Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
This online policy content is provided as a resource for the students, faculty, staff, and administration of Dickinson College. Content is subject to change. Please contact the appropriate person or office to obtain the most current information.
The most up-to-date information on FERPA can be found on the Registrar's page at the following link: https://www.dickinson.edu/info/20088/registrar_s_office/264/ferpa
Notification to Students of Rights under 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 your education records within 45 days of the day the college receives a request for access.
You should submit to the Registrar a written request that identifies the record(s) you wish to inspect. The college official will make arrangements for access and notify you 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 you of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
(2) The right to request the amendment of your education records that you believe are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of your privacy rights under FERPA.
If you wish to ask the college to amend a record, you should write the college official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record you want changed, and specify why it should be changed.
If the college decides not to amend the record as requested, the college will notify you in writing of the decision and your right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to you when notified of the right to a hearing.
(3) The right to provide written consent before the college discloses personally identifiable information from your education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent. While it is the policy of Dickinson College to deal only with the student on matters addressed within the education record, the college reserves the right to advise others of information within a student’s education record without the student’s consent to the fullest extent provided by FERPA.
The college discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for 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 Public Safety personnel and staff of the Health and Counseling Centers); 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 other school officials in performing their tasks.
A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill professional responsibilities for the college.
Upon request, the college also discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which you seek or intend to enroll.
(4) 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
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, DC 20202-5901
Notice for Directory Information
FERPA requires that College, with certain exceptions, obtain your written consent prior to the disclosure of personally identifiable information from your education records. However, Dickinson College may disclose appropriately designated "directory information" without written consent, unless you have advised the college to the contrary in accordance with College procedures. The primary purpose of directory information is to allow the college to include this type of information from your education records in certain publications. Examples include:
- The college directory, which is accessible via the Dickinson College website
- A playbill, showing your role in a drama production;
- The annual yearbook;
- Honors or other forms of recognition;
- Graduation programs; and
- Sports team activity sheets showing weight, height and other individual statistics of team members.
Directory information, which is information that is generally not considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if released, can also be disclosed to outside organizations without your prior written consent. Outside organizations include, but are not limited to, companies that manufacture class rings or publish yearbooks.
If you do not want the college to disclose directory information from your education records without your prior written consent, you must notify the Registrar’s Office in writing by within the first week of any fall semester, within one week of arrival as a new student in any spring semester, or within two days of the start of any summer session. Dickinson College has designated the following information as directory information:
- Full name
- Home address and telephone number
- Date and place of birth
- Campus address, local address, e-mail address, and telephone number
- Matriculated status (full-time, part-time, or non-matriculated) plus College major and class
- Dates of College attendance
- Most recent previous institution attended by student
- Date of graduation
- Degrees, honors and awards received
- Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
- Weight and height of members of athletic teams
- Photograph or likeness