Access to Student Records - FERPA

Guilford College is committed to maintaining the privacy and confidentiality of students’ information, and to compliance with the regulations of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). Such information will only be released under specific situations as outlined in this policy.  

Purpose/Reason for Policy: To outline the College’s approach to safeguarding the privacy of, and access to, student information.

Scope/Covered Persons: All members of the Guilford College community.

Definitions: Student records and where they are housed:

  • Academic Curricular Records – Registrar’s Office
  • Academic Disciplinary Records – Office of Academic and Student Affairs
  • Admission Records – Admissions Office
  • Advising Records – the student’s assigned advisor
  • Archived Records - College Quaker Archivist
  • Disciplinary Records – Office of Academic and Student Affairs
  • Financial Aid Records – Office of Financial Aid
  • Health Records – Student Health Services
  • Title IX Records - Title IX Coordinator

The Policy:  

  • Guilford College may release grades and academic progress information to parents and/or legal guardians if a student provides written consent to the Registrar’s Office or if either parent has claimed you as a dependent on the parent’s most recent year’s income tax statement. Students may provide written consent by submitting a FERPA Disclosure & Consent Form to the Registrar’s Office.
  • Guilford College may release financial aid and student accounts information to parents and/or legal guardians if a student provides written consent to the Registrar’s Office, has designated parents and/or legal guardians as Authorized Users on TouchNet, or if either parent has claimed you as a dependent on the parent’s most recent year’s income tax statement. Students may provide written consent by submitting a FERPA Disclosure & Consent Form to the Registrar’s Office.   
  • Students have the right to request that directory information be withheld from disclosure, within the constraints of the federal guidelines. 
  • Students have the right to request to view their educational records.  
  • Students have the right to request the amendment of their educational record if the student believes it is inaccurate or misleading. 
  • The academic record of a student is maintained by the Registrar's Office and is kept by the College in perpetuity.  
  • The non-academic student record is coordinated by the Office of Academic & Student Affairs and is maintained for seven (7) years after the student graduates.
  • The health record of a student is maintained by Student Health Services, and by the Athletic Training office for student athletes. Information is not released without the student's written permission. Parents are notified by the College in the event of serious illness or injury or with the student's permission.
  • Student Health Services and the Athletic Training office comply with the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 2003. The HIPAA Compliance Officer for the College is the Director of Human Resources. The health record, including immunization records, is maintained by the Student Health Center for seven (7) years after the student graduates.

Roles and Responsibilities: 

  • Academic Curricular Records – Registrar’s Office
  • Academic Disciplinary Records – Office of Academic and Student Affairs
  • Admission Records – Admissions Office
  • Advising Records – the student’s assigned advisor
  • Archived Records - College Quaker Archivist
  • Disciplinary Records – Office of Academic and Student Affairs
  • Financial Aid Records – Office of Financial Aid
  • Health Records – Student Health Services
  • Title IX Records - Title IX Coordinator

 

Other related Policies, Regulations, Statutes and Documents: 

Guilford's current FERPA Disclosure & Consent Form.

FERPA is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. It provides students (or parents of dependent students) the following rights:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records maintained by the school.
  • The right to request that a school correct records the student or parent believes to be incorrect. If the school does not elect to revise the student record, the parent or student may request a formal hearing.
  • The right to prevent the school from disclosing information from a student’s education record, with specific exceptions. These exceptions allow school officials access to students’ education records if such access is due to legitimate educational interest, such as in teaching, advising, educational support, financial aid, or institutional research.

FERPA allows schools to disclose certain limited information about students without prior consent – this information is called “directory” information.  At Guilford College, directory information includes the following: Name, major, minor, anticipated date of graduation, enrollment status, degrees, honors and awards, and dates of attendance. For student athletes, this information also includes height and weight. 

FERPA Complaints: If you feel that Guilford College has not complied with your privacy rights under FERPA, you have a right to file a complaint. The information necessary for filing such a complaint is available at the following site maintained by the federal government agency responsible for FERPA: http://familypolicy.ed.gov/complaint-form

For more information about FERPA: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html

 

Procedures: 

To request that student directory information be withheld from disclosure, please see a staff member in the Registrar’s Office.

To request to view student educational records, the student must request, in writing, an opportunity to review the official educational records maintained by the College. Details about which office maintains which parts of the educational record are available under 'definitions' section of this policy.

To request the amendment of an educational record if the student believes it is inaccurate or misleading, the student must first request, in writing, an opportunity to review the official educational records maintained by the College. If the student believes the records are inaccurate or misleading, the student would then 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. The College has five business days to respond to the student request. 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 to the student when notified of the right to a hearing. 

Students wishing to review documents contained in their student record or their student conduct record must make such a request in writing to the Associate Dean of Students. Students will be permitted to review these records in the Academic and Student Affairs Office. Certain student conduct records may not be viewed without being first redacted to protect the FERPA rights [see FERPA section below] of other students mentioned in those records. 

The health record of a student is maintained by Student Health Services, and by the Athletic Training office for student athletes. Information is not released without the student's written permission. Students are encouraged to notify their parents of illness or injury. Parents are notified by the College in the event of serious illness or injury or with the student's permission. Student Health Services and the Athletic Training office comply with the provisions of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) of 2003. The HIPAA Compliance Officer for the College is the Director of Human Resources. The health record, including immunization records, is maintained by the Student Health Center for seven (7) years after the student graduates. 

Responsible Office: Office of the Registrar

Approval Authority: Provost/Vice President for Academic Affairs

Revision History: 

10-09-2017: From published Student Handbook 2017-18.

08-15-2018: Added Title IX records information; updated office names with Student Affairs and Academic Affairs merger.

08-16-2018: Revise "Responsible Office;" revise default position on release of student records to reflect current practice [bullets 1&2 under "Policy" section]. 

09-12-2018: "Responsible Office" sections changed to reflect the Office of Financial Aid as the keeper of financial aid records.

11-13-2018: Removed inaccurate statement about student directory information being searchable by the general public; per the Registrar. 

07-10-2019: Revised Guilford's definition of 'directory information,' to further protect student privacy. Requested by the Registrar and approved by Cabinet.