Confidentiality of Student Records

Confidentiality of Student Records

Student records are held by the University in joint agreement with the student and the University for the benefit of the student. In such an agreement, the student’s records are the property of the University but may be released upon the written request of the student. The records of the student are held in trust by the University and are maintained in a confidential manner. THE FAMILY EDUCATIONAL RIGHTS AND PRIVACY ACT  (more commonly known as “The Buckley Amendment” or FERPA) is a federal law that 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. Students should submit to the University Director of Student Records a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University Director of Student Records 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 University Director of Student Records to whom the request was submitted, he or she 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 education records that the student believes is inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write to the University 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 University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University 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.
  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to School officials with legitimate educational interests. A School official is a person employed by the University 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 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. 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. Upon request, the University, at its discretion, may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Thomas Jefferson University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the  Office that administers FERPA is: 

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington DC, 20202-4605

The University, at its discretion, may provide directory (public) information in accordance with the provisions of the Act to include: the student’s name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, academic schedule, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, identification photo, University e-mail address and previous educational institutions attended by the student. Students wanting directory information withheld should notify the University Director of Student Records in writing within two weeks of each year’s initial academic enrollment.

Revisions and clarifications will be published as experience with the law and Jefferson’s policy warrant.