FERPA: Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

FERPA Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 as amended details the access of student records held and maintained by educational institutions. The law further requires that parents or eligible students be notified of the types of records held and officials responsible for such records.

Parents have the right of access, review and challenge for elementary and secondary students (under the age of 18). The student assumes the rights of the parents at age 18 or upon enrollment at a postsecondary institution. However, if the student is considered dependent (according to the 1954 Internal Revenue Code), both the student and parents may have access rights. A student's records may be released to parents only after receipt of reasonable proof of dependency.

Pursuant to Section 99.13, students have the right of access to all educational records except those specifically excluded under the amendments to the Privacy Act. The following materials are specifically exempted from access by students: (1) Personal notes of teachers and administrators, provided these notes are not available to a third party other than a teacher's substitute; (2) Law Enforcement Records, to include those of the campus police force; (3) Medical and Psychiatric Records - not available to anyone except those providing the treatment. However, the records may be reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student's choice.

In addition to the above excepted information, students may not inspect financial information submitted by their parents, nor may they inspect confidential letters of reference placed in the file prior to January 1, 1975.

The student does have the right of access upon request to all other educational records and files which are directly related to the student with proper identification. This includes all admissions records, registration files, financial aid materials (excluding financial information submitted by their parents as mentioned above), housing files, discipline records and any athletic records.

University employees who have an "educational need to know" and others with the expressed consent of the student also have the right of access to a student's records.

In compliance with Section 99.5 of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, the following information is published for all students at Xavier University.

Directory Information

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) permits the public release of what is termed "directory information." For Xavier University's purposes, this information includes the following:

  • student name
  • all addresses (including email) and telephone listings
  • date and place of birth
  • any photographs including ALL Card photo
  • major field of study
  • number of hours registered and full or part-time status
  • class standing (freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate)
  • participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • weight and height of members of athletic teams
  • dates of attendance
  • degrees awarded and total hours earned
  • special honors and awards
  • the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student

A request for nondisclosure of the "directory information" must be filed with the Office of the Registrar, and will be honored by the institution until the student asks to have it removed, whether or not the student is currently registered. Upon the death of a student, all privacy holds are removed.

All other student educational record information, including the student's Banner ID and course schedule, are NOT considered directory information and are protected under FERPA.

Legitimate Educational Interest

In accordance with FERPA, University employees and other school officials may access student educational records in which they have a legitimate educational interest.  Whether someone has a legitimate educational interest in a student education record will depend on the facts and circumstances of the situation.  The following examples may be helpful in understanding whether you have a legitimate educational interest in a particular education record:

  • You HAVE a legitimate educational interest in an education record if it is something you need to know or access in order to carry out your job responsibilities in support of Xavier's educational mission.
  • You HAVE a legitimate educational interest in an education record if it is something you need to know or access in order to carry out your responsibilities to a committee that you serve on by virtue of your employment in support of Xavier's educational mission.
  • You DO NOT HAVE a legitimate educational interest in an education record if you are accessing it out of curiosity.
  • You DO NOT HAVE a legitimate educational interest in an education record simply because you have the ability to access the record through the Banner system.

Student Records Policy

Privacy Rights

Review and Expunging of Records

Each of the offices listed has review procedures and methods of expunging inaccurate data which are particular to the type of records kept and to the specific purpose for which they are maintained. Specific procedures can be determined by contacting the official of the office concerned.

Procedures for Challenging Content of Records

The procedures for challenging content of any specific record for reasons of inaccuracy or bias can be either informal or formal hearings. Student requests for a formal hearing must be made in writing to the appropriate vice president who, within a reasonable period of time after receiving such requests, will inform the student of the date, place and time of the hearing. The parents and/or student have the right to present evidence that the challenged material is inaccurate, misleading, or in any way inappropriate for the particular file. Correction of the material or deletion of the material should be requested. Decisions rendered at the hearing will be final, and will be based solely on the evidence presented at the hearing. The appropriate vice president will summarize the evidence, state the decision, and state the reasons for the decision. This written report will be delivered to all parties concerned.

Cost of Reproducing Files

Students have a right to request and receive copies of all accessible materials with certain exceptions, e.g. a copy of the official academic record for which a financial "hold" exists. The cost of reproduction shall be borne by the requesting party, and shall not exceed the cost to the institution. The current charge for photocopying must be paid per page, per copy. The current charge for transcripts must be paid for a complete copy of the academic record.