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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

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

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

A student should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or other appropriate official, a written request that identifies the record(s) the student wishes to inspect. The College official 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.

2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights under FERPA.

A student who wishes to ask the College to amend a record should write the College official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record the student wants changed, and specify why it should be changed.

If the College decides not to amend the record as requested, the College will notify the student in writing of the decision and the student's 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.

3. The right to provide written consent before the College discloses personally identifiable information from the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. Disclosures which do not require student consent include, but may not be limited to the following (See, 20 U.S.C. 1232g(a through l) and 34 C.F. R.99.3 (m)):

a. 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 as its agent to provide a service instead of using College employees or officials (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 responsibilities for the College.

b. Directory Information, including name, age, date of birth, student ID number, dates of attendance, enrollment status, class year, major, awards and honors, address, telephone number, Dartmouth email address, place of birth, relationship to an alumnus or alumna of the College, status of enrollment and residence, class, year, major, degrees awarded, awards and honors, campus address and telephone number, home address and telephone number, date and place of birth, previous educational institutions attended and degrees awarded, extracurricular activities, student photo, weight and height of members of athletic teams, and other similar information, may be disclosed without restriction unless the student objects in writing to the Office of the Dean of the College. A student's request that directory information not be released remains in effect until the student releases it.

c. To federal and state government agencies specifically entitled to it by law, such as the Comptroller General of the United States, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, and State educational authorities.

d. To the parent(s) of a student, unless the student has filed with the Dean of the College Office a statement certifying that he or she is not financially dependent as defined by the federal income tax laws. All students will be asked whether they are declared as a dependent on a parent or guardian’s tax return at the beginning of the school year. For students who are dependents, education record information may be disclosed to parents or guardians. Students who indicate that they are not dependents, or who do not wish to have student record information disclosed to parents or guardians, will be asked to provide documentation confirming their status. The College may also disclose to a parent: directory information, information in a health and safety emergency and information for violations of law, rule or policy related to the use or possession of alcohol or controlled substances where a student is found responsible for such violation and is under the age of 21.

e. In response to a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena. In such cases the College will attempt to notify the student involved unless prohibited by the terms of the subpoena or court order.

f. To determine the student’s eligibility for financial aid or to enforce the terms or conditions of financial aid that a student has received.

g. To an organization conducting studies for or on behalf of the school, if the organization certifies that (i) the studies will be conducted in a way which will protect the personally identifiable information of the students and (ii) the organization’s record of such information will be destroyed when the study is completed.

h. To appropriate parties, in a health or safety emergency in which the health or safety of a student or other individuals is seriously threatened. Prior to disclosure, the College shall make a finding of an articulable and significant threat based upon the totality of the circumstances and may release information only to individuals in a position to meet the emergency.

i. To officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll, or to another institution which is part of a student exchange program. Such information may include disciplinary and health records, and may be updated or corrected by the College.

j. To Federal officials in response to a lawful court order regarding terrorism investigations.

k. The College may disclose information received under a community notification program about a student who is required to register as a sex offender.

l. To State auditors when auditing a Federal or State supported education program.

m. The College may return records to the creator of records and to verify the authenticity of those records.

Copies of the Dartmouth College Student Records Policy, which details the rights summarized above and any applicable federal laws, are available in the Office of the Dean of the College. If a student has a concern about the College’s compliance with applicable federal laws concerning his/ her education record, he or she should bring this to the attention of the Dean of the College. A student has the right to file a complaint concerning alleged compliance failures by the College with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office (FERPA), Department of Education, 400 Maryland Ave SW, Washington, DC 20202-5920.

Last Updated: 9/15/14