Educational Records Policy (FERPA)
Notification to Students on Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974
Western Illinois University, in full compliance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974, shall make educational records available to students upon request. Likewise, in accordance with the law, individually identifiable educational records will not be released to other than authorized individuals without written consent of the student. Students have the right to file complaints with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act Office concerning alleged failures by the institution to comply with the act.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:
- The right to inspect and review the student’s education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. Students should submit to the registrar, dean, or other appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The University official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the University official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request the amendment of the student’s education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading. Students may ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the University official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the University will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.
- 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 employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent or other service provider-such as the National Student Clearinghouse or Credentials Inc.); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; 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 a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. Upon request, the University may disclose education records without consent to another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by State University to comply with the requirements by FERPA.
Western Illinois University considers the following categories to be directory information, and, as such, may release it to any or all inquirers in such forms as news releases, directories, or computer address lists: the student’s name; school and home address; telephone numbers; major field of study; dates of attendance; full- or part-time status; degrees and awards received; honors received (including Dean’s List); most recent previous educational agency or institution attended; participation in officially recognized activities and sports; and, for members of athletic teams, weight and height.
Students who do not wish this information to be released may prevent such release by sending a written request to the Office of the Registrar, Sherman Hall 110.