Section XII - Student Services


Records - Privacy of Student Education Records

To state how student education records will be maintained to protect the privacy of students and their education records.

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) protects the privacy of eligible students enrolled in a postsecondary institution in relation to their education records.

  • “Eligible student” is defined as a student 18 years of age or older, or a student who enters a postsecondary institution at any age.
  • “Education record” is defined as those records that contain information directly related to the student and that are maintained by the educational institution.
Specific FERPA Rights

The law provides eligible students with specific rights under FERPA:

  • The right to inspect and review information contained in their education records within 45 days after the institution receives the request.
  • The right to request that a school amend records that are believed to be inaccurate or misleading; to have a hearing if the outcome of the request is unsatisfactory; and submit explanatory statements for inclusion in their files if they feel that the decisions of the hearing panel are unacceptable.
  • The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education (Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue SW, Washington, DC, 20202) concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with FERPA requirements.
  • The right to provide written consent prior to the institution disclosing personally identifiable information from the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
Limitations for Record Review

There are times when FERPA does not require a school to disclose educational records for a student to inspect and review, such as:

  • Education records of other students, even if they are contained within the same record of the student requesting the review.
  • Financial records of parents.
  • Confidential letters and recommendations associated with admission, employment, or academic honors.
Directory Information

FERPA permits the release of some general student information known as “directory information” without written approval of students. Although these items have been deemed directory information and may be released without consent, it is the practice of the college to avoid releasing a student’s address and telephone number without written authorization, unless the third-party requesting the directory information meets one of the exceptions to consent requirements.

Randolph Community College considers the following directory information:

  • Student’s name
  • Address
  • Telephone number
  • Email address
  • Photograph
  • Major field of study
  • Grade level
  • Participation in officially recognized activities
  • Dates of attendance
  • The most recent educational agency or institution attended by the student
  • Degrees, honors, and awards received

Students may formally request that the Randolph Community College not release Directory Information by submitting a request form to the Office of Admissions, Records and Registration.  Once the request has been made, every reasonable effort will be made to safeguard the confidentiality of directory information. The request will become effective the date the form is submitted and will remain in effect until the student submits a written request to remove the restriction.

Exceptions to Consent Requirements

Disclosure of education records without consent is permitted in certain circumstances.  Some examples of when disclosure is permitted without consent are:

  • School officials with legitimate educational interest, including administrators, faculty, and staff members. This exception may also apply to outsourcing services provided certain conditions are met.
  • Other schools to which a student is transferring.
  • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes.
  • Appropriate parties in connection with student financial aid if the information is necessary for such purposes as to: determine eligibility for the aid; determine the amount of aid; determine the conditions for the aid; or enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  • Organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of the institution.
  • Accrediting agencies carrying out their accreditation function.
  • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena.
  • Persons involved in an emergency situation (typically local, state or federal law enforcement, trained medical personnel, public health officials, and parents) in order to protect the health or safety of students or of other persons. There must be an actual, impending, or imminent emergency and the disclosure should be limited to period of time of the emergency.
  • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.
  • Parents of a dependent student as defined by the IRS for tax purposes.
  • Parents of a student related to the student’s violation of any Federal, State, local or institutional law or policy regarding the use or possession of alcohol or controlled substance if the student perpetrated a disciplinary violation, as determined by the institution, and the student is under the age of 21 years of age; and
  • Military recruiters in compliance with the Solomon Amendment for students age 17 and older.
Contact Information

The Director of Admissions, Records and Registration (Registrar) directs the procedures for students interested in inspecting or reviewing their education records and for students who do not want their directory information released by the institution.  The Director has also been designated by the College to consider and coordinate inspection and review requests from third parties for students’ educational records.  If the Director is unavailable, the Assistant Director of Admissions, Records and Registration will coordinate the inspection and review requests.

For additional information on FERPA, visit the U.S. Department of Education’s website.


Adopted: 04/15/1999