Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) guarantees students certain rights with regard to educational records. FERPA applies to any higher education institutions receiving federal funds administered by the Department of Education (DOE).

FERPA affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. Students have a right to:

  • be informed about their educational records;
  • inspect their educational records;
  • request an amendment to their educational records;
  • challenge the accuracy of their educational records;
  • prevent unauthorized disclosure of their educational records;
  • complain to the Department of Education about violation of FERPA; and
  • waive these rights in writing.

Students are individuals who are or have been enrolled in credit classes at BSC. FERPA does not apply to records of applicants for admission, who are denied acceptance and do not enroll in classes.

Public Directory Information

Under FERPA, some information in a student’s record is considered public (directory information) and may be released without the student’s permission. This information includes:

  • Name (all on record)
  • Address (all on record)
  • Email address (all on record)
  • Phone Number (all on record)
  • Height, weight and photos of athletic team members
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth
  • Major field of study (all declared majors)
  • Minor field of study
  • Class level
  • Dates of attendance
  • Enrollment status
  • Names of previous institutions attended
  • Participation in officially recognized activities and sports
  • Honors/awards received
  • Degree(s) earned
  • Date degree(s) earned
  • Photographic, video or electronic images of students taken and maintained by the institution.

Release of directory information is handled with discretion, but inquiries are made by a variety of sources, such as prospective employers, other colleges and universities, graduate schools, licensing agencies, government agencies, news media, parents, friends, and relatives.

Students can restrict release of any or all of their directory information by submitting a written request to the Academic Records Office by the tenth day of the term.

BSC will honor student requests to withhold directory information until the student specifically and officially requests to lift these restrictions in writing. Students should consider very carefully the consequences of their decision to withhold the release of any or all directory information items.

Educational Records

Educational records are those records which are directly related to a student and maintained by this institution or by a party acting for this institution. These records include any information from which students can be individually identified, and have not been previously defined as public directory information.

These records are on file in appropriate BSC offices and are accessible only to school officials having legitimate educational interests as defined in Public Law 93-380. A school official is a person employed by the college in an administrative, supervisory, academic, research, or support staff position (including law enforcement personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the college has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent). A school official has 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 North Dakota University System (NDUS) school in which a student seeks or intends to enroll.

Information contained in academic records will not be otherwise released without written consent from the student. For academic records purposes, the college assumes that all students are independent. Parents of dependent students must establish a student’s dependency (Internal Revenue Code of 1954, Section 152), as a first step in gaining access to a student’s educational records.