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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

Annual Notice of Student Rights (updated August 2023)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), a Federal law, and its corresponding regulations give students certain rights to privacy of their education records and rights of access to their education records.

Student rights include:

1. Inspect and Review of Records

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 should submit written requests to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. However, parts of education records may not be inspected by students (e.g.,financial records of their parents, certain letters of recommendation, or certain medical records). If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed. Copies may be provided to students under certain circumstances, and a reasonable copy fee may be charged.  See Section 3 of REG 11.00.01.

2. Amendment of Records

The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise violate the student’s privacy rights under FERPA. Students should write to the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate, misleading, or inconsistent with the student’s privacy rights. 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 their 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.  See Section 8 of REG 11.00.01.

3. Consent to Disclosure 

The right to provide written consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information from the student’s education records. However, there are exceptions to this right. One exception which permits disclosure without the student’s consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. School officials include employees or agents of the university, advisors, faculty, university committee members, other educational institutions seeking information for the purpose of admission or enrollment, and persons or companies with whom the university has contracted, provided they have a legitimate educational interest in the records. A legitimate educational interest means an activity that the school official is undertaking in the name of the university for which access to  education records is necessary or appropriate to fulfill that individual’s responsibilities for the university.

Another exception to records privacy is that the University may disclose “directory information” without student consent. Directory information consists of a student’s name, preferred email address, enrollment status (e.g., full-time or part-time), grade level (freshman, sophomore, etc.), major field of study, dates of attendance, honors, degrees and awards received, weight and height of student-athletes, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, and most recent educational institution attended. For students residing in University-owned or leased housing facilities, the University may also designate as “directory information” a student’s local and permanent addresses and age for the limited purpose of responding to requests from the United States Census Bureau as part of census data collection.

The University may disclose the final results of campus disciplinary proceedings in which a student respondent is charged with a violent crime or non-forcible sex offense as set forth in more detail in REG 11.00.01.

Other exceptions which allow the University to disclose education records without student consent include but are not limited to the following: to parents of dependent students, to other educational institutions, to comply with a lawfully issued subpoena or court order, to protect the health and safety of the student or others in an emergency, in litigation, and where there is an implied waiver by the student.

The university may also notify parents of students under the age of 21 of certain Code of Student Conduct alcohol or drug violations as set forth in more detail in REG 11.00.01.Students may block disclosure of directory information. To block disclosure of directory information, a student must establish privacy settings within the MyPack portal as soon as possible after declaring their intention to enroll at the University. Students who do not wish to have listings published in the University’s telephone directory must also notify the Department of Registration and Records by the end of the first week of September. Even if a student blocks directory information, it may still be inspected by those persons authorized by law to inspect education records without consent. See 34 CFR 99.31 and 99.37.

4. FERPA Complaints 

The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by NC 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