FERPA and Release of Student Information

Spartanburg Community College maintains accurate and confidential student records and recognizes the right of students to gain access to their academic records in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974 (Buckley Amendment) and college policy. Amendments to FERPA under section 507 of the U.S. Patriot Act of 2001 also apply to the release of student records. More information about access to student records is available in the Student Handbook and Calendar.

Directory Information
The following directory information may be made available to the public by the college unless students notify the Records Office in writing by the third week of the term that such information is not to be made available.

  1. Student's name
  2. County of residence
  3. Major field of study or program
  4. Dates of attendance amd enrollment status - full-time, part-time
  5. Degrees earned
  6. Photos


Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)
The purpose of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, known as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment , applies to all educational institutions and educational agencies that receive funds under any program administered by the U.S. Secretary of Education. The purpose of the act is two-fold: (1) to assure students attending an institution of postsecondary education access to their education records; and (2) to protect such individuals' rights to privacy by limiting the transferability of their records without their consent.

Education Record
Education records are defined as records that are directly related to a student and maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the agency or institution. Education records are not just files on students; they are records maintained in any way, including but not limited to handwriting, computer media, print, e-mail, film, microfilm/microfiche, video or audio tape. Education records do not include: sole possession records, law enforcement unit records, employment records, health records, alumni records.

Disclosure of Education Records
Student records are maintained in the Registrar's Office. In accordance with FERPA, the college is restricted as to the release of certain educational records and information without the written consent of the student. The college can release directory information which includes name, program of study, full or part-time status, degrees and awards, and dates of attendance without the student's written permission. Students must notify the registrar in writing that he or she does not want their information disclosed in the directory.

Access to Education Records
FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's education records within 45 days of the day the college receives a request for access. Students should submit written requests to the registrar for the record(s) they wish to inspect. The registrar will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected.

  2. The right to request the amendment of the student's education records that the student believes is inaccurate. Students may ask the college to amend a record that they believe is inaccurate. They should write the college official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate. 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. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided to the student when notified of the right to a hearing.

  3. 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 college in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel); a person or company with whom the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent); 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 college discloses education records without consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

  4. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Spartanburg Community College to comply with the requirements of Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) . The name and address of the Office that administers FERPA is:

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