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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their educational records. They are:

  1. The right to inspect and review the student's educational records within 45 days of the date the university receives a request for access.

Students should submit to the registrar, dean, head of the academic department, or another appropriate official, written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify the student of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

  1. The right to request the amendment of the student's educational records that the student believes is inaccurate, misleading, or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy rights.

Students may ask the university to amend a record they believe is inaccurate or misleading. They should write the university official responsible for the record; clearly identifying the part of the record they want to be changed and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.

If the university decides not to amend the record as requested by the student, the university 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.

  1. The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosures without consent.

    One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to university officials with legitimate educational interests and/or needs to review an educational record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility. A university official for the purpose of this policy is defined as follows:
  • members of the faculty
  • members of the professional, executive, and administrative staff
  • members of the Central Michigan University Police Department in an emergency if knowledge of the information is needed to protect the health and safety of the student
  • students, when properly appointed as members of a hearing panel or screening committee
  • representatives of the State Auditor General or Department of Education when performing their legal function
  • a person or company with whom the university has contracted (e.g. attorney, auditor, or collection agent) but limited to only the specific student information needed to fulfill their contract
  • others as designated in writing by the President, a university Vice President or Dean

Upon request, the University discloses educational records without a student's consent to officials of another school in which a student seeks to enroll.

Another exception that permits disclosure without consent is when the information consists solely of "Directory Information." Directory information may be published or released by university faculty and staff at their discretion. Unless a student specifically directs otherwise, as explained more fully in paragraph (4) below, Central Michigan University designates all of the following categories of information about its students as "Directory Information":

a. name, campus address, home address, telephone listing, and campus e-mail address;

b. state of residence;

c. age, and date and place of birth;

d. major field of study, including the college, department, or program in which the student is enrolled;

e. classification as a freshman, sophomore, junior, senior, graduate, specialist or doctoral student;

f. enrollment status (full-time, half-time, less than half-time);

g. participation in officially recognized activities and sports;

h. weight and height of members of athletic teams;

I. dates of attendance and graduation, and degrees received;

j. the most recent educational institution attended;

k. honors and awards received, including selection to the Semester Honors or President's list, honorary organization, or the G.P.A. range for the selection;

L. image or likeness of a student if captured during a Central Michigan University-sponsored event, activities, or public events held on any Central Michigan University campus location.

  1. A student has the right to refuse the designation of all categories of personally identifiable information listed above (a. through k.) as Directory Information. Due to the public nature of item L, removal of the image or likeness of the student may not be feasible. If a student exercises this right, it will mean that no Directory Information pertaining to the student will be published or otherwise released to third parties without consent, a court order, or a subpoena.

    Any student wishing to exercise this right must inform the Registrar's Office in writing by September 1 regarding the withholding of all categories of personally identifiable information with respect to that student. This will ensure that their name will not appear in the printed Central Michigan University Directory. Requests after this date will be processed and although it will not impact the printed directory it will remove the student’s information from the online directory. Once a student has requested the withholding of information, "Directory Information" will be withheld until they submit another request in writing to remove it.
  2. The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Central Michigan University to comply with the requirements of 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 20202-5901