FERPA Privacy Rights
SUNY Jefferson
Schedule an Admissions Appointment

FERPA Privacy Rights

Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) Policy


Jefferson Community College recognizes The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99) as a Federal Law that protects the privacy of student educational records. The law applies to all schools that receive funds under an applicable program of the U.S. Department of Education. When a student, regardless of age, begins attending a postsecondary institution, FERPA rights transfer to the student.


The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides students with certain rights with respect to their educational records.

The rights as defined by FERPA are as follows:

  1. The student has a right to inspect and review his/her educational records within 45 days of the day Jefferson Community College receives a request for access.

    The student should submit to the Student Records Office a written request that identifies the record(s) he/she wishes to inspect. The Student Records Office will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the student requests copies of the materials during inspection, the College will provide the copies for a fee.

    Original documents submitted in support of an application for admission or for transfer will not be returned to the student, nor will they be sent elsewhere, even at the student’s request. For example, a transcript from another college or high school will not be sent to the student or to a third institution.

  2. The student has a right to request the amendment of his/her educational records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.

    The student may ask the College to amend a record he/she believes is inaccurate or misleading. The student should submit a letter to the Student Records Office that clearly identifies the part of the record he/she wants changed. The letter must specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the College decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the College will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Details of the appeals process will be provided to the student at that time.

  3. Disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in the student’s educational records is not permitted without written authorization of the student except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

    FERPA laws enable Jefferson Community College to disclose student educational records to school officials with legitimate educational interests without student consent.

    A school official is defined as a person employed by Jefferson Community College or State University of New York Administration; a person with whom or a company with which the College has contracted (such as, but not limited to, attorneys, auditors, or other educational institutions); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee (such as a disciplinary or grievance committee).

    A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review the educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibilities.

    Student educational records are specifically defined as records, files, documents, and other materials that contain information directly related to a student and maintained by Jefferson Community College. Excluded from student educational records are personal records kept by a staff member if they are kept in the sole possession of the maker of the record and are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record. Additionally, records created and maintained by the Security Office, application records of students not admitted to Jefferson, alumni records, or records of physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, or other recognized professionals are not educational records. Furthermore, records relating to an individual who is employed by the College are not educational records except employment records relating to Jefferson students who are employed as a result of their status as students.

    Other conditions under which prior consent is not required to disclose information include the following:

    1. A court to comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.

    2. Appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency.

    3. Officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

    4. The school(s) which a student has an academic record.

    5. Accrediting organizations to carry out their functions.

    6. Organizations conducting certain studies on behalf of the College.

    7. Certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller, General, State, and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs.

    8. Officials that process financial aid in connection with a student’s request for, or receipt of financial aid as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms or conditions of the aid.

    9. The alleged victim of a crime, the results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged perpetrator of that crime of violence with respect to that crime.

    10. To parents and guardians of a student under age 21, the results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding with respect to alcohol, an illegal substance, or a controlled substance.

  4. The student has the right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

    The address is:

    Family Policy Compliance Office
    U.S. Department of Education
    400 Maryland Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC 20202-4605

Jefferson Community College may disclose Directory Information without a student’s prior written consent. The College designates the following as Directory Information:

  1. student’s name

  2. parents’ names

  3. addresses

  4. date and place of birth|

  5. telephone number

  6. dates of enrollment

  7. enrollment status

  8. degree(s) and honors earned

  9. major field(s) of study

  10. previous educational agency or institution attended

  11. participation in officially recognized activities and sports

  12. weight and height of athletic team members

  13. election district

Jefferson Community College students may restrict the release of Directory Information, except to school officials with legitimate educational interests and others as described in exceptions to rule #3 above. To do so, a student must make the request in writing. Forms are available on the Web or in the Student Records Office. Once filed, this request becomes a permanent part of the student’s record until the student instructs the College, in writing, to have the request removed.

Jefferson Community College reserves the right to withhold grade reports, transcripts, certifications, or other information about a student for reasons such as, but not limited to, disciplinary actions or unpaid financial obligations.

Note: Directory Information is information that Jefferson Community College may disclose, but it is not required to do so.

Parents and guardians will only have access to Non-Directory Information with the student’s written permission except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent (refer to #3). Forms for authorization to release information are available in the Student Records office.

Revised December 2015 (Res. #193-15)