Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
It is the policy of Southwest Applied Technical College to comply fully with the terms, provisions and intent of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974. A complete statement of SWATC policies and procedures relative to this act are located on the website and in our Student Services Office.
A federal law commonly referred to as FERPA or the Buckley Amendment, instituted to provide and ensure that (1) students will have access to inspect and review their educational records and (2) protects the rights of a student to privacy by limiting access to the educational record without express written consent.
A student is defined as any individual who is attending or has attended Southwest Applied Technology College. Note: Certain rights are extended to the parent(s) of a dependent student, where dependency is defined by Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954.
An educational record is any record (1) directly related to a student, and (2) maintained by Southwest Applied Technology College or by an agent of the College.
With respect to a student's educational records, FERPA affords a student the right to:
1. Inspect and review the student's educational records
2. Request the amendment of the student's educational records to ensure that they are accurate, not misleading or otherwise in violation of the student's privacy or other rights.
3. Consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the student's educational records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
4. File with the US Department of Education a complaint concerning alleged failures by Southwest Applied Technology College to comply with the requirements of FERPA, if a complaint cannot be resolved within the College.
Categories of Records
There are two categories of educational records under FERPA.
1. Information that can be released is considered to be directory information.
Directory information is general information and may be released to anyone unless the student indicates otherwise. This category includes: name, local and permanent address, telephone number, department of study, and degrees and awards received.
2. Information that can not be released is considered personally identifiable information.
Personally identifiable information includes all information not defined as directory information and may only be released with written consent of the student. Students may control the release of directory information by completing in writing a release of information to Student Services. Students accessing educational records must provide identification. It is important to note that, for educational purposes, authorized College officials have access to all student records.
Information that can be released (under FERPA guidelines) may be provided over the phone.
Information that can not be released (under FERPA guidelines) or information protected by a Privacy Hold may be released over the phone only with a written release signed by the student, authorizing release of the specific information requested.
In accordance with FERPA guidelines, the student must sign all requests for written verification of his or her records. This includes written verification of information that can be released (under FERPA definitions). This release of information can be provided in person or by letter or fax.
There is one exception to the above policy. When a student has been granted a student loan by the institution, and signs the promissory note on that loan, he/she grants the institution the right to release any information, including any information protected by a Privacy Hold.
Is available for prospective students, currently enrolled students, and for parents of both respectively, and may be obtained upon verbal request. Requests may be made with the SWATC Offices of Student and Financial Services during regular business hours.