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“Right Track Wrong Train” by Cyndi Lauper Don’t Get Derailed.

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Presentation on theme: "“Right Track Wrong Train” by Cyndi Lauper Don’t Get Derailed."— Presentation transcript:

1 “Right Track Wrong Train” by Cyndi Lauper Don’t Get Derailed

2 Overview  What is FERPA?  What is Legitimate Educational Interest?  Why is it important for me?  Case Studies  Questions

3 What is FERPA?  Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 as amended  Also known as the Buckley amendment Legislation was enacted because Congress was concerned about the amassing of data that the subjects could not contest

4 Protections and Rights Under FERPA  Prohibits release of non-directory information to a third party without written consent  Student Rights  Allows student to inspect education record  Allows student to request an amendment to education record to correct information  Gives student the right to file a complaint with the US Department of Education  (Students do not have a right to an expectation of anonymity in the classroom)

5 When Does the Clock Start and Stop Ticking??? When a student is admitted and registers – first day of the first term Stops when a student leaves but you cannot disclose information from when they were a student – so alumni records are not protected by FERPA

6 What is Directory Information?  Information contained in an education record that would not generally be considered harmful if disclosed  Name  Address   Major  Enrollment  Honors  Photo if that is listed in your policy

7 What is NOT Directory Information? Social Security Number or Student ID Class schedule Grades Transcripts Financial Aid information

8 Legitimate Educational Interest What is it?  Access to information to do your job  Limited only to those students over which you have DIRECT responsibility What it is NOT  Do not have access to satisfy curiosity  Should not be accessing your own information, that of your spouse or children (or other family members)

9 What is an Educational Record?  An educational record - maintained by an educational agency or institution or by a party acting for the education agency or institution  So, it is not just us. New regulation requires a written agreement with the “authority acting on your behalf” and reasonable assurance that they follow FERPA

10 What Might It Include?  Including but not limited to:  Grades  Financial aid information  Transcript information  Bills/charges  Advising notes

11 Examples of Educational Records in the Financial Aid Office  Eligibility  Account  Work Study Payroll*  Applications  ISIR  PJ Documentation  Loan Certification  Entrance/Exit Counseling  History used for Transfer Students  Cost of Attendance including Adjustments  SAP  Verification Documents

12 What is NOT an Education Record?  Sole possession notes  Personal memory joggers  Cannot include something that is protected as an educational record  Not accessible or revealed to any other person  Law enforcement records  Employment records  Physician records – treatment records  Counseling records

13 Re-disclosure The big issue is disclosure (really re-disclosure) of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) – both direct or indirect (examples – SSN or rank in class) Remember – re-disclosure must be logged

14 Parent’s Are Confused (such a nice way to put it) Elementary/Secondary  A parent has the right under FERPA to their child’s educational records and to provide written consent for release of PII until the child is 18 College/University  When a student enters a college or university at any age, they own the record and consent privileges become theirs

15 Always an Exception Dependent Students  You can release information to parents, if your school allows – Must be tax return dependent – you do not have to Outside Agencies  Agencies doing educational research  3rd party vendors - need to have an agreement  Some subpoena requests*

16 More Exceptions On Your Campus  Can share with those who have an educational need to know – be careful (Alumni Office)  Must share with the student (redact before you do) but you do not have to provide copies  Make sure scholarship awards are part of your directory information Off Campus  Share when a student provides written consent  Alleged victim of a crime  Parent of a student under 21 – if drugs/alcohol laws are violated

17 More Legitimate Re-Disclosure Off Campus  U.S. Comptroller General  U.S. Attorney General  U.S. Department of Education Still More…  Accrediting Agencies  State and Local Officials  In Cases of Health or Safety Threats  Patriot Act has 16 FERPA exceptions

18 Do You Ever Get a Visit From the FBI or the Military? A badge or rank does not necessarily give the requester access. Look carefully at paperwork from law enforcement before you disclose. Solomon Act does not apply to Financial Aid Records.

19  Do not share tax information in cases of divorce or separation  Freedom of Information Act Does Not Apply  Alumni Office does not get FAFSA information  Careful which on- campus offices have access to financial aid records (must agree not to re- disclose) Risky Re- Disclosure No Educational Need to Know

20 What Constitutes Consent From A Student?  It’s easier if you develop a consent form that is used by your institution for non-directory items  To be valid it must contain 5 elements  What information is to be disclosed  To whom it will be disclosed  For what purpose will the information be used  It must be signed  It must be dated  (It is revocable)

21 Best Practices – Caution Here is That You Do not Give the Appearance of Violating FERPA  Develop a way to identify parents when student has signed a FERPA waiver – authentication questions can help  Develop a policy – and educate staff about the policy  Have staff sign privacy statements  Practice clear desk and screen  Get written consent before writing a recommendation  Not all verification forms contain a consent statement – be sure to check

22 It Never Ends and Can Be Overlapping – Other Regulations That Might Impact Disclosure  If you get a request for information from the “outside” you might fall under the your state’s open records act. Someone should be in charge on your campus.  If your school is considered a financial institution it must follow Gramm Leach Bliley (Does your institution make emergency loans?)  And then there are the Red Flag rules under the FTC and PCI compliance (folks believe we are the Business Office – so be aware of these rules)  If you have health records for a PJ or SAP you fall under HIPAA…

23 Don’t Even Get Me Started on Hipaa  If you process professional judgments based on excessive medical expense, you need to think about Hipaa, so here is a link  Hipaa is enforced by the Office of Civil Rights

24 Why is FERPA Important to YOU?  Did you sign a confidentiality form when you were given access to your institutions student information system?  If you violate FERPA you could have your access to student records removed or you could lose your job.  Do you have any idea of the $ amount it might cost your institution in federal and state aid?

25 Case Studies  To quote a former professor “ Talk amongst yourselves”  Better Yet Let’s Go with Cyndi “And as the train pulls away I can hear the conductor say Right track wrong train Right track wrong train I'm not to blame Right track wrong train... Train”

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27 Contact Information  Elaine Henrie Director Financial Aid & Scholarships & Registrar –


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