Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students at Mercer University certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review a student's education records within 45 days of the day the Office of the Registrar receives a request for access.

    The student should submit to the Registrar a written request that identifies the record/s the student wishes to inspect. The Registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the Registrar does not maintain the records, the student shall be advised of the correct official at the University to whom the request should be addressed.

  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate.

    The student may ask the University to amend a record that he/she believes is inaccurate. The student should write the Registrar, clearly identify the part of the record he/she wants changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the Registrar, or other appropriate official if the record is maintained by another office, will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

  3. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education record, 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 interests. A "school official" is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as a attorney, auditor, or collection agent); 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 responsibility.
    Another exception, which permits disclosure without student consent is disclosure to officials of another school, school system, or institution of post-secondary education where a student seeks or intends to enroll. Upon the request of an institution in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, the University will forward the student's education records to the requesting institution. Upon request, the student may obtain a copy of the record that was disclosed and have an opportunity for a hearing as provided above.
    Upon written request, the University will disclose to the alleged victim of a crime of violence or a nonforcible sex offense the final results of any institutional disciplinary proceeding dealing with that crime or offense.

  4. The right of a currently enrolled student to request that his/her "directory information" not be released by Mercer University.

    The University at its discretion and without the written consent of the student may release "directory information" which includes the following items: student name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, date and place of birth, academic program, dates of attendance, degrees and honors received, most recent previous institution attended, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and photographs or video images.
    A student request for non-disclosure of the above items must be filed with the Office of the Registrar.

  5. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Mercer University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

The name and address of the office that administers FERPA are: Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.

The FERPA statement is also published on the Registrar's Website and is printed in all University Catalogs.