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FERPA

Overview

Sampson Community College supports the rights and privacies afforded each student by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) as Amended and is in compliance with its provisions. FERPA is a Federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The law applies to all colleges that receive funds such as Federal Financial Aid from the U.S. Department of Education.

What Statute Governs

The statute governs access to student records maintained by the institution and the release of such records. In brief, the statute provides:

  • The institution must provide student access to official records directly related to the student and an opportunity for a hearing to challenge such records on the grounds that they are inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise inappropriate.
  • The institution must obtain the written consent of the student before releasing personally identifiable data about the student, with the exception of directory information.

Directory information is defined as the student’s name, program of study, enrollment status, and degrees and awards received. Student ID numbers are considered directory information for use on SCC student ID cards. Student ID numbers cannot be used to access student records and personal information except when used in combination with one or more factors that confirm the user’s identity.

Limiting Release of Information

Any student who does not wish the College to release any or all of the information designated as directory information without the student’s written consent must submit a written request to the Registrar’s Office in the Student Services Division.

Requests for Information

Parents and family members sometimes request information on students, such as grades and records related to attendance, financial aid, and academic performance. The College recognizes their interest in student success, but must comply with FERPA in protecting the release of certain student records.

Under FERPA, when a student attends Sampson Community College, all rights to inspect and review the education record transfer from the parent to the student. Student records are confidential and will only be shared by a College official to other designated parties that have a legitimate need for the information. If a student chooses to share records and information with a parent, spouse, and/or other party, he or she must submit a completed FERPA release form to identify the individual(s) and authorize the College to provide access to the records. This privacy release will remain in effect, unless revoked in writing by the student, for the duration of enrollment at Sampson Community College

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