Student Rights

FERPA

What Is It?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (commonly known as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment) is a federal law which provides access for parents and students over the age of 18 (or attending a postsecondary institution) to their children'€™s/their own €œeducation records.€ FERPA also protects parents'€™/students'€™ privacy in those records by prohibiting their disclosure, or information contained in them, without written consent.

The annual notice for parents and students regarding their FERPA rights can be viewed here (.pdf), in the University Catalog, in the University Schedule of Classes, in numerous other University publications, in the University Library, and in person at the Office of Student Affairs, California State University, Stanislaus, One University Circle, Mary Stuart Rogers Building, Suite 340, Turlock, CA 95382, (209) 667-3177. You can also find out more about FERPA by visiting the Department of Education FERPA website.

What Is An "œEducation Record"?

FERPA defines an education record to include, “those records, files, documents and other materials that (1) contain information directly related to s student and (2) are maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a person acting for such agency or institution.

What Is Not Considered An €œEducational Record€?

For purposes of FERPA, the term "€œeducational record"€ Does not include:

  • records of instructional, supervisory or administrative personnel kept in the sole possession of the maker, that are used only as a personal memory aid, and that are not accessible or revealed to any other person except a temporary substitute for the maker of the record;

  • records separately maintained by a law enforcement unit of an educational institution that were created by the law enforcement unit for the purpose of law enforcement;

  • records made in the normal course of business concerning an employee of an educational institution who is also a student, provided that the records relate exclusively to the individual in his or her capacity as an employee and are not available for use for any other purpose. (Note, however, that records relating to a student who is employed as a result of his or her status as a student are not subject to this exception, but rather are education records as defined by FERPA.);

  • records of a physician, psychiatrist, psychologist, or other recognized professional or paraprofessional acting or assisting in a professional capacity, made, maintained or used only in connection with the provision of treatment to the student, and which are not available to anyone other than persons providing such treatment, except that such records can be personally reviewed by a physician or other appropriate professional of the student’s choice. (For purposes of this exclusion, "€œtreatment"€ does not include remedial education or activities that are part of a program of instruction.)

What Are My Rights Under FERPA?

FERPA entitles parents/students access to educational records within a reasonable period of time, but in no case later than 45 days after the request is made. If a record contains information about more than one student, the requesting student is only entitled to the portion of the record relating to him/her. Students are not entitled under FERPA to the financial records of their parents.

In addition, FERPA entitles parents/students to:

  • challenge the contents of their education records;

  • receive annual notification of their rights under FERPA (.pdf);

    • The annual notice for parents and students regarding their FERPA rights can be viewed here (.pdf), in the University Catalog, in the University Schedule of Classes, in numerous University publications, in the University Library, and in person at the Office of Student Affairs, California State University, Stanislaus, One University Circle, Mary Stuart Rogers Building, Suite 360, Turlock, CA 95382, (209) 667-3177.

  • file complaints with the Department of Education regarding the failure of the institution to comply with FERPA.

Under What Circumstances Can My Information Be Disclosed Without My Permission?

  • to parents of a minor student, if that minor is still claimed by the parents as a dependent for income tax purposes;

  • to other officials of the agency who the agency has determined to have legitimate educational interests in the records (in appropriate circumstances, this may include contractors used to perform agency functions);

  • to officials of another school where the student seeks or intends to enroll, if the affected student has been notified and provided an opportunity to challenge the content of any records to be released;

  • to authorized representatives of the Comptroller General of the United States, the Secretary of the Department of Education or state educational authorities where the information is necessary to audit and evaluate federally supported education programs or to enforce legal requirements that relate to such programs;

  • to the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS), the USCIS internet-based system for tracking, monitoring and reporting information to the USCIS about international students;

  • in connection with a student's application for, or receipt of, financial aid;

  • to organizations conducting studies for educational agencies in connection with predictive tests, student aid programs, or improvements to instruction;

  • to accrediting organizations for accrediting functions;

  • to appropriate parties if the university determines that knowledge of such information is necessary to protect the health or safety of the student or other persons (Note: This is a limited exception that generally applies only to a narrowly tailored release of information where the imminent danger to the student, other students, or other members of the campus community is apparent, or where there is an immediate need for the information to avert or diffuse serious threats to the safety or health of a student or other individuals);

  • to comply with a judicial order or subpoena so long as a reasonable effort is made to notify the student in advance of compliance unless the disclosure is in response to:

    • A Federal grand jury subpoena and the court has ordered that the existence or the contents of the subpoena or the information furnished in response to the subpoena not be disclosed; or

    • Any other subpoena issued for a law enforcement purpose and the court or other issuing agency has ordered that the existence or the contents of the subpoena or the information furnished in response to the subpoena not be disclosed;

  • to comply with a court order to produce education records sought by the U.S. Attorney General (or designated federal officer or employee in a position not lower than Assistant Attorney General) based on €œspecific and articulable facts giving reason to believe that the education records are likely to contain information” relevant to the investigation or prosecution of terrorist acts;

  • to counsel or the court when the student whose records are being disclosed has sued the University, provided such a disclosure is relevant for the University to defend itself in the lawsuit;

  • to the victim only, the final results of a disciplinary hearing conducted by the institution against the alleged perpetrator of a “crime of violence” or of a “non-forcible sex offense,” whether or not the charges are sustained;

  • the final results of a student disciplinary hearing that upholds a charge of a "€œcrime of violence"€ or a "€œnon-forcible sex offense"€;

  • to parents of a student under the age of 21 regarding a violation by their child of laws or University policy relating to alcohol use or drug use or possession.

  • Additionally, nothing in FERPA prohibits a campus official from disclosing to Federal, State, or local law enforcement authorities information that is based on that official’s personal knowledge or observation and not derived from an education record. A campus official may, based on his or her own observations, notify law enforcement officials of suspicious activity or behavior.

How Do I Release Information From My Education Records?

Please visit the Office of Admissions and Records and/or the Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships for the necessary form that will allow you to provide access to a third party.

Office of Admissions and Records
California State University, Stanislaus
One University Circle
Mary Stuart Rogers Building, Suite 120
Turlock, CA 95382
(209) 667-3264
http://www.csustan.edu/admissions/

Office of Financial Aid and Scholarships
California State University, Stanislaus
One University Circle
Mary Stuart Rogers Building, Suite 100
Turlock, CA 95382
(209) 667-3336
http://www.csustan.edu/FinancialAid/

How Do I Find Out More Information, Make A FERPA Complaint Or Challenge The Contents Of My Education Record?

Please contact the FERPA Compliance Officer to make a FERPA complaint.

Office of Student Affairs
California State University, Stanislaus
One University Circle
Mary Stuart Rogers Building, Suite 340
Turlock, CA 95382
(209) 667-3177
FERPA@csustan.edu

You may also file a complaint with and find more information at:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20202-4605
(202) 260-3887
www2.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/index.html

To challenge the contents of your education record, please contact the Director of Admissions.

Admissions Office
California State University, Stanislaus
One University Circle
Mary Stuart Rogers Building, Suite 120
Turlock, CA 95382
(209) 667-3070
http://www.csustan.edu/admissions/

The California Information Practices Act

What Is It?

The California Information Practices Act was enacted in 1977 to protect individuals€™ privacy rights in "€œpersonal information"€ contained in state agency records. "€œPersonal information"€ protected by the Act is defined as any information maintained by a state agency that identifies or describes an individual, including but not limited to, name, Social Security Number, physical description, home address, home telephone number, education, financial matters, medical or employment history, and statements made by or attributed to the individual.

What Information Can Be Disclosed?

A state agency may not disclose personal information except in certain limited circumstances specified in the Act. The more common exceptions permit disclosure in the following circumstances: