Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, sets forth requirements regarding the privacy of student records. FERPA governs the release of these records (known as education records) maintained by an educational institution, as well as the access to these records.
It is the policy of Liberty University, in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), to withhold personally identifiable information contained in our students’ educational records unless the student has consented to disclosure through Liberty’s FERPA Personal Identification Number (PIN) system. Directory information, which is not generally considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed, may be disclosed to the public. However, private information, such as grades, class schedules, the student’s account, and financial aid awards may not be released without express consent from the student.
Using Liberty’s FERPA PIN system, the student may grant permission to release some or all private information to persons in which he or she designates. This can be accessed through the student’s ASIST account. Go to the General Information tab on ASIST, and then select the FERPA Personal Identification Number menu option. Please read the standards below to understand the role of Liberty University and the student.
Liberty abides by the FERPA guidelines outlined by the U.S. Department of Education, for further information in regards to this act please refer to their official FAQ page.
Notification of Rights under FERPA for Liberty University
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords eligible students certain rights with respect to their education records. (An “eligible student” under FERPA is a student who is 18 years of age or older and attends a postsecondary institution.) These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days after the day Liberty University receives a request for access. A student should submit to the registrar’s office (in person or at email@example.com [this must be submitted through your Liberty University email account]) a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The school official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected, or will email the requested documentation to the student. If the records are not maintained by the school official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
2. The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student’s privacy rights under FERPA.
A student who wishes to ask Liberty University to amend a record should write the Registrar’s Office, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.
If the Liberty University Registrar’s Office decides not to amend the record as requested, Liberty University will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student’s 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 provide written consent before Liberty University discloses personally identifiable information (PII) from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
Liberty University discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official typically includes a person employed by Liberty University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person serving on the board of trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee. A school official also may include a volunteer or contractor outside of Liberty University who performs an institutional service or function for which the school would otherwise use its own employees and who is under the direct control of the school with respect to the use and maintenance of PII from education records, such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or a student volunteering to assist another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official typically has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities for Liberty University.
Note: Upon request, Liberty University also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. Liberty University intends to forward those records upon request without notification to the student.
4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Liberty 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, DC 20202
See the list below of the disclosures that postsecondary institutions may make without consent.
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records, without the consent of the student, if the disclosure meets certain conditions found in § 99.31 of the FERPA regulations. Except for disclosures to school officials, disclosures related to some judicial orders or lawfully issued subpoenas, disclosures of directory information, and disclosures to the student, § 99.32 of FERPA regulations requires the institution to record the disclosure. Eligible students have a right to inspect and review the record of disclosures. A postsecondary institution may disclose PII from the education records without obtaining the prior written consent of the student —
- To other school officials, including teachers, within Liberty University whom the school has determined to have legitimate educational interests. This includes contractors, consultants, volunteers, or other parties to whom the school has outsourced institutional services or functions, provided that the conditions listed in § 99.31(a)(1)(i)(B)(1) – (a)(1)(i)(B)(3) are met. (§ 99.31(a)(1))
- To officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, or where the student is already enrolled if the disclosure is for purposes related to the student’s enrollment or transfer, subject to the requirements of § 99.34. (§ 99.31(a)(2))
- To authorized representatives of the U. S. Comptroller General, the U.S. Attorney General, the U.S. Secretary of Education, or State and local educational authorities, such as a State postsecondary authority that is responsible for supervising the university’s State-supported education programs. Disclosures under this provision may be made, subject to the requirements of §99.35, in connection with an audit or evaluation of Federal – or State – supported education programs, or for the enforcement of or compliance with Federal legal requirements that relate to those programs. These entities may make further disclosures of PII to outside entities that are designated by them as their authorized representatives to conduct any audit, evaluation, or enforcement or compliance activity on their behalf. (§§ 99.31(a)(3) and 99.35)
- 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 for the aid, determine the amount of the aid, determine the conditions of the aid, or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid. (§ 99.31(a)(4))
- To organizations conducting studies for, or on behalf of, the school, in order to: (a) develop, validate, or administer predictive tests; (b) administer student aid programs; or (c) improve instruction. (§ 99.31(a)(6))
- To accrediting organizations to carry out their accrediting functions. (§ 99.31(a)(7))
- To parents of an eligible student if the student is a dependent for IRS tax purposes. (§ 99.31(a)(8))
- To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. (§ 99.31(a)(9))
- To appropriate officials in connection with a health or safety emergency, subject to § 99.36. (§ 99.31(a)(10))
- Information the school has designated as “directory information” under § 99.37. (§ 99.31(a)(11))
- To a victim of an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or a non-forcible sex offense, subject to the requirements of § 99.39. The disclosure may only include the final results of the disciplinary proceeding with respect to that alleged crime or offense, regardless of the finding. (§ 99.31(a)(13))
- To the general public, the final results of a disciplinary proceeding, subject to the requirements of § 99.39, if the school determines the student is an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense and the student has committed a violation of the school’s rules or policies with respect to the allegation made against him or her. (§ 99.31(a)(14))
- 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. (§99.31(a)(15))
Notice for Directory Information
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, requires that Liberty University, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your child’s education records. However, Liberty University may disclose appropriately designated “directory information” without written consent, unless you have advised Liberty University to the contrary in accordance with Liberty University procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow Liberty University to include information from a student’s education records in certain school publications. Examples include:
- A playbill, showing your student’s role in a drama production
- The annual yearbook
- Honor roll or other recognition lists
- Graduation programs
- Sports activity sheets, such as for wrestling, showing weight and height of team members
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without a student’s prior written consent.
If you do not want Liberty University to disclose any or all of the types of information designated below as directory information from your education records without your prior written consent, you must notify Liberty University in writing. Liberty University has designated the following information as directory information
- Student’s name
- Telephone listing
- Electronic mail address
- Date and place of birth
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance
- Anticipated graduation date
- Dates of Admission
- Grade level
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Degrees, honors, and awards received
- The most recent educational agency or institution attended
- Residency/Match Information (COM only)
How to Request to View a Copy of a Document from your File at Liberty University
Protection under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act affords a student the right to view his or her educational records at Liberty University. The process to do so is as follows:
- A student may request to view an item from his or her file in three different ways:
- by emailing the request from your Liberty email account to firstname.lastname@example.org
- by mailing a written request to the Registrar’s Office with your signature
- by coming to the Registrar’s Office window and filling out a File Request form
- Liberty will normally supply the requested document(s) to the student within two business days. A copy of the document will normally be provided to the student in the same fashion as it was requested
- There are certain items in which Liberty will not supply a copy without a special exception granted by the Registrar (i.e. transcripts from other institutions. It is expected that if a student needs a copy of a transcript from another institution that they will request it from the institution itself).
- An email request from an address other than your Liberty account will be returned to you unfulfilled. It must come from your Liberty account.
- Please be specific as to the document(s) you would like to view when making your request
- While an individual who knows a student’s FERPA PIN may view confidential records within a student’s file, copies of documents will not be released to anyone other than the student.
Revised August 7, 2017