FERPA is a federal law that provides university students with access to and control over the privacy of education records. It also provides guidelines for appropriately using and releasing student education records.
In accordance with the provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (Section 438 of the General Education Provisions Act 20 U.S.C. 1232g, commonly referred to as the “Buckley Amendment”), Lesley University advises students as of their rights as follows.
1. Inspect & Review Records
Students have the right to inspect and review their education records within 45 days of the date Lesley University receives a request for access. To request access to their education records, a student should submit a written request to the University Registrar that identifies the records the student wishes to inspect.
The Registrar will arrange for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the Registrar, the Registrar will either obtain the records or advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
2. Request Amendments to Records
Students have the right to request amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights. To request an amendment to student education records, a student must write to the University Registrar, identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed. If the records are not maintained by the Registrar, the Registrar will advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
The university will review the request and decide whether to amend the record within a reasonable time after receiving the request. If the university decides not to amend the record as requested, the university will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment.
Information regarding hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing. If the hearing does not change the result, the student may put a statement in the student’s education record stating the student’s disagreement with the university’s decision.
3. Consent to Disclose Records
Students have the right to consent, in writing, to disclose personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent (see Disclosure of Information from Education Records without Student Consent).
Students should use these forms to disclose their records:
Parent/Guardian Education Record Release Form (PDF), to authorize Lesley University to release their records to their parent/legal guardian.
Third-Party Education Record Release Form (PDF), to authorize the release of records to a specified person.
4. File a Complaint
Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Lesley University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. File complaints to the Office that administers FERPA.
Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202
Disclosure of Information from Education Records without Student Consent
FERPA regulations permit the disclosure of personally identifiable information from a student’s education records without the prior written consent of the student if the disclosure meets certain conditions.
These conditions include but are not limited to the following:
1. Directory Information, as permitted by FERPA and defined by Lesley University.
Lesley University defines directory information as: student name, enrollment status, dates of attendance, major field of study, and degrees and awards received.
For purposes of responding to United States and City of Cambridge census requests only, the university also designates student residence hall addresses and dates of birth as directory information.
Students may request that Lesley University not release directory information to the public by completing a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information Form (PDF).
2. Other School Officials
The information is provided to other Lesley University officials who have a legitimate educational interest in the information. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for Lesley University.
A school official is defined as:
A person employed by Lesley University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including public safety personnel and health staff).
A person serving on the board of trustees.
A student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee.
Any faculty member or administrator to whom or to whose office the student has addressed a request, application, or inquiry for which the records are needed to prepare a reply.
A volunteer or contractor outside of Lesley University who performs an institutional service or function for which the university would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the university with respect to the use and maintenance of personally identifiable information from education records. These could include an attorney, auditor, collection agent, emergency alert system, or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks.
3. Financial Aid
The information is provided in connection with financial aid for which the student has applied or which the student has received, if the information is necessary to determine eligibility, amount, conditions, or enforcement of terms of such financial aid.
4. Others schools
The information is provided to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
5. Federal Tax Purposes
The information is provided to parents or legal guardians of a student if the student is a dependent for federal tax purposes.
The information is relevant to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
7. Accrediting Organizations
The information is provided to accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions.
8. Possession of Alcohol or Controlled Substance
The information is provided to parents of a student regarding the student’s violation of any federal, state, or local law, or of any rule or policy of the school, governing the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance, if the school determines the student committed a disciplinary violation and the student is under the age of 21.
9. Health or Safety Emergency
The information is provided to the parents or guardians, school officials, government agents, and/or others, as appropriate, in connection with a health or safety emergency.
Military Access to Education Records
Under the Solomon Amendment, Lesley University may not in policy or practice prohibit or prevent the Secretary of Defense and their representatives from obtaining, for military recruiting purposes, entry to campus, access to students on campus, or access to directory information, nor may Lesley University institute an anti-ROTC policy.
Pursuant to the Solomon Amendment, for the purpose of military recruiting, Lesley University must permit Department of Defense entities to obtain the following student information:
- Telephone listing
- Age or year of birth
- Level of education (e.g., freshman, sophomore, or degree awarded for a recent graduate)
- Academic major
However, if a student has formally requested that such information be withheld from public disclosure, Lesley University may not provide such information to the Department of Defense entities. See Disclosure of Information from Education Records without Student Consent for the process for requesting that such information be withheld from public disclosure.