New Student and Family Programs
Parents

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

  • Seattle University's policy regarding the confidentiality of student records is in compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA). The FERPA Record Guidelines: Disclosure of Student Information is available from the Office of the Registrar website located in the academic policies directory..

    It is University policy to maintain as confidential all personally identifiable information in education records except those considered to be "directory information." Directory information is defined as that information which would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy. Designated directory information at Seattle University includes student name, campus address (building only), campus telephone, SU e-mail address, major field of study, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, grade level, enrollment status, name of the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and photographs for University use only.

    Students have the right to request that directory information not be disclosed to third parties and may do so by submitting their request in writing to the Office of the Registrar by the last day to register each term, as announced in the University Calendar. Directory information will be withheld indefinitely until the request to withhold disclosure is revoked in writing and submitted to the Office of the Registrar. The non-disclosure of directory information will call for Seattle University not to release any directory information; thus, any future requests for such information from non-institutional persons or organizations will be refused. The University will honor your request to withhold directory information but cannot assume responsibility to contact you for subsequent permission to release this information. Regardless of the effect upon you, Seattle University assumes no liability as a result of honoring your instructions that such information be withheld.

    FERPA also affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights are:

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

    Students must submit written requests identifying the record(s) they wish to inspect to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, vice president of student development, or other appropriate official. The form titled Inspect and Review Educational Records Request allows students to request toreview the academic file maintained by the Office of the Registrar. The form may be retrieved from the Office of the Registrar website by accessing this link: http://seattleu.edu/registrar/filelib/1460.pdf . Other areas of the university have developed separate request processes and must be contacted directly for details of how to make a formal records request. Following receipt of the written request, each office or department will make arrangements 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 University official to whom the request was submitted, that official will 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.

    Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write to the University official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record they want changed and specifying why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of the right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information about the hearing procedures will be provided to the student along with notification of the right to a hearing.

    (3) The right to consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

    FERPA permits disclosure without consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is defined as a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted for a service or operations function (such as an 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. The University may also disclose personally identifiable information from a student's education records without the student's consent if the disclosure is to parents of "dependent" children as defined by the Internal Revenue Code, Section 152; or to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll. Furthermore, the University is required by law (the Solomon Amendment) to provide the name and address of all students to any legitimate military recruiter who makes such a request in writing to the Office of the Registrar. This applies even if a student has submitted a request to withhold directory information. FERPA regulations detail other exceptions that allow disclosure without a student's consent.

    (4) The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Seattle 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 20202-4605

    Revised 8/7/08