FAMILY EDUCATION RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
1. The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
a. Students should submit a written request to the Registrar’s office that identifies the records they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.
a. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. A written request must be made to the Provost. The request should include information that clearly identifies the part of the record the student wants amended, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. The University will notify the student of its decision in writing.
b. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the Registrar’s office will notify the student in writing of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additionally, the student will receive information regarding the hearing procedures when notified of the right to a hearing.
3. The right to consent to disclosures of personal identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
a. The University discloses education records without a student’s prior consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to University officials with legitimate educational interests. A University official is defined as a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position including law enforcement and Health Center personnel; a person or company with whom the University 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.
b. The University may release personal identifiable information under these conditions:
- To Palo Alto University officials who have a legitimate educational interest;
- To federal, state and local authorities in connection with an audit or evaluation of compliance with educational programs;
- 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; this includes veterans’ benefits;
- To organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of Palo Alto University, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction;
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their functions;
- To comply with a court order or a lawfully issued subpoena when specifically requests (student may not be notified);
- To appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency;
- Upon request to officials of another school to which a student seeks or intends to enroll or has enrolled (such request is usually processed in response to a written request from the student);
- To parents/legal guardians of an eligible student who claim the student as a dependent for income tax purposes. The University informs parents/guardians where it deems appropriate;
- In cases of violent crime, the results of any disciplinary proceeding conducted by the University against an accused student to the alleged victim;
- In releasing directory information.
Under the FERPA exception for disclosure to University officials with legitimate educational interests, third parties identified as University officials are subject to the requirements in the Act with respect to disclosure or possible re-disclosure of personal identifiable information (Disclosure and Re-disclosure information)- 34 C.F.R. 99.33.
FERPA permits disclosure of directory information without consent unless the student has filed a Request for non-disclosure of directory information. Directory information at the Palo Alto University includes:
- PAU Email Address
- Phone numbers(s)
- Classification (i.e. sophomore, senior, etc.)
- Major field of study
- Periods of enrollment
- Degrees pursued
- Credit hour load (i.e. full-time, part-time, etc.)
- Degree(s) awarded
- Date(s) of degree conferral
If a student wishes to have the above-mentioned information withheld, they submit a Request for non-disclosure of directory information. Once the Registrar's 0ffice receives the completed form, all directory information will be withheld until the Registrar’s Office is notified to remove the hold.
For additional information regarding student privacy and FERPA, visit the FERPA Website.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Palo Alto University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the 0ffice that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5920