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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Prescott College Policy on Disclosure of Student Records

Prescott College adheres to a policy of compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (Buckley Amendment). As such, it is the policy of the College (1) to permit students to inspect their education records, (2) to limit disclosure to others of personally identifiable information from education records without students' prior written consent [See Section III below for blocking release of personally identifiable information], and (3) to provide students the opportunity to seek correction of their education records where appropriate.

I. Definitions

A. "Student" means an individual who is or who has been in attendance at Prescott College. It does not include any applicant for admission to the College who does not matriculate, even if he or she previously attended the College. (Please note, however, that such an applicant would be considered a "student" with respect to his or her records relating to that previous attendance.) For purposes of compliance with FERPA, the College considers all students independent.

B. "Education records" include those records that contain information directly related to a student and that are maintained as official working files by the College. The following are not education records and, therefore, not protected under FERPA:

  1. records about students made by instructors, professors and administrators for their own use and not shown to others;
  2. campus security records maintained solely for law enforcement purposes and kept separate from the education records described above;
  3. employment records, except where a currently enrolled student is employed as a result of his or her status as a student;
  4. records of a physician, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional made or used only for treatment purposes and available only to persons providing treatment;
  5. records that contain only information relating to a person's activities after that person is no longer a student at the College.

II. It is the policy of Prescott College to permit students to inspect their education records.

A. Right of Access

Each student has a right of access to his or her education records, except confidential letters of recommendation received prior to January 1, 1975, and financial records of the student's parents.

B. Waiver

A student may, by a signed writing, waive his or her right of access to confidential recommendations in three areas: admission to any educational institution, job placement, and receipt of honors and awards. The College will not require such waivers as a condition for admission or receipt of any service or benefit. If the student chooses to waive his or her right of access, he or she will be notified, upon written request, of the names of all persons making confidential recommendations. Such recommendations will be used only for the purpose for which they were specifically intended. A waiver may be revoked in writing at any time, and the revocation will apply to all subsequent recommendations, but not to recommendations received while the waiver was in effect.

C. Types and Locations of Education Records, Titles of Records Custodians

Please note that all requests for access to records should be routed through the Office of the Registrar (see II.D. below).

  1. Admissions. Applications and transcripts from institutions previously attended: Director of Admissions, Office of Admissions.
  2. Registration. All ongoing academic and biographical records: Registrar, Office of the Registrar.
  3. Deans. Miscellaneous records. Deans' offices of each program.
  4. Financial Aid. Financial aid applications, needs analysis statements, awards made (no student access to parents' confidential statements). Director of Financial Aid, Financial Aid Office.
  5. Business Services. All student accounts receivable, records of students' financial charges, and credits with the College. Controller, Business Office.

D. Procedure to be Followed

Requests for access must be made in writing to the Office of the Registrar. The College will comply with a request for access within a reasonable time, at least 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. If facilities permit, a student may ordinarily obtain copies of his or her records by paying reproduction costs. The fee for copies is $.50 per page. The College will not provide copies of any transcripts in the student's records other than the student's Prescott College transcript.

III. It is the policy of Prescott College to limit disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records unless it has the student's prior written consent, subject to the following limitations and exclusions.

Use the Directory Hold Request Form to block all release of personally identifiable information.

Use the FERPA Release to identify individuals or organizations that may receive information from your education records.

A. Directory Information

1. The following categories of information have been designated directory information:

  • Name
  • All addresses
  • Email address
  • Website address
  • All telephone numbers
  • Field(s) of study, including competence, breadth, and primary program area
  • All previous school(s) attended
  • Photographs
  • Date and place of birth
  • Participation in officially recognized activities
  • Dates of attendance and full-time/part-time status
  • All degrees earned at Prescott College and elsewhere
  • Anticipated graduation date
  • Advisor name
  • Awards

2. This information will be disclosed even in the absence of consent unless the student files written notice requesting the College not to disclose any or all of the categories. The notice must be filed with the Office of the Registrar. See II.C.

3. The College will give annual public notice to students of the categories of information designated as directory information.

4. Directory information may appear in public documents and otherwise be disclosed without student consent unless the student objects as provided above.

5. All requests for non-disclosure of directory information will be implemented as soon as publication schedules will reasonably allow.

6. The College will use its best efforts to maintain the confidentiality of those categories of directory information that a student properly requests not be publicly disclosed. The College, however, makes no representations, warranties, or guarantees that directory information designated for non-disclosure will not appear in public documents.

B. Prior Consent Not Required

Prior consent will not be required for disclosure of education records to the following parties:

1. School officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is:

a. a,  person employed by the College in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel, health staff, and alumni relations); 

b. a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, or official of the National Student Loan Clearinghouse);

c. 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.

d. a school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

2. The College may disclose education records in certain other circumstances:

a. to comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena;

b. to appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency;

c. to officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll;

d. in connection with a student’s request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount, or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid;

e. to certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, to state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs; to accrediting organizations to carry out their functions;

f. to organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the College;
the results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged of a crime of violence may be released to the alleged victim of that crime with respect to that crime.

g. Parents of a student who is a dependent for income tax purposes. (Note: The College may require documentation of dependent status such as copies of income tax forms.)

C. Prior Consent Required

In all other cases, the College 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, the identity of the recipient, and the purpose of disclosure. A copy of the record disclosed will be provided to the student upon request and at his or her expense.

D. Record of Disclosures

  1. The College will maintain with the student's education records a record for each request and each disclosure, except for the following:
  2. disclosures to the student himself or herself;
  3. disclosures pursuant to the written consent of the student (the written consent itself will suffice as a record);
  4. disclosures to instructional or administrative officials of the College;
  5. disclosures of directory information. This record of disclosures may be inspected by the student, the official custodian of the records, and other College and governmental officials.

IV. It is the policy of Prescott College to provide students the opportunity to seek correction of their education records.

A. Request to Correct Records

A student who believes that information contained in his or her education records is inaccurate, misleading, or violative of privacy or other rights may submit a written request to the Office of the Registrar specifying the document(s) being challenged and the basis for the complaint. The request will be sent to the person responsible for any amendments to the record in question. Within a reasonable period of time of receipt of the request, the College will decide whether to amend the records in accordance with the request. If the decision is to refuse to amend, the student will be so notified and will be advised of the right to a hearing. He or she may then exercise that right by written request to the Office of the President.

B. Right to a Hearing

Upon request by a student, the College will provide an opportunity for a hearing to challenge the content of the students records. A request for a hearing should be in writing and submitted to the Office to Office of the Registrar. Within a reasonable time of receipt of the request, the student will be notified in writing of the date, place, and time reasonably in advance of the hearing.

1. Conduct of the Hearing

The hearing will be conducted by a Prescott College official who does not have a direct interest in the outcome. The student will have a full and fair opportunity to present evidence relevant to the issues raised and may be assisted or represented by individuals of his or her choice at his or her own expense, including an attorney.

2. Decision

 Within a reasonable period of time after the conclusion of the hearing, the College will notify the student in writing of its decision. The decision will be based solely upon evidence presented at the hearing and will include a summary of the evidence and the reasons for the decision. If the College decides that the information is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the privacy or other rights of the student, the College will amend the records accordingly.

C. Right to Place an Explanation in the Records

If, as a result of the hearing, the College decides that the information is not inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's rights, the College will inform the student of the right to place in his or her record a statement commenting on the information and/or explaining any reasons for disagreeing with the College's decision. Any such explanation will be kept as part of the student's record as long as the contested portion of the record is kept and will be disclosed whenever the contested portion of the record is disclosed.

V. Right to File Complaint

A student alleging College noncompliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act may file a written complaint with the Family Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20202-4605.