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Student Privacy Rights - FERPA

What is FERPA?

FERPA stands for the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.  Under said act, post-secondary students and former students are granted four primary rights:

  1. The right to inspect & review their education records.
  2. The right to have some control over the disclosure of information from their education records.
  3. The right to seek to amend incorrect education records.
  4. The right to file a complaint with the US Dept. of Education. 

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education.

What are Education Records?

FERPA defines education records as those which are both directly related to a student and maintained by an institution or a party acting for the institution.Records containing academic performance, the student Social Security Number, IVCC ID number, or other personally identifiable information in varying degrees are covered by FERPA, with some minor exceptions.

FERPA allows schools to disclose education records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR § 99.31):

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest; 
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring; 
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes; 
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student; 
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; 
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and 
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Disclosing Directory Information

Ferpa says that schools may release, at their discretion, directory information of a student as long as the student is provided an opportunity to refuse or "opt out".  Directory information is information contained in an education record of a student that if disclosed would not be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy.  Such information includes, but is not limited to:

  • Student name;
  • Mailing address;
  • Telephone listing;
  • Photograph;
  • Terms of attendance;
  • Major/Field of study;
  • Grade Level;
  • Enrollment status;
  • Participation in sports/clubs; and
  • Degrees, Honors, and Awards received.

"Opting out" of Disclosing Directory Information

To refuse or "opt out" of the release of directory information, students may fill out this form and return it to the Admissions & Records Office at IVCC. 

Before deciding to "opt out", a student should consider the effects of a confidential classification: 

  1. The student will be required to make all address changes in person with a form of photo ID;  
  2. The student will not receive any mailings from outside educational entities (except the military as required by law) regarding programs or opportunities available; and
  3. Enrollment status as an IVCC student will be suppressed and unable to be released.
    • If a loan company, prospective employer, family member, etc., inquire about enrollment status, they will be informed that we have no record of attendance.
    • The student will not be listed in any honors, graduation, or other recognitions submitted to the press or available to the public. 

Once a student has decided to “opt out” and thus designated a confidential classification and requested that a block of directory information be added to his or her record, it will not be removed until the student fills out an "opt out" revocation form.

Revocation forms are located in the Office of Admissions & Records on the Main Campus.

Disclosure of Education Record Information

A student must provide written consent via a signed and dated FERPA Release Form before an institution may disclose personally identifiable information from their education records.  Completed forms are stored in a secure location within the Admissions & Records Office on the Main Campus.

The FERPA Release Form must:

  • Specify the records to be released;
  • State the purpose of the disclosure;
  • Identify to whom the release will be made; and
  • Be signed and dated by the student.

In addition, for anyone other than the student to be able to speak directly with a student's instructor regarding specific academic progress, a Faculty FERPA Release Form must be signed and dated and on file in the respective academic Division Office prior to any discussion.

FERPA Release Forms can be located in the Office of Admissions & Records on the Main Campus.

Exceptions to Written Consent Requirement

Please note: under certain limited exceptions, IVCC may disclose personally identifiable information from a student's education record without written consent.  Such exceptions include:

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
  • Other post-secondary schools to which a student is transferring;
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
  • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
  • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
  • Accrediting organizations;
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena; 
  • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

Parental Rights & FERPA

FERPA assumes that all students are independent students; therefore, parents or legal guardians cannot be given information on their son/daughter without the student's written permission.  Parents or guardians with questions concerning their son/daughter's education record should contact the Director of Admissions & Records.

Additional FERPA Information

For additional information, you may contact the IVCC Admissions & Records Office by phone at 815-224-0439.