Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) protects the rights of students in regard to their educational records.

  1. Students have the right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the university receiving their written request. This would include transcripts or other records obtained from a previously attended school. Written requests specifying the records to be inspected can be made to the registrar, vice president for academic services or other appropriate official. An appointment will be made for the student to view the records in the presence of a member of the registrar staff or vice president for academic services.
  2. Students have the right to request their educational records be corrected if they believe them to be inaccurate or misleading. If the university decides not to amend the record, the student has the right to request a hearing. If the student is unsatisfied with the outcome of the hearing, the student may place a statement with the record explaining his or her view about the contested information.
  3. Bethel University must have permission from the student to release information from the student’s education record. A student consent form can be accessed on the student web. An exception permits disclosure to school officials with a legitimate educational interest. A school official is a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, support staff position (including security or health personnel); a person or company with whom the university has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor or collection agent); a member of the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official 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 educational record to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

    FERPA provides that directory information may be released without consent unless the student has informed the university that such information should not be released. Directory information is limited to those types of information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Bethel University considers the following to be directory information:

    Name Address
    Telephone listing Email address
    Major field(s) of study Date and place of birth
    Degrees and awards Dates of attendance
    Most recent previous school attended Classification

    Participation in officially recognized activities and sports

    Any student who desires that directory information not be released may submit a written request to the registrar’s office.

  4. Students have the right to file a complaint with the United States Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Bethel University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

    As of January 3, 2012, the U.S. Department of Education’s FERPA regulations expand the circumstances under which your education records and personally identifiable information (PII) contained in such records – including your Social Security Number, grades, or other private information – may be accessed without your consent. First, the U.S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or state and local education authorities (“Federal and State Authorities”) may allow access to your records and PII without your consent to any third party designated by a Federal or State Authority to evaluate a federal – or state - supported education program. The evaluation may relate to any program that is “principally engaged in the provision of education,” such as early childhood education and job training, as well as any program that is administer by an education agency or institution. Second, Federal and State Authorities may allow access to your education records and PII without your consent to researchers performing certain types of studies, in certain cases even when we object to or do not request such research. Federal and State Authorities must obtain certain use-restriction and data security promises from the entities that they authorize to receive you PII, but the Authorities need not maintain direct control over such entities. In addition, in connection with Statewide Longitudinal Data Systems, State Authorities may collect, compile, permanently retain, and share without your consent PII from your education records, and they may track your participation in education and other programs by linking such PII to other personal information about you that they obtain from other Federal or State data sources, including workforce development, unemployment insurance, child welfare, juvenile justice, military service, and migrant student records systems.