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or paraprofessional” acting or assisting in such capacity for treatment purposes and which are available only to persons providing such treatment.
- Campus police records maintained solely for law enforcement purposes and kept separate from the education records described above.
RIGHT OF ACCESS
Each student has a right of access to his or her education records, except financial records of the student’s parents and confidential letters of recommendation.
PROCEDURE TO BE FOLLOWED:
Requests for access specifying the records to be inspected should be made in writing to the University Registrar, 200 Dowman Drive, 100 Boisfeuillet Jones Center, Atlanta, GA 30322. The University will comply with a request within a reasonable time, at most within 45 days. In the usual case, arrangements will be made for the student to read his or her records in the presence of a staff member.
The following categories of information have been designated directory information:
- Whether or not the student is currently enrolled
- The school or division in which the student is or was enrolled and the class/year
- Dates of enrollment including full-time or part-time status
- Degree or degrees earned, date of degree, major area of concentration and academic honors received
- Awards of merit and participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Address and telephone number
- Electronic mail address
The University will give annual public notice to students of the categories of information designated as directory information and will allow a reasonable period of time after such notice for the student to inform the University that the information should not be considered directory information as to him or her.
Directory information may appear in public documents and may otherwise be disclosed without student consent unless the student objects as provided below (see Campus Directory Suppression).
CAMPUS DIRECTORY SUPPRESSION
Each student has the option of choosing 1) to be included in the online student directory or 2) to be excluded from the online student directory. The University default is that directory information may be included in these media. Click here to print a Campus Directory Suppression Form on which you can indicate your preference. Return this completed form to the Office of the Registrar, 100 Boisfeuillet Jones Center, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322.
PRIOR CONSENT NOT REQUIRED
Prior consent may not be required for disclosure of education records to the following parties:
- School officials of Emory University who have been determined to have legitimate educational interests. School officials include instructional or administrative personnel who are or may be in a position to use the information in furtherance of a legitimate objective, a person serving on the Board of Trustees, a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary committee, a volunteer or contractor outside of Emory who performs an institutional service or function for which Emory would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the institution with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from education records. Legitimate educational interests include those interests directly related to the academic environment;
- Officials of other schools in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is enrolled. Authorized representative of the Comptroller General of the U. S., the Attorney General of the U.S., the U. S. Secretary of Education, and State and local educational authorities, but only in connection with the audit or evaluation of federally supported educational programs, or in connection with the enforcement of or compliance with federal legal requirements relating to these programs. These officials will protect information received so as not to permit personal identification of students to outsiders, and the data shall be destroyed when no longer needed for the purposes above;
- In connection with a student's application for, or receipt of, financial aid, but only to the extent necessary for such purposes as determining eligibility, amount, conditions, and enforcement of terms or conditions;
- Organizations conducting educational studies for the purpose of developing, validating, or administering predictive tests, administering student aid programs, and improving instruction. The studies shall be conducted so as not to permit personal identification of students to outsiders, and the information will be destroyed when no longer needed for these purposes;
- Accrediting organizations for purposes necessary to carry out their functions;
- Parents of a student who is a dependent for income tax purposes;
- Appropriate parties in connection with an emergency, where knowledge of the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals;
- In response to a court order or subpoena (The University will make reasonable efforts to notify the student before complying with the court order);
- A victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense. This disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding;
- Parents of a student under the age of 21 who has been found with an alcohol-related disciplinary violation.
PRIOR CONSENT REQUIRED
In all other cases, the University will not release personally identifiable information in education records or allow access to those records without prior consent of the student. Unless disclosure is to the student himself or herself, the consent must be written, signed and dated, and must specify the records to be disclosed and the identity of the recipient.
RECORD OF DISCLOSURES
The University will maintain with the student’s education records a record for each request and each disclosure, except:
- Disclosures to the student himself or herself;
- Disclosures pursuant to the written consent of the student;
- Disclosures to instructional or administrative officials of Emory University;
- Disclosures of directory information
The student, the official custodian of the records, and other university and governmental officials may inspect the record of disclosure.
REQUEST TO AMEND RECORDS/RIGHT TO A HEARING
The student shall have the right to request that the University amend his or her records and, if that request is denied, the student shall have the right to a hearing to challenge the content of the student's official University records, to insure that the records are not inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of students and to provide an opportunity for the correction or deletion of any inaccurate, misleading or otherwise inappropriate data contained herein. If the University declines to amend the record following the hearing, the student shall have the right to place a statement in his or her record commenting on the information in the record and the University’s decision not to amend it.
There may be conditions such as financial obligations, violations of non-academic regulations, etc., under which the University will withhold transcripts, certifications, or other information about a student. In such instances, the student and the Office of the Registrar must be notified in writing before the hold is initiated. This notification must state the reason for such hold and the conditions to be met before release can be made.
POLICY STATEMENT AND GENERAL GUIDELINES: Confidentiality and Release of Information About Students
The following guidelines relative to student records represent Emory University policy. Emory University, like other institutions of higher education, accumulates and maintains records concerning the characteristics, activities and accomplishments of its students. Because the University recognizes the student's right of privacy, a policy regarding the confidentiality of the information which becomes a part of the student's permanent records and governing the conditions of its disclosure has been formulated and adopted. This policy reflects a reasonable balance between the obligation of the University for the protection of the rights and privacy of the student and its responsibility to society.
Emory University is committed to protecting students from improper disclosure of private information. In order to do so, the University must make every endeavor to keep the student's record confidential. All members of the faculty, administration and clerical staff must respect confidential information about students which they acquire in the course of their work. At the same time the University must be flexible enough in its policies not to hinder the student, the institution or the community in their legitimate pursuits.
Each of the record-keeping administrative units within the University may develop its own additional specific procedures in accordance with the general policy stated here.
- All procedures and policies dealing with records shall be formulated with due regard for the student's rights for privacy, freedom of association and expression and intellectual liberty and freedom to learn.
- Only those records shall be kept which are necessary in order to meet the University’s or student’s goals.
- Duplication of record keeping shall be minimized.
- All persons who handle student records shall be instructed concerning the confidential nature of such information and their professional and legal responsibilities regarding these records.
- Information from University files, which is not of public record, shall not be available to unauthorized persons without the written consent of the student involved.
- The University will comply with and abide by all federal and state laws which apply directly to the University and the Confidentiality and Release of Information About Students--in particular, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
- The University Registrar and the Oxford College Registrar are the official custodians of academic records at Emory University and Oxford College respectively and therefore are the only officials who may issue an official transcript of academic record.
- Records shall be released to comply with a subpoena or court order only with the consent and advice of the University's legal counsel.
- A record shall be maintained, kept with the record of each student, of the release of any information contained in a student's files to individuals or agencies outside the University; including the name of the requesting individual or agency, date, and purpose of the request. This record of access shall be available to the student.
- All University policies governing the maintenance and release of student records are public and are available to students, faculty, and administration.
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