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FERPA Overview

It’s the Law…

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), also known as the Buckley Amendment, was passed by Congress in 1974. It grants four specific rights to a postsecondary student:

  • To see the information the institution is keeping on the student;
  • To seek amendment to those records and in certain cases append a statement to the record;
  • To consent to disclosure of records;
  • To file a complaint with the FERPA Office in Washington DC.

FERPA applies to all educational agencies or institutions that receive funds under any program administrated by the Secretary of Education. FERPA governs what may be released but does not require that any information be released.

FERPA ensures the privacy of student records other than directory information. Student records including information about registration, grades, financial aid and billing are considered confidential and may not be released without written consent of the student. 

If you wish to allow anyone other than you, the student, to access this information you must file a FERPA Release form with the BridgeValley Division of Student Affairs. FERPA does allow colleges and universities to release directory information about a student. If you do not wish this information to be disclosed, you must file a FERPA Directory Information Opt-out Form with the Division of Student Services. Data considered to be public or directory information is listed below.

Questions regarding FERPA should be emailed to [email protected].

Student Information Types

Directory/Public Information and BridgeValley Information
“Directory information is… information contained in an educational record of a student which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed.” (FERPA Regulations, 34CFR, Part 993.)

Directory Information Includes:

  • Name
  • City
  • Major field of study
  • Full time or part-time status
  • Dates of attendance
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received (including anticipated graduation dates)
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended

Directory Information is considered public and can be released without the student’s written permission. However, the student may opt to keep this information confidential by submitting a FERPA (Opt Out) form.

Directory Information NEVER Includes:

  • Social Security Number
  • Student identification number (B#)
  • Race
  • Ethnicity
  • Nationality
  • Gender

Complaints concerning alleged failures by BridgeValley Community and Technical College to comply with FERPA may be mailed to the U.S. Department of Education at:

           Family Policy Compliance Office
           U.S. Department of Education
           400 Maryland Ave., SW
           Washington, D.C. 20202-4605