Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a Federal law which states that educational institutions must notify students annually of their rights under the act. FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the Seminary receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Seminary registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the students of the time and place where the records may be inspected.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the Seminary to amend records that they believe are inaccurate or misleading. They should write the Seminary registrar, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify what is inaccurate or misleading. If the Seminary decides not to amend the records as requested by the student, the Seminary 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 students when notified of the right to a hearing.
- 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, which permits disclosure without consent, is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the Seminary in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the Seminary has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent); a person serving on the Board of Regents; 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 Seminary discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the Seminary to comply with the requirements of FERPA.
- A parent or spouse of a student is advised that information contained in educational records, except as may be determined to be Directory Information, will not be disclosed to him/her without the prior written consent of the son, daughter or spouse.
Student Consent for Access to Education Records
Students may choose to complete and submit the FERPA Form for Student Consent to Release Information form to the Registrar’s Office or Financial Aid Office allowing the release of their education records to specified third parties, which includes a parent, spouse, any other person, organization, etc.
Directory information includes the student’s name, local, home and vicarage/internship address, telephone number, seminary email address, campus box number, degree program (and classification, I, II, Vicar, IV for MDiv students), dates of enrollment, including confirmation of present enrollment, degrees earned or not earned, hometown (city, state), home district (for LCMS students), home congregation (for LCMS students), name of vicarage/internship congregation, city, state (for LCMS students), spouse’s first name, and children’s first name.
Students may withhold Directory Information from being released outside of the Seminary community by notifying the registrar in writing within two weeks of the first day of class for the Fall Quarter. Forms are available in the Registrar’s Office.