The Act protects the privacy of student records by requiring institutions limit disclosure of student academic information to third parties.
Right to Review
Students have the right under FERPA to request inspection of records, and if warranted, request any portion of the record be corrected if found to be incorrectly reported. Requests should be submitted in writing to the Office of the Registrar by the student. While FERPA provides students with the right to challenge the accuracy of their educational records, it does not permit students to challenge grades or other evaluations of academic performance (see also Grade Appeal 6.20)).
Initiation of FERPA
A student is protected under FERPA when an academic record begins for the student. At Cobleskill when a student sits in their first class, FERPA protections begin. Protection is provided regardless of age.
Consent for Release of Records
Cobleskill requires students give consent for release of academic record to any third person. A student provides this release in one of two ways 1) by completing a records request form so the academic transcript can be sent to a third person or 2) by completing the FERPA Student Records Access Authorization Form specifying a third person who may access the student record. Either form should be submitted to the Office of the Registrar.
Access to Transcripts
While FERPA protects a student’s right to access their record, institutions are not required to provide official copy of the record. In cases were a student has outstanding financial obligations to the institution, the institution may hold the official transcript from release for any purpose until the financial obligation is met. Other holds, such as failure to return campus property, may also prevent a transcript from being issued.
Institutions may designate certain student information as ‘directory information’ which is allowable under FERPA to be released to a third party without prior consent of the student. At Cobleskill directory information is limited to the following: Full Name, Campus or Local Address, Local Telephone Number, Home Address, Major, Department, Dates of Attendance, Dates of Graduation, Degree Awarded, Awards, Full-time/Part-time Status, Date of Birth, Email Address and Photos or Video Footage. Students may object to release of Directory Information and have the information withheld by filing a FERPA Confidentiality Directory Exclusion Request and submit the document to the Office of the Registrar. The form must be submitted within the first 14 days of the term to ensure exclusion of directory information can be met. It is the students responsibility to revoke exclusion whether a current or former student of Cobleskill.
Annual FERPA Announcement Inclusive of Directory Information
Each year, as required under the protections of FERPA, annual notice is provided to every student in attendance at Cobleskill. The official notification is published via the web, in the academic planner referred to as ‘On the Hill’ and during informational sessions students and prospective students are invited to attend.
If a health or safety emergency exists specific personally identifiable information on students may be disclosed to appropriate parties by a SUNY Cobleskill officials. FERPA empowers school officials to act quickly and decisively when emergencies and natural or man-made disasters exist. FERPA is not an obstacle to a swift response when emergencies are present.
Violations of FERPA
Students who feel the institution is in violation of FERPA should contact the Registrar directly for assistance in resolution of any perceived violation or clarification of FERPA policy. It is the right of the student to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the State 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 20202-5920.