Confidentiality of Information Policy
Confidentiality of Student Records
In compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (known as the Buckley Amendment) the following constitutes Ursinus College’s policy, which informs students in the procedures available to provide appropriate access to personal records while protecting their confidentiality. The complete Act is available for inspection in the office of the Registrar.
A. “Student” is defined as one who has attended or is attending Ursinus College and whose records are in the files of the college.
B. “Educational Records” are those records, files and documents relating to students and maintained by the college or an agent of the college. All such records and a log of the request for these records are maintained by college administrative personnel in the course of performance of assigned duties. Only college officials who have a legitimate educational interest shall have right of access to a student’s “educational record.”
1. “Educational Records” include Admissions applications and transcripts maintained by the Office of the Registrar.
- Ursinus College academic record maintained by the Office of the Registrar;
- Student file maintained by Dean of Students regarding judicial and disciplinary decisions;
- Student file maintained by financial aid offices;
- Record maintained by Career Services Office;
- Student records maintained by the Pre-Medical Committee;
- Student records maintained by the Pre-Law committee;
- Student records maintained by the Business Office;
- Student records maintained by the library.
2. The term “Educational Records” does not include:
- personal files of faculty and administrators, which are not accessible to any other person;
- records of parents’ financial status;
- medical, psychiatric or psychological records created and used for the treatment of a student and available only to those providing the treatment. These records can be reviewed by a physician or appropriate professional of the student-patient’s choice.
- employment records, which relate exclusively to students as employees and are not used for other purposes; confidential statements and letters placed in the files prior to January 1, 1975;
- confidential letters and statements to which students have waived a right of access;
- records and documents maintained by campus security;
- information or data collected by the Alumni and Development Offices about graduates;
- directory information confirming the following information about individual students: full name, address, phone, major field of study dates of attendance, admissions or enrollment status, class year, degrees and awards, most recent previous institution attended, roster of member of athletic teams, participation in officially recognized activities.
C. “Record” means any information or data recorded in any medium including but not limited to handwriting, print, tapes, file, microfilm, microfiche, and computer file.
PRIVACY AND DISCLOSURE OF STUDENT’S EDUCATIONAL RECORD
A. Normally, educational records can be released, or access given to third parties (i.e. anyone not a member of the faculty or staff with legitimate access to the student’s record) only at the written request of the student. Grades are sent to the student at their college address at midterm if they are freshmen or on probation and at home at the end of the semester.
B. However, releases to third parties, without student permission may be given only as follows:
1. To parents and guardians of dependent students: Release of student grades and official college correspondence is permitted under the IRS code of 1954; notification of alcohol and drug violations of students under the age of 21. This is
permitted under the 1998 Warner Amendment.
Note: Students who are financially independent and who do not wish to have grades or official college correspondence released to parents and guardians must provide evidence of their status within the first week of the fall semester, within the first week of the spring semester if the student is a transfer, and within the first two days of a summer session. The test of dependency is determined by the Internal Revenue Code current at the time of the request.
1. To Federal officers as prescribed by law;
2. As required by state law;
3. To research projects on behalf of educational agencies for test norms, improving instruction, etc. (provided that the agencies guarantee no personal identification of students);
4. To accrediting agencies carrying out their function;
5. To respond to a judicial order or lawfully issued; subpoena (provided that the student is notified prior to compliance or provided that a reasonable attempt to notify the student has been made);
6. At the time of emergency if the information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons;
7. As required by state law requiring disclosure before January 1, 1976.
RELEASE OF DIRECTORY INFORMATION
Directory information about a student may be released at the discretion of the appropriate official. Students who object to the release of any or all “Directory Information” must express their objection in writing within the first week of the fall semester, within the first week of the spring semester if the student is a transfer, or within the first two days of a summer session. The Office of the Registrar administers he procedure annually and monitors the information. These students will be marked in the system with a last name of “NO INFO RELEASE”.
RECORD OF ACCESS AND MAINTENANCE OF FILE
A notification of releases made to third parties (i.e. anyone not a member of faculty or staff with legitimate access to the student’s record) must be kept in the student’s record.