Annual Notification Under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, is a federal law designed to protect the privacy of educational records. “Education records” include records, files, documents, and other materials that contain information directly related to a student and are maintained by the University. Certain types of information are not considered “education records” under FERPA. These include:

  1. Records made by University personnel, including professors, which are in the sole possession of the person who made the records and are not accessible or revealed to any other person.
  2. Records maintained by the Campus Safety for law enforcement purposes.
  3. Medical and Counseling records that are used solely for treatment.

FERPA affords student certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  1. The rights to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the university receives a request for access.
  2. The rights to seek to amend education records they believe to be inaccurate or misleading. The University must reply to this request within a reasonable period of time. A student may ask the Office of the Registrar to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record that they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. If the record is amended, the amendment will be made and the student so notified. If no amendment is made, the student may place an explanatory statement in the record, to be kept there so long as the record is maintained. The record cannot be shown, in whole or in any contested part, unless this statement is also shown.
  3. The rights to have some control over the disclosure of information from education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent:
  1. Disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); contractors, consultants, volunteers and other outside parties to whom the University has outsourced institutional services or functions (such as an attorney, auditory, or collection agent); or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks. A school official has legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
  2. To parents or legal guardians of dependent students as that term is defined in the Internal Revenue Code. In general, the University does not make education records available to the parents of a student. However, where the University believes that it is in a dependent student’s best interest, information from the student’s education records may, at the University’s discretion, be released to the parents or legal guardians of such a dependent student who provides a copy of his/her most recent federal income tax return verifying that the student is claimed as a dependent. Some form of identification must be displayed before access to educational records will be allowed.
  3. When a student has violated a law or the school’s rules or policies governing alcohol or substance abuse, if the student is under 21 years old.
  4. When the information is needed to protect the health or safety of the student or other individuals in an emergency

Prior written consent of the student is required before the University will release personally identifiable information, except as previously noted. The written consent must be signed and dated and shall include a designation of the specific education record to be disclosed, the purpose of the disclosure, and the party or class of parties to whom the disclosure may be made.

Personally identifiable information shall only be transferred to a third party by The W on the condition that such party will not permit any other party to have access to such information without the consent of the student.

Under FERPA, at its discretion Mississippi University for Women will disclose directory information as it deems appropriate without prior written consent unless a student notifies the Registrar in writing at the time of registration, or thereafter, they do not want such information disclosed. These requests for non-disclosure of directory information are binding for all information to all parties other than for educational purposes. The block will permanently remain on your record until you request (in writing) that it be removed. The following information is considered directory information:

  1. Name
  2. Addresses
  3. Telephone number
  4. Date and place of birth
  5. Major field of study
  6. Classification
  7. Participation in officially recognized activities
  8. Dates of attendance, to include but not limited to dates of withdrawal, dates of re-admittance, and dates of graduation
  9. Enrollment status (e.g. undergraduate or graduate; full-time or part-time)
  10. Degrees, honors and awards received
  11. Most recent educational agency attended by the student
  12. E-mail addresses

Students have the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Mississippi University for Women 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

Records of Deceased Students

It is Mississippi University for Women’s policy to treat the records of deceased students as the institution would treat the records of living students. The owner of the record since the student is deceased would be the executor of the student’s estate or the immediate family of the deceased student if an executor does not exist. Proof of death is also required. This is treating the records of deceased students in the same manner in which the institution treats the records of living students.

Non-Disclosure of Information

As mentioned above, non-directory information is automatically confidential. But, if you would like ALL (directory and non-directory) information to be completely confidential, please complete the Non-Disclosure of Directory Information Form and submit to the Office of the Registrar. See the form for complete explanation.

For concerns, please see information in the Current Student Handbook, Part 7, Section 4, Student Complaints.