FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, is a federal law that sets forth requirements regarding the privacy of student records. FERPA governs the access and disclosure of student education records maintained by an educational institution. 

Trevecca Nazarene University ("Trevecca") will notify students annually of their rights under FERPA by publishing such information in the university catalog and student handbook. 

FERPA rights belong to the student at a postsecondary institution regardless of age. At Trevecca, FERPA rights start for the student on the first day of class that a student is registered with Trevecca and cease at death. Trevecca will decide on an individual basis what records of deceased students can be released and to whom they will be released.

FERPA gives four specific rights to students: right to inspect and review their education records, right to request to amend their education records, right to limit disclosure of personally identifiable information from education records, including directory information, and right to file a complaint with the Department of Education concerning an alleged failure by the institution to comply with FERPA. Education records are defined as records that are directly related to a student and are maintained by the university.  Education records are not: records about students made by instructors, professors, and administrators for their own use and not shown to others (sole possession records), law enforcement unit records, employment records, medical records, or post-attendance records. 

Students must request permission in writing to inspect their education records. The records will be made available to the student for inspection within 45 days of the day the university receives the written request. A university employee will be present while the student inspects the records. 

Students may request copies of available records when failure to provide a copy of the record would effectively prevent the student from inspecting and reviewing the record. A copy may be refused, but only if, in doing so, the institution does not limit the student’s right to inspect and review that record. 

Unless otherwise required by law, Trevecca will not issue transcripts of students who have an outstanding financial obligation to the university. Copies will not be provided of education records (e.g., transcripts) that were issued by other educational institutions unless authorized by Trevecca's registrar.

Directory information may be released without the student’s written permission, and does not violate student privacy rights if disclosed. However, the student may opt to keep this information confidential. Educational institutions may designate certain information as directory information. Directory information at Trevecca includes: student’s name, address, telephone number, electronic mail address, photograph, date and place of birth, major field of study, classification, enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate; full-time or part-time), dates of attendance, degrees, honors and awards received, previous institution attended, participation in officially recognized sports and activities, weight and height of athletes.  Directory information does not include a student's social security number or student ID number.

Student education records must be released without the written consent of the student to authorized representatives of the following government entities, if the disclosure is in connection with an audit or evaluation of federal or state supported education programs, or for the enforcement of the institution's compliance with federal legal requirements that relate to those programs: Comptroller General of the U.S., Secretary of Education, U.S. Attorney General (for law enforcement purposes only), and state and local authorities.

Student education records may be released without the consent of the student to:

  • A Trevecca school official who has a legitimate educational interest. (A school official is any person employed by or otherwise affiliated with Trevecca who is performing institutional services.  A Trevecca school official includes, but is not limited to, faculty, staff, administration, clerical staff, consultants, contractors, any person serving on an official committee, including volunteers, or student workers, or any other person to whom Trevecca has outsourced institutional services or functions. A school official has a legitimate educational interest when the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her responsibility on behalf of the university.) 
  • Agents acting on behalf of Trevecca (e.g., contractors, consultants)
  • Officials of another school in which the student seeks to enroll
  • A party, such as the Department of Veteran’s Affairs or an employer, providing financial aid to the student (“financial aid” does not include any payments made by parents)
  • Organizations conducting studies for or on behalf of Trevecca
  • Accrediting organizations for accreditation purposes
  • Parents of dependent students; students who are claimed as dependents on their parents’/guardians’ most recent federal tax return
  • To comply with a judicial order or subpoena. Trevecca will notify the student when such a request occurs without the student’s knowledge unless prohibited by law. 
  • Appropriate persons in a health or safety emergency

Students may contact the Office of Academic Records if they wish to complete the Request to Prevent Disclosure of Student Directory Information form, or if they would like to complete the Release of Information form. The Release of Information form allows the university to discuss the student’s education record with whom they specify on the form; it does not allow the person(s) specified on the form to act on the student’s behalf.

FERPA permits Trevecca to destroy student records consistent with its records management policy without notice to the student unless there is an outstanding request by an eligible student to inspect and review the records.

Further information concerning FERPA is available at www.ed.gov.