The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, as amended, affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. These rights include:
The university discloses education records without a student’s prior written consent under the FERPA exception for disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review and education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities. A school official is defined as:
Items defined by the university as “directory information” may be released without a student’s written consent unless the student has provided written notification to the university that such information should be withheld. The following are categories considered as directory information by the university:
Students who wish to prevent disclosure of directory information should contact the registrar’s office at their campus. The university will honor a request to withhold any of the categories listed above but cannot assume responsibility to contact the student for subsequent permission to release them. Regardless of the effect upon the student, the institution assumes no liability for honoring a student’s request that such information be withheld.
The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA, also referred to as the Buckley Amendment) is a federal law that affords students certain rights regarding access and release of their education records.
When children are enrolled in elementary, middle, and high school, FERPA gives the student and his or her parents the right to access and control the release of the student’s education records. When the student enrolls at a college or university, these rights transfer directly to the student. Why? Because FERPA considers college students responsible adults and allows them to determine who will receive information from their education records. While parents naturally have an interest in their son or daughter’s academic progress (and may even be paying for their education), they are not automatically granted access to their records.
The quickest, easiest way for you to receive information about your student’s grades or other student information is to ask your student to provide it to you. Students have access to most student information through Ottawa’s web portal (MyOttawa), which provides online access to transcripts, schedules, grades, and degree audits from anywhere in the world. Financial aid records and student bills are also available through this portal. Some students and their parents also make appointments to log in together at regular intervals (i.e., when the student is home on semester breaks) to review the student’s records.
You can also receive information about your child if you submit proof that he/she is your dependent as defined by the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, Section 152. We strongly recommend that parents first request the information from their student and use this method of obtaining information only in unusual or special situations. To make this request, contact the Registrar’s Office for a copy of the Parental Affidavit for Student Information form, complete it, attach a copy of your most recent federal tax form, and return it by mail or fax to the Registrar’s Office. This documentation must be provided every time a request for information is made, and any charges that apply to the release of information (i.e., transcript fees) will be assessed. Students will be notified each time their parents submit a Parental Affidavit for Student Information.
Ottawa University’s FERPA policy is available for review at https://myottawa.ottawa.edu/icsfileserver/archive/consumer_info/ferpa.pdf. Questions concerning this law and the University’s procedures regarding release of academic information may be directed to the Registrar’s Office at 800. 755.5200.
The U.S. Department of Education is responsible for overseeing FERPA. See the Department’s Web site for additional information: http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/.