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FERPA

ferpa

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is also known as the “Buckley Amendment.” FERPA is a federal law enacted in 1974 which enables students certain rights with respect to their education records. Specifically, it enables students the right to:

1. Inspect and review their education records
2. Request the amendment of inaccurate or misleading records
3. Consent to disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their education record
4. File a complaint with the US Department of Education concerning alleged failures by VUST to comply with this law.

In accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), VUST protects the privacy of students’ records, including social security numbers, home addresses, email addresses, phone numbers, grades, attendance dates and financial information.  The Act provides each student, former student or alumnus with the right to inspect and review information contained in his/her academic file after submitting a written request to the Registrar, the Custodian of Records.  When needed, each student also has the right to submit written requests for amendments to his/her academic records.

VUST strives to fully comply with this law by protecting the privacy of student records and judiciously evaluating requests for release of information from those records. FERPA authorizes the release of “Directory Information” without the student’s prior consent under certain conditions which are set forth in the Act. Students who wish to withhold their directory information must submit a Directory Information Withhold Form to the Registrar’s Office.

With several exceptions provided by law, VUST cannot release information concerning students to third parties without their written consent. The provision of financial data to authorized agencies is not a violation of the Buckley Amendment. The student’s written consent is not required for the disclosure of grades, disciplinary action, or other information to parents of students who are dependents for Federal tax purposes. Parents requesting information may generally be granted access upon submission of a signed statement to VUST or other evidence of Federal income tax dependency.

Students should be aware that as required by Virginia state law (SB559/HB984, §23–2.2:1), VUST must comply with all laws and, if requested under law, VUST must provide the Virginia State Police (or other legal agency with appropriate authority) with the following information: Student’s full name, social security number, date of birth, and gender.