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The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, also known as the Buckley Amendment, was created to protect the privacy of student records. The Act provides for the right of the student to inspect and review educational records, the right to seek to amend those records and the right to limit disclosure of information from the records. The Act applies to all institutions that are the recipients of federal funding.

The College reserves the right to deny transcripts or make copies of records available when the student has an unpaid financial obligation to the College.

What are Education Records?

Education Records include any records in the possession of an employee which are shared with or accessible to another individual. The records may be handwritten or in the form of print or some other medium. FERPA coverage includes records, files, documents and data directly related to students.

With certain exceptions, a student has rights of access to those records which are directly related to him/her and which are maintained by an educational institution or party authorized to keep records for the institution.

Who is Protected Under FERPA?

Students who are currently enrolled in higher education institutions or were formerly enrolled regardless of their age or status in regard to parental dependency. Students who have applied but have not attended an institution are not protected.

Can Parents have Access to their Child's Records?

At the postsecondary level, parents have no inherent rights to inspect a studentís education records, regardless of the age of the student. The right to inspect is limited solely to the student. Records may be released to parents only under the following circumstances:

  • with the written consent of the student
  • in compliance with a lawfully issued (by a judge or attorney) subpoena

Who is Entitled to Student Information?

Except for specific exceptions listed below, a signed and dated consent by the student must be obtained before any disclosure is made.

  • The student and any outside party who has the studentís written consent.
  • School officials who have "legitimate educational interest" as defined by FERPA.
  • A lawfully issued (by judge or attorney) judicial order or subpoena which allows the institution to release records without the studentís consent. However, at Kirkwood, we attempt to notify the student 10 days prior to complying with the subpoena.

Kirkwood may also disclose information from a studentís education records:

  • to federal, state and local authorities involving an audit or evaluation of compliance with educational programs
  • in connection with Financial Aid 
  • to organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of educational institutions
  • to accrediting organizations
  • in cases of health or safety emergency
  • directory information.

What is directory Information?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act says that some information about students is directory information and a college may disclose it without being in violation of the law.

At Kirkwood, directory information is

  • name;
  • degrees, diplomas, certificates earned and awards (e.g., Deanís list);
  • dates of attendance (e.g., Fall 2010, Fall 2010-Spring 2012);
  • enrollment status (full-time, part-time, not enrolled);
  • participation in officially recognized activities (e.g., SIFE, DECA);
  • participation in officially recognized sports;
  • height and weight of members of athletic teams;
  • major and hometown (for commencement program only).

Upon request, Kirkwood may release information in the directory categories, but addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers, previous schools/colleges attended, date of birth, class schedules and class rosters are released only in specific predetermined situations. No more than one student should be inquired about in any contact.

Please write or call the One Stop office if you have questions about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act.

Required Consent to Disclose "Personably Identifiable Information" from an Education Record (Including Transcripts)

The written consent must:

  • specify the records that may be disclosed
  • specify to whom the records are to be disclosed
  • specify the purpose of the disclosure
    • The consent is for a specific release of information
    • The consent is not valid for multiple or ongoing releases