The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the confidentiality of student educational records. Once a student reaches 18 years of age or attends a postsecondary institution, he or she becomes an “eligible student,” and all rights formerly given to parents under FERPA transfer to the student.
Under FERPA, an eligible student has the following rights:
Piedmont Technical College will disclose information from a student’s educational record only with the written consent of the student. FERPA allows disclosure of information without written consent under the following circumstances:
Students have the right to withhold disclosure of directory information under FERPA. To withhold disclosure, students must complete the FERPA Non-Disclosure Request Form in the Student Records Office.
Occasionally, colleges and universities request directory information on our students in order to offer transfer opportunities to graduates. It is the policy of Piedmont Technical College to release the name and address of students only when requested in writing by public or private, not for profit, institutions of higher education. We are required to release this information to the military when requested. Information is not released for students who request that their records remain confidential.
Records created by a campus law enforcement unit, created for a law enforcement purpose, and maintained by the law enforcement unit, are not “education records” subject to the protections of FERPA. As such, the law enforcement unit may disclose law enforcement unit records to third parties without the eligible student’s prior written consent. However, education records, or personally identifiable information from education records, which the school shares with the law enforcement unit do not lose their protected status as education records because they are shared with the law enforcement unit.
Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College 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 20202-5901