The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 protects 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 that 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 that relate to these student records:
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. Ramapo College of New Jersey will not release Directory Information for solicitation purposes to 3rd parties from outside the college. This includes outside vendors, businesses and organizations unless the college has entered into a contract or agreement with the organization to supply specific service to the college or its students that requires the use of this information. (The student’s home address or on-campus address is not directory information and may not be disclosed.)
- Student’s Name
- Class Level
- Ramapo College E-mail Address
- School and Major field of study
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Honors, by town
- Dates of Attendance
- Degrees and Awards received
- Current Enrollment Status (full/part time)
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:
- academic records
- address (campus or home)
- disciplinary records (except as provided by laws such as the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Public Safety Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act)
- financial aid records
- placement records
- letters of recommendation
- medical records (may be reviewed by student’s doctor only)
- telephone numbers (campus or home)
- test scores
- Veteran’s records, etc.
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:
- When requested by College faculty and staff, when there is legitimate need in the student’s educational interest to have the requested information.
- When required by judicial order (an attempt will be made to notify student where that is permitted by law).
- When required by evaluation agencies in connection with a financial aid application.
- When requested by an accrediting organization to carry out accrediting functions.
- When requested by Federal or State officials to audit and evaluate Federally- and State-supported programs.
- When needed for research purposes to improve educational programs.
- When, in the opinion of the Chief Student Affairs Officer 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, 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, clerical and professional employees and other persons who manage student educational information including student employees or committee members and agents.
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:
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, 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
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. The student must put his/her request in writing to the Registrar, 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.
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.
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:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, S.W.
Washington, DC 20202-5920
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 Office of the Registrar.
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