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office of Institutional Compliance

FERPA Policy

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 - Official Notice to Students

Student Records Policy for Texas A&M University-Central Texas

Under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, as Amended (FERPA), the following directory information may be made public unless the student desires to withhold any or all of this information: Name, Universal Identification Number (UIN), Local Address, Permanent Address, E-mail Address, Local Telephone Number, Permanent Telephone Number, Dates of Attendance, Program of Study (college, major, and campus), Classification, Previous Educational Agencies/Institutions Attended, Degrees, Honors and Awards Received, Participation in Officially Recognized Activities and Sports. Currently enrolled students wishing to withhold any or all directory information items may do so by completing the Information Release form and turning it in to the Registrar's Office. After this information is entered, a message block will appear on the monitor screen and indicate that the student's records are confidential. "Confidential" will also appear in the top left hand corner of the screen when that student's records are pulled up.

Once information has been published in a printed publication, it cannot be removed from that publication. The campus directory is published once a year, and after it is compiled, no information can be removed before the next printing.

Only currently enrolled students are eligible to restrict directory information. Once a student has left the university, he/she can no longer set restrictions on directory information at the university. If a student restricts his/her directory information and leaves the university, the restriction continues until the student removes it.

Statement of Rights

Texas A&M University – Central Texas encourages students to exercise all of their rights under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (20 U.S.C. 1232g). Operating under the premise that the educational process is a cooperative venture between a student and the University, we emphasize the following rights of eligible students:

  1. The right to inspect and review, with certain limited exceptions, the student's educational records, including the right to receive explanations and interpretations of the records and to obtain copies of the records when such are needed to allow the student to effectively exercise his/her right of inspection and review;
  2. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent;

    One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person or entity: (a) employed by the university or the university system in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position; (b) serving on a university governing body or duly authorized panel or committee; or (c) employed by or under contract to the university to perform a special task, function, or service for the university.

    A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the information requested is necessary for that official to (a) perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his/her position description or in the performance of regularly assigned duties by a lawful supervisor; (b) fulfill the terms of a contractual agreement; (c) perform a task related to a student's education; (d) perform a task related to the discipline of a student; or (e) provide a service or benefit relating to the student or student's family, such as health care, financial aid, job placement, or former student-related activities.

    Disclosure to a school official having a legitimate educational interest does not constitute university authorization to transmit, share, or disclose any or all information received to third parties unless such disclosure is permitted or required by law.
  3. The right to correct a student's education records when the records are inaccurate, misleading or otherwise in violation of FERPA;
  4. The right to report violations of FERPA to the Department of Education;
  5. The right to be informed about FERPA rights.

All the rights and protections given students under FERPA belong to the student; however, information in student records may be provided to parents/legal guardians without the written consent of the student if the eligible student is a financial dependent of his or her parents/legal guardians as defined under Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.

Records not available under FERPA

Students shall have access to all of their educational records as maintained by the university with the exception of the following:

  1. A personal record kept by a University official which meets the following tests:
    • It is in the personal possession of the individual who made it.
    • Information contained in it has never been revealed or made available to any other person except the maker's temporary substitute.
  2. An employment record which is used only in relation to a student's employment by the university, except where an individual in attendance at the university is employed as a result of his or her status as a student.
  3. Records relating to a student which are created or maintained by a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist or other recognized professional or para-professional acting in his or her professional or para-professional capacity, or assisting in that capacity, which are used in connection with providing treatment to a student, are not disclosed to anyone other than the individuals providing the treatment.
  4. Financial records and statements of a student's parents/legal guardians.
  5. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation which are placed in the education records of a student prior to January 1, 1975.
  6. Confidential letters and statements of recommendation which are placed in the educational records of a student on or after January 1, 1975, if the student has waived his or her right to inspect and review the letters or statements.
  7. Records concerning admissions to an academic component of the university which the student has never attended.

Questions concerning the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) may be referred to the Compliance Officer.

Certification for Dependency

Under provisions of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), students enrolled in post-secondary educational institutions are deemed to "own" their educational records. Age is not considered in determining ownership of a student's academic record. Institutions may, but are not required to, grant access to certain non-directory information in a student's educational record if the student is claimed as a dependent on his or her parent's/guardian's federal income tax return. Generally non-directory information will not be released to a parent or guardian unless a Certification of Dependency Form is completed and signed by both the parent(s)/guardian(s) and the student and is brought to the Office of the Registrar, 1001 Leadership Place, Killeen, TX 76549 or mailed to the Office of the Registrar, 1001 Leadership Place, Killeen, TX 76549. Until this form is filed, parents are not entitled to this information.

Penalties for Violating FERPA

The Family Policy Compliance Office reviews and investigates complaints of violations of FERPA. The penalty for violating FERPA is loss of all federal funding, including grants and financial aid.

If you witness or commit what you believe to be a possible FERPA violation, please notify the Compliance Officer immediately at (254) 519-5722. The Compliance Officer will investigate the matter and determine what action, if any, should be taken. If you have any questions about FERPA compliance or the release of student information, please contact TAMUCT at compliance@ct.tamus.edu or (254) 519-5722.

Reporting Fraud, Waste, or Abuse

Employees of the A&M System are required to report factual information regarding fraudulent, wasteful, or abusive activities that may involve the System or any of its members. To report such activities, employees can call the A&M System Risk & Misconduct Hotline at 1-888-501-3850 or submit a report via the Internet at the System's Risk & Misconduct hotline. Employees can also call the State Auditor's Office at 1-800-892-8348 or submit a report via the internet at http://sao.fraud.state.tx.us/

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