Student Rights Under FERPA
Boston College maintains a large number of records regarding its students in the administration of its educational programs, as well as its housing, athletics, and extracurricular programs. The University also maintains employment and financial records for its own use and to comply with state and federal regulations. Boston College is committed to protecting the privacy interests of its students and to maintaining the confidentiality of student records in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA).
These rights are as follows:
- The right to inspect and review the student's education record within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access.
Any student who wishes to inspect and review information contained in an education record maintained by any office of the University may, with proper identification, request access to the record from the office responsible for maintaining that record. In general, and absent an exception under FERPA, the student is to be granted access to the record as soon as possible and, unless the circumstances require the existence of a formal request, an oral request may be honored.
Whenever an office responsible for maintaining education records is unable to respond at once, the student may submit to the Office of Student Services, dean, academic department head, or other appropriate official a written request that identifies the record he or she wishes to inspect. The University official is to make arrangements for access, and is to notify the student of the time and place the record may be inspected. If the record is not maintained by the University official to whom the request is submitted, that official is to advise the student of the correct official to whom the request is to be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student's education record if the student believes that information contained in his or her record is inaccurate, misleading or in violation of his or her rights of privacy.
Any student who believes that information contained in his or her education record is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of his or her rights of privacy is to write to the University official responsible for the record, clearly identifying the part of the record he or she wants changed, and specifying why the record should be amended.
If the University concludes that the record should not be amended as requested, the University will notify the student, advise the student of his or her right to a hearing and provide information about the hearing process.
- The right to consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education record, except to the extent permitted under FERPA. One exception that permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to University officials with legitimate educational interests, which may include employees in administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); members of the Board of Trustees; and students serving on an official committees, such as a disciplinary or grievance committees, or assisting another University officials in performing their tasks. University officials may also be contractors, consultants, volunteers or other outside parties to whom the University has outsourced institutional services or functions that would ordinarily be performed by University employees. The University may disclose education records without consent to officials of other educational institutions that have requested the records and in which a student seeks or intends to enroll or is already enrolled so long as the disclosure is for purposes related to the student's enrollment or transfer.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Written complaints may be directed to the Family Policy Compliance Office, U.S. Department of Education, 400 Maryland Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C., 20202-4605.