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FERPA Frequently Asked Questions

What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), as amended, is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. The US Department of Education is the government agency that implements FERPA regulations.

What are students' rights under FERPA?

  1. To inspect and review their education records within forty-five (45) days of NMC receiving a request for access.
  2. To request an amendment(s) of their education record which they believe is inaccurate or misleading.
  3. To consent to the disclosure of personally identifiable information contained in their education record, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.
  4. To file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by NMC to comply with FERPA.

What are "education records"?

Education records are defined as records, files, documents, and other materials 1) that are directly related to a student and 2) maintained by NMC or by a party acting for NMC. Education records take on many forms, including handwriting, print, video or audio tape, e-mail. Education records include, but are not limited to:

  • Grades
  • Class lists
  • Student course schedules
  • Disciplinary records
  • Student financial records
  • SSN
  • Student ID numbers
  • Test scores and course work

The above list of education records represents confidential "non-directory" information.

What records are not considered "education records"?

The following records are specifically excluded from definition of education records, and therefore, are not subject to its privacy restrictions:

  • "Sole possession" records: Records made and kept by faculty, staff, and/or administration and used as reference or personal memory aid.
  • Campus security records.
  • Treatment records: student's medical and mental health records used and exchanged by treating physicians.
  • Employment records: record related solely to the employment of a student by NMC.
  • Alumni records.
  • Peer graded papers and exams before they are collected and recorded by instructor.

Can education records be disclosed without a student's consent?

Yes. FERPA contains a list of exceptions to the consent requirement. NMC may disclose an education record or information from a student's education record under the following list of exceptions:

  • NMC officials determined by the institution to have a "legitimate educational interest."
  • Comply with a judicial order or lawfully issues subpoena.
  • Appropriate parties in connection with a health or safety emergency.
  • Parents who claim student as a "dependent" for federal tax purposes.
  • The student.
  • Accrediting organizations.
  •  Student information designated as "directory information."

What is "directory information"?

Directory information is information that would not generally be considered harmful or invasion of privacy if disclosed. 

Can a student prevent the disclosure of their directory information?

FERPA requires NMC to allow its students to prevent the release of their directory information. If a student elects to block the disclosure of directory information, the following are consequences of the student's request to block disclosure:

  • Student name/address is excluded from online and printed telephone directories.
  • No information will be released to any person on the telephone or via e-mail.
  • Verification of enrollment, graduation, or degrees awarded will not be provided to third parties.


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