FERPA

TENNESSEE TECH UNIVERSITY 

RELEASE OF EDUCATION RECORDS AND 
NOTIFICATION OF YOUR RIGHTS UNDER FERPA

Tennessee Tech University (“Tennessee Tech”) maintains Education Records on every student who enrolls. An “Education Record” is defined as personally identifiable information recorded in any way that is directly related to a student and is maintained by Tennessee Tech or a party acting for Tennessee Tech.

Pursuant to the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1232g (“FERPA”) and Tennessee Tech Policy, 1206 Confidentiality of Student Records and FERPA Compliance, which can be accessed through Tennessee Tech’s Policy Central page, you have certain rights with respect to your Education Records. These rights are included below.

FERPA for Students

  • The Right to Access to Review Your Education Records

    You have the right to access and review your Education Records. Such access must be provided to you within forty-five (45) days after requesting access. To access and review your Education Records, you must submit a written request to the custodian of the records identifying the records you wish to review. The right to access and review your Education Records does not include access to records exempted from disclosure pursuant to 34 Code of Federal Regulations Section 99.12 or any other relevant statute, rule, regulation or order.

    Absent an exception to access and review, the custodian of the records will make arrangements for your access and notify you of a time and place where the records may be reviewed. If the official to whom the request was submitted does not maintain the records, that official will advise you of the correct custodian of records to whom your request should be addressed, if the official has that information.

  • The Right to Request the Amendment of Your Education Records

    You have the right to request the amendment of your Education Records if you believe they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of your privacy rights under FERPA. To amend a record(s), you must submit a written request to the custodian of the records. The written request must clearly identify the portion of the record(s) you want amended, and must detail the reason(s) for the requested amendment. You may not use the request for amendment and related procedures to contest the underlying action taken by the University that has been recorded in your Education Records. Under no circumstances will any student be allowed to contest the assignment of an academic grade under this procedure.

    If Tennessee Tech decides not to amend your Education Records as requested, you will be notified in writing of the decision and of your right to a hearing regarding your request for amendment pursuant to Tennessee Tech Policy 265 Confidentiality of Student Records and FERPA Compliance, which can be accessed through Tennessee Tech’s Policy Central page.

  • The Right to Restrict the Disclosure of Your Education Record

    Except to the Extent FERPA Authorizes Disclosure without Your Consent

    Generally, Tennessee Tech must have written permission from you to release any information contained in your Education Record. However, FERPA allows Tennessee Tech to disclose those records, without consent, to the certain parties under the conditions specified in 34 CFR § 99.31. Those exceptions include but are not limited to:

    • School officials with legitimate educational interest;
    • Schools that have requested records and to which student seeks or intends to enroll;
    • Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
    • Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
    • Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
    • Accrediting organizations;
    • To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
    • Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
    • State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

    One example of authorized disclosure without your consent is disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in your Education Record to school officials who have “legitimate educational interests” in the information. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official has a need to know the information in order to fulfill his or her official responsibilities. For additional information concerning school officials’ access to Education Records at Tennessee Tech, see Tennessee Tech Policy 265 Confidentiality of Student Records and FERPA Compliance, which can be accessed through Tennessee Tech’s Policy Central page.”

  • The Right to Restrict the Disclosure of Your Education Record

    Unless you restrict the release of your information in the manner described in the next section of this Notice, Tennessee Tech will deem you to have consented to the disclosure of your Directory Information to anyone and by any means.

    Directory Information Includes : 

    • Student’s name 
    • Student’s address (electronic mail, home and campus addresses) when the release is related to a Tennessee Tech activity. Tennessee Tech publishes students’ email addresses and PO Box numbers on its web page, but does not disclose physical addresses unless the request relates to a Tennessee Tech activity 
    • Enrollment status - (undergraduate, graduate, full or part-time) 
      Hometown or city at the time the application for admission was filed 
    • Major or field of study - ( Tennessee Tech publishes students’ major information on its web page) 
    • Dates of attendance 
    • Grade level - (progress towards degree) 
    • Honors and awards received 
    • Most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student 
    • Participation in a student organization or alumni affairs activity 
    • Participation in officially recognized activities or sports 
    • Weight and Height of athletic team members 
    • Photographs or video when related to a Tennessee Tech activity

  • How to Restrict the Release of Your Directory Information

    If you wish to restrict the release of your Directory Information, follow these steps:

    • Go to your Eagle Online account
    • Select the Personal Information tab
    • Select the box immediately before the statement “I do not want my directory information released to individuals, employers, media, etc.”
    • Be sure to select “Submit” at the bottom of the page

    Please be aware that restricting the release of your Directory Information will prevent Tennessee Tech from providing information to employers that are requesting verification of enrollment and/or degree information. Your information will also NOT be released to news outlets on or off campus, regarding honors and graduation lists. 

  • How to Permit the Release of Certain Info to Specific Individuals/Organizations

    As a student, you also have the right to permit the release of certain information to specific individuals or organizations. This additional information, which is maintained by various Tennessee Tech offices, includes:

    • Student account, financial information, etc. (Business Office)
    • Academic information such as GPA, grades, academic standing, etc. (Registrar’s Office)
    • Financial assistance, scholarships, and other awards, etc. (Financial Aid Office)
    • Disciplinary information, Residential Life housing information, etc. (Dean of Students)

    To permit the release of information by an office, follow these steps:

    • Go to your Eagle Online account
    • Select the Personal Information tab
    • Select the box beside the name of the appropriate office(s), then scroll down the page and type in the name and relationship of the individual or organization to whom your information may be released
    • Be sure to select “Submit” at the bottom of the page

    This information can be updated in your Eagle Online account at any time. 

  • Where to Obtain Additional Info

    If you have questions concerning FERPA and your Education Records or need additional information contact:

    Office of the Registrar
    221 Quadrangle Drive
    Box 5026
    Cookeville, TN 38505
    (931) 372-3317

  • The Right to File a Complaint

    You have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Tennessee Tech 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 
    1-800-USA-LEARN (1-800-872-5327) 
    Individuals who use TDD may use the Federal Relay Service.

    Tennessee Tech University conforms to fair information practices. We must annually notify students about their rights under FERPA. The annual notification includes the procedure for a student to follow who believes his or her rights under FERPA have been violated. In addition to, or in place of, the University’s grievance procedure, students have a right to file a complaint directly to the Department of Education. Students are informed of their rights to privacy via the University's Office of the Registrar’s website. For additional information concerning school officials’ access to Education Records at Tennessee Tech, see Tennessee Tech Policy 265 Confidentiality of Student Records and FERPA Compliance, which can be accessed through Tennessee Tech’s Policy Central page.

FERPA for Parents

Per FERPA, the education record belongs to the student. Parents only have rights to access to records granted by the student. This means that parents cannot request grades, the academic transcript, or a class schedule unless the student signs a release indicating that they want to release the information.

For more detailed information on how FERPA applies to your student and you, continue by clicking the links below. 

  • What is FERPA?

    The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (also known as the Buckley Amendment) is a Federal law that helps protect the privacy of student education records. Under FERPA, education records are those: (1) directly related to a student; and (2) maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution.

    The Act provides students the right to inspect and review education records, the right to seek to amend those records, and the right to limit disclosure of information from the records. The intent of the legislation is to protect the rights of students and to ensure the privacy and accuracy of education records. The Act applies to all institutions that are recipients of federal aid administered by the Secretary of Education.

  • When Do Students' FERPA Rights Begin?

    According to the law, a person becomes a student for purposes of FERPA when they are in attendance" at an institution. At Tennessee Tech, we define a student as someone currently or previously enrolled in any academic offering of the University. This policy does not apply to Records until the first day of class of the Student’s first semester of attendance or to Records specifically exempted by 34 Code of Federal Regulations 99.3, as may be amended from time to time. This does not include prospective students or applicants to any academic program of the University.

  • What Information May Parents Have Access To?

    The student has the right to withhold any student information that they wish to withhold from any third party. A third party is anyone inside or outside of the University who does not have an “educational need to know” the information in the student record as a necessary part of their job. Under FERPA, parents are third parties, with no rights to the record, although FERPA does include a provision that a parent could access the record if the student is listed as a dependent on their most recent federal income tax form. It is viewed as a matter of discretion as to whether or not the institution incorporates this provision into its policies.

  • Parental Rights According to FERPA

    When a student turns 18 years old or enters Tennessee Tech, regardless of his or her age, all rights afforded to parents under FERPA transfer to the student, and the student’s written consent is required for disclosure of his or her education records.

     However, FERPA provides ways in which a school may—but is not required-to share information from an eligible student's education records with parents, without the student's consent. For example:

    • Schools may disclose education records to parents if the student is claimed as a dependent for tax purposes.
    • Schools may disclose education records to parents if a health or safety emergency involves their son or daughter.
    • Schools may inform parents if the student is under age 21 and has violated any law or policy concerning the use or possession of alcohol or a controlled substance.
    • A school official may generally share with a parent information that is based on that official's personal knowledge or observation of the student.

  • What about Crisis or Emergency Situations?

    If non-directory information is needed to resolve a crisis or emergency situation, an educational institution may release that information if the institution determines that the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals.

  • What are Students' Rights Under FERPA?

    FERPA gives students four basic rights with respect to their education record:

    • The right to control disclosure of their education record
    • The right to review their education record
    • The right to request amendment of inaccurate or misleading portions of their education record
    • The right to file a complaint regarding non-compliance of FERPA with the Family Policy Compliance Office of the U.S. Department of Education

    In summary, the education record belongs to the student. Parents only have rights to access to records granted by the student. This means that parents cannot request grades, the academic transcript, or a class schedule unless the student signs a release indicating that they want to release the information.

  • Third Party Access

    Students have the ability to give access to a third party. Students may grant access to their student record in one or more of the following areas: Records, Student Financial Account, Student Affairs and Financial Aid. Students can grant access to a third party by logging into their Eagle Online Account. The request to share Information Release electronic form is listed under personal Information.

  • Questions or Concerns?

    If you have questions concerning FERPA and your education records, or need additional information, we invite you to contact the Office of the Registrar at: 

     

    Office of the Registrar 
    221 Quadrangle Drive 
    Box 5026 
    Cookeville, TN 38505 
    (931) 372-3317 

    registrar@tntech.edu 
     

 

 

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