College Catalog: 2012-2013

Registration Policies

Student Records (FERPA Policy) / Educational Record Guide

FERPA Policy

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 helps protect the privacy of student education records. The Act provides for the right to inspect and review education records, the right to seek to amend those records and to limit disclosure of information from the records. The intent of the legislation is to protect the rights of students and to ensure the privacy and accuracy of education records. The Act applies to all institutions that are the recipients of federal aid administered by the Secretary of Education.

Disclosure of Directory Information

Ramapo College recognizes the importance of maintaining certain records for each student which contribute to and confirm the student’s educational progress.

To protect the rights of students regarding these records, the College has established policies and guidelines which describe the records maintained, provisions for releasing information, provisions for student inspection and review of records, and provisions for changes in records when warranted. These rules generally conform to State and Federal laws (the U.S. Department of Education has guidelines for the “Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended”, known as the Buckley Amendment or FERPA). These policies are generally supervised by the Office of the Registrar. The following are the rules which relate to these student records:

  1. Directory Information
    The following information is considered part of the public record and may be disclosed upon request without consent of the student, unless the student has filed an objection with the Office of the Registrar. (The student’s home address or on-campus address is not directory information and may not be disclosed.)

    1. student name
    2. year-level
    3. school and major
    4. credits registered for in current term
    5. terms attended
    6. degree granted
    7. Ramapo College e-mail address
    8. photograph
    9. honors, by town
  2. Confidential Information
    All personally identifiable information other than that described in Directory Information is considered confidential information and may be disclosed by the College only as provided below. This information includes the following:

    1. academic records
    2. address (campus or home)
    3. disciplinary records (except as provided by laws such as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Public Safety Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act)
    4. financial aid records
    5. placement records
    6. letters of recommendation
    7. medical records (may be reviewed by student’s doctor only)
    8. telephone numbers (campus or home)
    9. test scores
    10. veteran’s records, etc.
  3. Disclosure of Confidential Information
    With the student’s written consent, any confidential information on file may be disclosed to any individual or agency named by the student. There may be a cost to the student if duplication of materials is involved. Disclosure without the student’s consent may take place only under the following conditions, except as required by law:

    1. When requested by College faculty and staff, when there is legitimate need in the student’s educational interest to have the requested information.
    2. When required by judicial order (an attempt will be made to notify student where that is permitted by law).
    3. When required by evaluation agencies in connection with a financial aid application.
    4. When requested by an accrediting organization to carry out accrediting functions.
    5. When requested by parents of a dependent student (i.e. the parent shows proof of claiming the student as dependent on certified IRS forms and cancelled checks for tuition payments exist).
    6. When requested by Federal or State officials to audit and evaluate Federally- and State-supported programs.
    7. When needed for research purposes to improve educational programs.
    8. When, in the opinion of the Vice Provost for Student Affairs or his/her designee, there is a threat to a student’s life or physical well-being which may necessitate disclosure to public safety officials, the student’s family members or another designated emergency contact.

    Disclosure as described in this section will be recorded by the person responsible for the files [except in the case of (a) above], and this record also will be open to the student concerned. Disclosure to others at the student’s request will not be made if any payments due the College by the student are in arrears.

    When College officials disclose confidential information to authorized parties, the following message will be attached: “The attached information has been forwarded to you with the understanding that it will not be released to other parties. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended prohibits release of this information without the student’s written consent. Please return this material to us if you are unable to comply with this condition of release.”

    College Official is defined as those members of the College community who act in the student’s educational interest within the limitations of their “need to know.”  These may include faculty, administration, agents acting on behalf of the College, clerical and professional employees and other persons who manage student educational information including student employees or committee members and agents.

  4. Student Access to Confidential Information
    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

    1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the Registrar, Dean of the School, or the appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The College 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 College official with 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 educational records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
      Students may ask the College to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the College 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 College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College 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 the student when notified of the right to a 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 or other laws authorize 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 College 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 College 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, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.
    4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Ramapo College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA can be found below:

Educational Record Guide

Academic Advisement File
Maintained by: Registrar
Normal Access: Student’s Advisor
Contents: Admission application, transfer of credit evaluation, academic standing and learning skills correspondence, student worksheet for academic planning.

Academic Standing File
Maintained by: Provost, VP for Academic Affairs
Normal Access: Academic Affairs, Registrar
Contents: Correspondence and forms related to student’s academic standing.

Academic Resources
Maintained by: Registrar
Normal Access: Academic Affairs, Registrar
Contents: Courses, credits, grades, grade point average, school major, degree.

Office of Testing & Placement Program
Maintained by: Test Scores
Normal Access: Testing Coordinator
Contents: Test scores, correspondence & related.

Disciplinary File
Maintained by: Office of Student Conduct
Normal Access: Student Affairs, College officials
Contents: Correspondence and forms relating to disciplinary action taken against student.

Directory Information
Maintained by: Registrar
Normal Access: Registrar, Vice President for Student Affairs
Contents: Name, year level, school, major, credits enrolled for, terms attended, degree attained.

Financial Aid File
Maintained by: Director of Financial Aid
Normal Access: Financial Aid
Contents: Aid application, parents’ confidential statements, award letters.

Maintained by: Director of Residence Life
Normal Access: Residence Life
Contents: Housing applications, assignments, correspondence.

International Students
Maintained by: Director of International Student Services
Normal Access: Director of International Students Services, academic advisors
Contents: Certification forms, correspondence.

Medical Records
Maintained by: Director of Health Services
Normal Access: Medical
Contents: Student Medical History, physical examination record, insurance reports, diagnosis and treatment records, immunization records.

Security Reports
Maintained by: Director of Security
Normal Access: Security, Vice President for Student Affairs
Contents: Incident reports.

Student Accounts
Maintained by: Business Services
Normal Access: Business Services, Registrar, Financial Aid
Contents: Record of payment for all tuition, fees, fines.

Teacher Placement File
Maintained by: Teacher Education and Certification, SSHS
Normal Access: Teacher Education and Certification
Contents: Student data form letter, letters of recommendation.

Veteran’s File
Maintained by: Financial Aid Office
Normal Access: Financial Aid
Contents: Eligibility certificate, enrollment certification, correspondence, veteran’s fact sheet, advance payment release form, tutorial assistance authorization.

As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records — including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information — may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal- or state-supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administered by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive your PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.

NOTICE: This statement of policy is published so College students may be aware of its provisions. Any student who wishes the College not disclose any part of the information classified as directory information (see Directory Information above) should complete the FERPA Non Disclosure form in the Registrar’s Office.

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-5920

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New Jersey Residency Requirements For In-State Tuition

New Jersey Domicile Requirements

  • A student is presumed to be a resident of New Jersey for tuition purposes if the student, or parent or legal guardian upon whom the student is financially dependent, is domiciled in New Jersey for a period of 12 months before first enrolling at the College. This student will be assessed the in-state tuition rate.
  • A student is NOT presumed to be a resident of New Jersey for tuition purposes if the student, or parent or legal guardian upon whom the student is financially dependent, is domiciled in New Jersey for a period of less than 12 months before first enrolling at the College. This student will be assessed the out-of-state tuition rate.
  • Residence solely for the purpose of attending the College does not constitute domicile for tuition purposes.
  • If a dependent student’s supporting parent(s) or legal guardian(s) change their domicile to another state, the dependent student is not eligible for in-state tuition unless the student officially establishes a permanent New Jersey residence for each calendar year of enrollment. A campus or local off-campus address, which is not a student’s permanent residence, does not constitute domicile for tuition purposes.

Note: Domicile is defined as the place where a person has his or her true, fixed, permanent home and principle establishment, and to which, whenever he or she is absent, he or she has the intention of returning.

Evidence of Domicile

First-time Matriculated Students
First-time matriculated students must certify their domicile on the Admissions Application Form. Students may be required to provide additional proof upon request to qualify for in-state tuition.

First-time Non-matriculated Students
First-time non-matriculated students must provide the Office of Admissions with a valid New Jersey driver’s license or a valid New Jersey Voter Registration card before first enrolling at the College to qualify for in-state tuition.

Continuing Students Changing Residency Status
Continuing matriculated and non-matriculated students, who were previously designated as out-of-state residents and have established New Jersey residency 12 months* before requesting change of status, may request a change of status by providing the Registrar with a certified copy of the student’s New Jersey income tax return, or in the case of dependent students, a copy of the parent’s(s’) or legal guardian’s(s’) New Jersey State income tax return.

* Before a change of residency will be considered. A students’s New Jersey address must be on record (declared) in the Registrar’s Office for 12 monhts.

Note: Any student who falsifies information regarding his/her domicile will have his/her residency status changed to out-of-state and the student will be responsible to pay the out-of-state tuition rate for all prior terms in which he or she was erroneously charged the in-state rate.

Note: If a student is erroneously charged the in-state rate, the College will correct the error, assess the appropriate charge, and collect the outstanding balance.

A certified copy of your NJ Income Tax return may be obtained by writing to:

NJ Division of Taxation
Document Control Center, Records Unit
PO Box 269
Trenton, NJ 08695-0277

Your request should include your social security number, year of return requested, daytime telephone number, payment of $1.00 per side for copies of return.

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Independent Study

Limited opportunities to enroll for course work on an Independent Study basis are available. A student interested in this option should obtain an Independent Study Registration Form from the Office of the Registrar, have it completed by the instructor and school dean involved, and return it to the Registrar’s Office.

  1. Students cannot enroll in a regularly offered course during any semester, including summer, on an Independent Study basis, except under extraordinary circumstances and only with the specific written approval of the dean of the School to authorize this exception.
  1. Students cannot enroll for more than FOUR (4) credits of Independent Study during any semester, including summer, without specific written approval of the dean of the School to authorize override of this.  Extensive documentation will be required by any person requesting a waiver of this limit.
  2. The college career limit on Independent Study is four (4) courses, only two (2) of which may be in the student’s major.
  3. Students on academic probation OR academic warning are INELIGIBLE for Independent Study (except in cases where the course is the requirement of a major).
  4. Students must complete a contract form for Independent Study as well as the Independent Study Registration Form. This form will indicate the purpose, objective, grading criteria, guidelines for hours of work required, discipline and level, and title/credits for the Independent Study.

No Independent Study registrations will be accepted after the last day of add/drop as indicated in the academic calendar.