Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act

Resources are available to help you navigate your student privacy rights.

Our FERPA Policy

Adelphi University is committed to protecting the privacy of student records and to providing notifications to students of their rights.

Need Personalized Help?

If you have specific questions about FERPA, our One-Stop Student Services Center is ready to offer guidance and support.

Connect with One-Stop

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 is a federal law that requires universities to protect the confidentiality of student education records.

It establishes guidelines for student access to records maintained by Adelphi University and provides that, except in specified circumstances, no one outside the University shall have access to a student’s education records, nor will the University disclose any information from those records without the written consent of the student.

FERPA Terminology

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law enacted in 1974 that protects the privacy of student education records. It applies to any public or private elementary, secondary, or post-secondary school.

FERPA provides certain rights for parents regarding their children’s education records until a student reaches 18 years of age or attends an institution of postsecondary education (at any age), at which time all rights under FERPA transfer to the student.

Any student who attends college (at any age), including an online course or program, is considered an eligible student according to FERPA.

An applicant is not a student.

According to FERPA, education records are generally defined as any data or information directly related to a student that is maintained by an institution or agency (such as Adelphi) or by a third party acting on behalf of that institution to provide services associated with the student’s Adelphi education.

Education records may include student grades, transcripts, class lists, student course schedules, student financial information, records regarding a student’s employment at/by Adelphi University, and student discipline files. They may be created or recorded in any way, including, but not limited to, handwriting, print, computer media, video or audio tape, film, microfilm, microfiche and information maintained in a computer database.

Education records do not include notes that are kept in the sole possession of their maker and therefore not routinely accessible to any other person. They also do not include any records created and maintained by Adelphi’s Department of Public Safety for law enforcement purposes.

FERPA regulations define Directory Information as information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed and can therefore be shared without a student’s prior written consent.

A primary purpose of Directory Information is to allow the college to include this type of information in certain school publications, such as online directories, yearbooks, dean’s lists and other recognition lists, commencement programs, and sports activity materials. At Adelphi, Directory Information is defined as:

  • student name
  • address
  • telephone number
  • email address
  • photo
  • class level
  • enrollment status
  • major
  • dates of attendance
  • date and place of birth
  • participation in officially recognized sports
  • height and weight of athletes
  • degrees awarded
  • honors and awards received
  • most recent educational agency or institution attended

PII is information that makes an education record “personally identifiable” to a particular student, including but not limited to:

  • student’s name or preferred name
  • student’s parent’s name
  • address of the student or other family member
  • personal identifiers, such as the student’s social security number
  • indirect identifiers, such as the student’s date of birth, place of birth, or mother’s maiden name
  • other information that, alone or in combination, is linked or linkable to a specific student, and which would allow a reasonable person in the school community to identify the student
  • information requested by a person who the college reasonably believes knows the identity of the student to whom the education record relates

Custodians are University employees or offices responsible for maintaining education records.

At Adelphi, custodians include:

  • Office of Admissions (admissions records)
  • One Stop Student Services Center (registration records, academic records, transcripts/degree information, financial and financial aid records)
  • Office of Academic Services and Retention (advisement and academic records)
  • Center for Career and Professional Development (employment credential files)
  • Office of Student Conduct and Community Standards (student conduct records)

School officials include faculty and staff with the professional responsibility of carrying out a student’s education, discipline, service or benefit, and to maintain the safety and security of the campus. School officials may have a “legitimate educational interest” to access a student’s education records without prior consent.

In accordance with FERPA, a school official may have a “legitimate educational interest” in accessing a student’s education records if it is needed to fulfill their professional responsibility of carrying out a student’s education, discipline, service or benefit, and to maintain the safety and security of the campus.

Student FERPA FAQs

Prior to enrolling in college, the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) gave both you and your parent/guardian the right to access and control your education records. Once you became a college student, FERPA transferred ownership of your education records directly to you, the student.

While your parent/guardian may have an interest in your academic progress, they are not granted access to your records without your written consent. According to FERPA, regardless of your age, as a college student you are considered a responsible adult who should determine who will receive information about you.

It is important to note, however, that an institution may disclose your personally identifiable information (PII) to your parent/guardian without your consent if you are a dependent for tax purposes under the rules of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

FERPA provides you, as a college student:

  • the right to inspect and review your educational records;
  • the right to request an amendment to your educational records;
  • the right to consent to the disclosure of any personally identifiable information (PII);
  • and the right to file a complaint.

Additionally, FERPA requires that institutions inform students annually of their FERPA rights.

Adelphi notifies our students of their FERPA rights in several ways: 

  1. via this webpage
  2. in the Guide to Student Life handbook which is published annually by the Division of Student Affairs and is posted on the division’s website
  3. a description of FERPA and the URL for this FERPA information page is included in the Important Notice for Students flyer that is printed and mailed to all students annually

Yes. All school officials are educated about FERPA regulations upon their hire and annually sign an agreement regarding the handling of confidential data.

To inspect and review any of your education records, submit a written request for the record(s) you wish to inspect to the University Registrar, dean of your college or school, head of your academic department, or other appropriate Adelphi official. If the record is not maintained by that official, they will advise you of the correct official to whom you should submit your request.

You will be notified of a time and place to inspect the records you requested within 45 days of the receipt of your request. 

Your right to inspect and review applies to your education records. It does not apply to the following:

  • financial records of your parents/guardians
  • confidential letters of recommendation for admission to an educational institution, employment, or to receive an honor or recognition
  • records that are in the sole possession of the maker and not accessible to another person
  • records created and maintained by Adelphi’s Department of Public Safety for law enforcement purposes
  • employment records of an Adelphi employee who is also a student
  • records created and maintained by a health care provider that are used only in connection with providing treatment

To request an amendment to any of your education records that you believe to be inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of your privacy rights, submit a written request to the University official responsible for the record you wish to amend. Your request should clearly identify the part of the record you wish to be amended and specify why it is inaccurate, misleading, or in violation of your privacy rights.

According to FERPA, a school is required to consider your request but not required to make the requested amendment. If your request is denied, the University will advise you of your right to a hearing and those procedures.

If a hearing determines not to amend your record, FERPA grants you the right to insert a statement in your record that comments on the contested information and why you disagree with the decision.

A primary purpose of directory information is to allow the college to include this type of information in certain school publications, such as online directories, yearbooks, dean’s lists and other recognition lists, commencement programs, and sports activity materials.

In accordance with FERPA, your directory information is generally not considered to be harmful or an invasion of privacy if disclosed and therefore can be shared without your consent unless you explicitly request otherwise.

You may submit a Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information form at Adelphi’s One-Stop Student Services Center, located on the lower level of Levermore Hall on our Garden City campus during regular office hours. This task must be done in person and a valid form of ID for yourself must be presented.

Note that, even after you graduate or leave Adelphi, Adelphi is required by FERPA to honor your request not to disclose Directory Information until you withdraw this request/opt back in.

FERPA permits disclosure without your consent in the following circumstances:

  • to school officials with legitimate educational interest
  • to other schools to which a student is transferring
  • to specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes
  • in connection with financial aid to a student
  • to organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school
  • to accrediting organizations
  • to comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena
  • to appropriate parties in cases of health and safety emergencies
  • to parents/guardians of a dependent for tax purposes under the rules of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)
  • to parents/guardians of students under 21 regarding violation of federal, state or local law or any rule or policy of the institution governing the use or possession of alcohol or controlled substance
  • to the victim of any alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense concerning the final results of a disciplinary hearing with respect to the alleged crime
  • regarding the final results of a disciplinary proceeding related to a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense if the student is found to have violated the school’s rules or policies
  • and when the information being disclosed is considered Directory Information unless the student has followed the official procedure to notify the University in writing to withhold the release of Directory Information

To authorize a parent/guardian to access your education records, you must sign and submit a release form in person and provide a valid form of ID for yourself. This task must be done in person at Adelphi’s One-Stop Student Services Center, located on the lower level of Levermore Hall on our Garden City campus during regular office hours. Note that your authorization will only apply for one semester; the process must be repeated if you wish to authorize access in subsequent semesters.

FERPA grants you the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning an alleged failure by the University to comply with FERPA requirements.

To file a complaint, submit it to the following address in writing within 180 days from the date you learned of the circumstances of the alleged violation. Your complaint must specify allegations of fact and reasonable cause to believe a violation has occurred, such as:

  • relevant dates of the alleged violation and when the student learned of it
  • names and titles of University officials and other third parties involved
  • a specific description of the education record related to the alleged violation
  • a description of contact with University officials regarding the matter, including dates and estimated times and/or copies of correspondence
  • any additional evidence that would be helpful in the consideration of the complaint.

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington DC, 20202
Phone: 202.260.3887
Email: ferpa@ed.gov

Parent and Guardian FERPA FAQs

While you, as a parent or guardian, may have an interest in your student’s academic progress, you are not automatically granted access to their education records without their written consent, according to FERPA.

FERPA requires universities to protect the confidentiality of student Education Records and establishes guidelines for student access to records maintained by the University. It provides that, except in specified circumstances, no one outside the University shall have access to a student’s Education Records or any information from those records without the written consent of the student.

FERPA provides your college student with the following rights:

  • the right to inspect and review their educational records;
  • the right to request an amendment to your educational records;
  • the right to consent to the disclosure of any Personally Identifiable Information (PII);
  • and the right to file a complaint.

Additionally, FERPA requires that institutions inform students annually of their FERPA rights.

Adelphi notifies all our students of their FERPA rights in several ways:

  1. via this webpage
  2. in the Guide to Student Life handbook which is published annually by the Division of Student Affairs and is posted on the division’s website
  3. a description of FERPA and the URL for this FERPA information page is included in the Important Notice for Students flyer that is printed and mailed to all students annually

No, parents and guardians may not access their student’s education records without their student’s written consent. Information about their education records is best obtained by direct communication with them.

However, FERPA permits disclosure of a student’s personally identifiable information (PII) to a parent/guardian without prior consent if they are your dependent for tax purposes under the rules of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

Your student may grant you access to their education records by filing a FERPA Authorization Form in person at Adelphi’s One-Stop Student Services Center. The permission only applies for one semester.

Yes. FERPA provides specified circumstances when a student’s consent to disclose personally identifiable information (PII) is not required.

Adelphi may disclose a student’s information if determined necessary to protect the wellbeing of the student or others and/or if it is needed to resolve a crisis or emergency situation. Factors considered in making this assessment are:

  • the severity of the threat to the wellbeing of those involved,
  • the need for the information,
  • the time required to deal with the emergency,
  • the ability of the parties receiving the information to deal with the emergency.

FERPA permits disclosure of a student’s Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to parents/guardians without consent in the following circumstances:

  • for tax purposes under the rules of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS),
  • if a student under the age of 21 is found in violation of federal, state or local law or any Adelphi University rule or policy governing the use or possession of alcohol or controlled substance.

Additional specified circumstances for disclosing PII without a student’s consent are provided above, in our Student FAQs.

Faculty FERPA FAQs

As a Faculty Member and School Official with the professional responsibility of carrying out a student’s education, you may have a “legitimate educational interest” to access a student’s education records without prior consent. In doing so, your responsibilities include:

  • protect the confidentiality of student records in your possession
  • access student information only for legitimate use in the completion of your responsibilities as an Adelphi University employee
  • follow the “need to know” principle, only accessing the specific student information necessary for you to perform your job duties

In accordance with FERPA, a school official may have a “legitimate educational interest” in accessing a student’s education records if it is needed to fulfill their professional responsibility of carrying out a student’s education, discipline, service or benefit, and to maintain the safety and security of the campus.

Yes, however, FERPA regulations require that the student first submit a Consent to Disclose Academic Progress form to provide explicit consent for their parent/guardian’s involvement in their academic or advisement discussions with you.

The student’s academic unit (or the Office of Academic Services and Retention) will provide the form to the student. The student must submit it to the academic advisement official in person at the One Stop Student Services Center in Levermore Hall before the academic discussion takes place.

FERPA Forms

The below forms are available for students to further manage access to their education records according to FERPA requirements. To submit any of these forms, a student must go in person to Adelphi’s One-Stop Student Services Center, located on the lower level of Levermore Hall on our Garden City campus during regular office hours. A valid ID must be presented

Consent to Disclose to Third Party

The University requires this form to authorize the release of records to a third party such as when an outside agency or organization requests a transcript or proof of enrollment.

Request to Prevent Disclosure of Directory Information

Students may submit this form to prevent the University from releasing Directory Information about them to all non-University entities without their prior written consent, including confirming current or former enrollment and verification of any degree(s) earned.

Consent to Disclose Education Records

Students may submit this form to authorize the release of their grades to their parent(s), guardian(s), or designee. This authorization is only valid for one semester.

Consent to Disclose Academic Progress

Adelphi faculty and advisors may ask a student to submit this form if a student wishes their parent/guardian to be present during academic discussions with the faculty/advisor.




Contact
Phone Number
More Info
Location
Levermore Hall, 008 LL
Hours
  • Summer Hours (June 3-August 9) Mon, Tues, Wed, Thu: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Fri: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm June 19: Closed July 4: Closed
  • In-Person Payments (June 3 - August 9) Mon - Thu: 9:00 am - 4:00 pm Fri: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
Search Menu