FERPA and the Student's Right to Review Records
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (34 C.F.R. Part 99—commonly known as FERPA), is the federal law that governs the release of and access to student education records. FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
The right to inspect and review your education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and will notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. Copies of any portion of the record will be provided at a cost currently established at 10 cents per page, excluding the official transcript of the student's permanent academic record for which the University's transcript policy and fee will apply.
The right to request an amendment of the student’s education record if the student believes it is inaccurate or misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. A student who wishes to ask the University to amend a record should submit a written request to the University office responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record the student wants changed and specifying why it should be changed. That office will notify the student of its decision. Contact the Office of the Ombuds at 513-556-5956 should you encounter difficulty in obtaining the requested record review. If the University office decides not to amend the record as requested, the student may request a hearing before the University’s Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act Committee. To request this hearing, contact the Office of the Registrar.
The right to provide written consent before the University discloses personally identifiable information from 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 interest.” A school official is an employee, agent or other person acting on behalf of the University, to include: a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted as its agent to provide a service instead of using University employees or officials (such as an attorney, auditor, collection agent, or enrollment/degree certification service facilitator); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; 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 responsibilities for the University.
Upon request, the University also may disclose education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
FERPA affords students 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. The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-5920
At its discretion, University of Cincinnati may provide directory information in accordance with FERPA provisions. Directory information is defined as that information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed. Designated directory information at University of Cincinnati includes the following:
- Student’s name
- Dates of attendance
- Enrollment status
- Degrees conferred and conferral dates
- Honors and awards
- College, class, and major field of study
- Student identifier (non-Social Security Number)
- UC email address
- Telephone number
Students may block the public disclosure of directory information (all or by category).
Please consider carefully the consequences of a decision to withhold directory information. A nondisclosure block will call for University of Cincinnati not to release any or all of your directory information. Thus, University of Cincinnati will deny any future requests for such information submitted by non-institutional third persons or organizations. University of Cincinnati will honor your request to withhold directory information but cannot assume responsibility to contact you for subsequent permission to release this information. Regardless of the effect upon you, the University assumes no liability as a result of honoring your instructions that such information be withheld. University of Cincinnati will honor requests for the non-disclosure of directory information until the student rescinds the request.
The Solomon Amendment
Under the provisions of the Solomon Amendment (32 C.F.R. 216), University of Cincinnati is required to provide “student recruitment information” upon request to representatives of the Department of Defense for military recruiting purposes. This information includes student name, address, telephone number, date of birth, level of education or degrees received, major and the most recent previous educational institution in which the student was enrolled.
For questions regarding the University’s compliance with FERPA and the Solomon Amendment, contact the Office of the Registrar.