The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational 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 custodian of records 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. In order to ask the University to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate or misleading, students 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, a University official will notify the student of the decision and advise the student of his or her right to a hearing regarding the request for the 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. A primary exception permits disclosure without consent to school officials with legitimate educational interests. These school officials are generally within the University System of Maryland or UMGC who have legitimate educational interests. A school official includes internal and external instructional or administrative personnel who are or may be in a position to use the information in furtherance of a legitimate educational objective, such as to provide student services or to pursue a debt owed to UMGC. This includes, but is not limited to, faculty, staff members, and security personnel. School official also includes a contractor, consultant, volunteer, or other party to whom UMGC has outsourced institutional services or functions instead of employees while under the direct control of UMGC. Legitimate educational interests include interests directly related to the academic environment.
- The right to prevent disclosure of directory information. UMGC may disclose directory information without consent unless a student files a written notice restricting the disclosure within three weeks of the first day in which the student is enrolled to the appropriate office. UMGC designates the following items as directory information:
- Major field of study
- Dates of attendance
- Degrees and awards received
- Previous educational institution most recently attended
- Date of birth
The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. Complaints to the Department of Education should be submitted to:
Family Policy Compliance Office U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
Please see UMGC Policy 210.14 – Disclosure of Student Records for additional information and policy updates.