Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA)

D'Youville College students or parents, as provided by statute, may review any official records, files and data directly related to themselves that are on file with the registrar's office or in the Office of Career and Professional Engagement. The files available include identifying data, academic work completed, grades, family background information, references, ratings and/or observations. (References, ratings and/ or observations completed before Jan. 1, 1975 or that are older than seven years are not available to students.)

Requests to see the aforementioned materials should be made in writing to the registrar or the director of the career services center, respectively. The records, files and/or data will be made available no later than 45 days from the time the written request is received.

Student records, files, and data will be made available to other individuals or agencies outside of the college only after the student concerned has authorized the release of the information. However, the following are exceptions:

  1. Authorized officials (e.g., officials of other schools in which the student seeks to enroll);
  2. Accrediting organizations;
  3. In the case of an emergency, if the knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health and safety of the student or other persons. 

The following, however, is considered directory information: the student's name, address, telephone listing, date and place of birth, major field of study, participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.  This information may be released by D'Youville without the consent of the student unless the student has specifically requested in writing that his or her consent be obtained beforehand. Directory information will not be made available to the party requesting it unless the appropriate administrative officer of D'Youville College has considered and approved the request.

A student or parent, as provided by statute, may request in writing a review of information that may be inaccurate and/or misleading. The review will be conducted by an appropriate D'Youville administrative officer who does not have a direct interest in the outcome.

Students Under 18 Years of Age

According to FERPA, information contained in the educational records of students who are 18 years of age or enrolled in post-secondary institutions may be sent to the parents without the written consent of the student only if the student is a financial dependent of the parents. (The term dependent is defined in section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code as an individual [son, daughter, stepson or stepdaughter of a taxpayer] who receives over half of his/her support from the taxpayer during the given calendar year.)

School Official

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 and health staff); contractors, consultants, volunteers and other outside parties to whom the institution has outsourced institutional services or functions instead of using College employees or officials (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.

Legitimate Educational Interest

Identifying a person as a “school official” does not automatically grant him or her unlimited access to education records. The existence of a legitimate educational interest may need to be determined on a case-by-case basis. D’Youville College constitutes a legitimate educational interest as the following:

  • The information requested is necessary for that official to perform appropriate tasks that are specified in his or her position description or by a contract agreement.
  • The information is to be used within the context of official agency or school business and not for purposes extraneous to the official’s areas of responsibility or to the agency or school.
  • The information is relevant to the accomplishment of some task or to a determination about the student.
  • The information is to be used consistently with the purposes for which the data are maintained.

It is important to understand several points related to "legitimate educational interest:"

  • Curiosity is not a legitimate educational interest. Just because you have access to the student information system and are able to view the record of your neighbor's son, does not mean that you have a legitimate educational interest in his grades and cumulative GPA.
  • Simply the fact that you are a college employee does not constitute legitimate educational interest. Your need to know must be related to your job responsibilities in support of the college's educational mission. In other words, records should be used only in the context of official business in conjunction with the educational success of the student.
  • Your legitimate educational interest is limited. While you may have a need to access education records for students in your department, you do not necessarily have a similar need to view records of students outside your department. In other words, access to information does not authorize unrestricted use.

Education Records

Education records are all records that contain personally identifiable information directly related to a student and that are maintained by D’Youville College. Education records may be recorded and stored in any way, including: paper records, electronic records, handwriting, print, computer media, video or audio tape, film, microfilm, microfiche, and digital images.

Education records do not include the following:

  • Personal knowledge and personal observations.
  • Sole possession records -- records kept in the sole possession of the maker, which are used only as a personal memory aid, and are not shared with or accessible by any other person.
  • Law enforcement records -- records created and maintained by D’Youville’s campus security department for law enforcement purposes.
  • Employment records -- records pertaining only to a student’s employment with D’Youville College relating only to his or her capacity as an employee.
  • Alumni records -- records created or received after a student is no longer in attendance at the College and unrelated to the student’s attendance as a student.
  • Peer grades -- grades on peer-graded papers and assessments before they are collected and recorded by a teacher.
  • Treatment records – records maintained by medical professionals and shared with other medical professionals for purposes of providing medical treatment to the student.