Student Right to Privacy & Right to Know

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a US law that governs the privacy of student educational records, access to those records, and disclosure of information from them.

What are a student’s primary rights under FERPA?

Students have the following rights under FERPA.

  • Right to inspect and review educational records.
  • Right to seek to amend education records.
  • Right to consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information, except to the extent FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  • Right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the College to comply with the requirements of FERPA.

What is directory information?

Directory information is the information the College is able to release regarding a student unless the student requests it not to be released. Directory information includes:

Student name

Mailing address

Major field of study

Academic classification (freshman/sophomore)

Part-time or full-time status

Participation in recognized activities and photos

Dates of attendance

Degrees and certificates

Matriculation and withdrawal dates

Memberships in national honor societies

Awards and honors

Inclusion of an individual in a group photo

Authorization to Withhold Directory Information

If the student objects to the release of directory information, the student may deny the release of directory information by notifying the Registrar in writing.  Requests for non-disclosure will be honored until written notice is received form the student to remove the request for non-disclosure.  Please note the implications of denying the release of directory information.  If a perspective employer, loan company, family member, etc., inquire about a student, they will be informed that OTC has no record of that student.  No information regarding the student will be provided unless photo identification is shown verifying it is the student who is present and making the request.  More information.

As a parent, what are my rights to my child’s educational records?

At the postsecondary level, parents have no inherent right to inspect a student’s educational records. The right to inspect is limited solely to the student. Records may be released to parents only under the following circumstances: