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MU Home » Academics » Office of the Registrar

Student Privacy Rights Under FERPA

We want to take this opportunity to give you a brief summary of your rights under The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), the federal law that governs release of and access to student education records. These rights include:

  • The right to inspect and review your education records within a reasonable time after Methodist University receives a request for access. If you want to review your record, contact the University office that maintains the record to make appropriate arrangements.
  • The right to request an amendment of your education record if you believe it is inaccurate or misleading. If you feel there is an error in your record, you should submit a statement to the University official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record you want changed and why you believe it is inaccurate or misleading. That office will notify you of their decision and advise you regarding appropriate steps if you do not agree with the decision.
  • The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with "legitimate educational interests." A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official has a "need to know" information from your education in order to fulfill his or her official responsibilities. Examples of people who may have access, depending on their official duties, and only within the context of those duties, include: university faculty and staff, agents of the institution, students employed by the institution or who serve on official institutional committees, and representatives of agencies under contract with the University.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

Release of student record information is generally not done at Methodist University without the expressed, written consent of the student. There are, however, some exceptions.

For example, directory information includes the following, and may be released without the student's consent: name, address, telephone number, major, status (including current enrollment, dates of attendance, full-time/part-time, withdrawn), honors received (e.g., Dean's List recognition), participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams. Please note that you have the right to withhold the release of directory information. To do so, you must complete a "Request for Non-Disclosure of Directory Information" form, which is available from the Office of the Registrar.

Please note two important details regarding placing a "No Release" on your record:

  • The University receives many inquiries for directory information from a variety of sources outside the institution, including friends, parents, relatives, prospective employers, the news media, and honor societies. Having a "No Release" on your record will preclude release of such information, even to these people.
  • A "No Release" applies to all elements of directory information on your record. Methodist University does not apply a "No Release" differentially to the various directory information data elements.

A copy of the Act, more details about your rights, and any University policies related to the Act are available from the Office of the Registrar.

Questions concerning FERPA should be referred to the Office of the Registrar.

Jasmin Brown
Registrar
Methodist University

 

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