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Student Handbook - (FERPA)

Catalog and Student Handbook

The Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. They are:

  • The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the College receives a request for access. Students should submit to the appropriate records custodian written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The records custodian 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 College official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
  • The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. A student should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her 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.
  • The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the College 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 College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agency); a person serving on the College Board; 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.

FERPA permits institutions to identify certain items of student information as “directory information.” Germanna identifies directory information as the: Student’s name, address, telephone listing, electronic mail address, major field of study, number of credit hours enrolled, dates of attendance, grade level, degrees, honors, and awards received, the most recent educational agency or institution attended, and participation in officially recognized activities and sports. Students must submit written notification to the office of the College Registrar to prevent he disclosure of directory information. Germanna may disclose any of these items without prior consent, unless the student notifies the Admissions and Records Office, in writing during the first ten days of the semester that this information remains confidential.

  • The right to file a complaint with the U. S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College 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, 600 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, DC 20202-4605.
    According to FERPA, Germanna Community College may release information without the student’s written consent to the following:
  • school officials, as identified by Germanna Community College, determined by Germanna Community College to have a legitimate educational interest, (individuals appointed to ad hoc review committees may be identified as having a legitimate educational interest)
  • officials of other institutions in which the student seeks to enroll,
  • persons or organizations providing to the student financial aid, or determining financial aid decisions,
  • accrediting organizations, carrying out their accrediting functions,
  • parents of a student who have established that student’s status as a dependent according to IRS Code of 1986, Section 152,
  • persons in compliance with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena,
  • persons in an emergency, if the knowledge of information, in fact, is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons.

Questions on this policy can be directed to the Registrar.

Refusal to Provide Copies: Germanna Community College reserves the right to deny transcripts or copies of records not required to be made available by the FERPA in any of the following situations:

  • The student lives within commuting distance of Germanna Community College; if student is within commuting distance, the student may be asked to come and view the file at the office rather than making a full set of copies of all file contents.
  • The student has an unpaid financial obligation to the College.
  • There is an unresolved disciplinary action against the student.

Fees for Copies of Records: Germanna Community College does not charge a fee for the copying of a transcript at this time. However, a reasonable charge may be assessed to provide copies of other records and to cover the expenses of copying time and postage.

Types, Locations, and Custodians of Educational Records:

Admissions & Records

Location: Registrar’s Office / Custodian: Registrar

Cumulative Academic Records

Location: Registrar’s Office / Custodian: Registrar

Financial Aid Records

Location: Financial Aid Office / Custodian: Coordinator of Financial Aid

Financial Records

Location: Business Office / Custodian: Business Manager

Placement Testing

Location: Testing Centers

Custodians: Testing Center Manager

Disciplinary Records

Location: Student Services

Custodian: Dean of Student Development