General Guidelines for FERPA
FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) applies to all educational agencies and institutions that receive funding under any program administered by the Department of Education.
Once a student reaches 18 years of age or attends a postsecondary institution, they become an “eligible student” and all rights formerly given to parents under FERPA transfer to the student.
FERPA generally prohibits the improper disclosure of Personally Identifiable Information (PII) derived from education records. A school is required to provide certain privacy protections for those education records that it does maintain. Under FERPA, a school may not generally disclose PII from an eligible student’s education records to a third party unless the eligible student has provided written consent.
FERPA permits the disclosure of PII from students’ education records without consent of the student, if disclosure meets certain conditions found within FERPA regulations.
A school must annually notify eligible students in attendance of their FERPA rights. CCS FERPA Policy
FERPA Rights for Students
The annual notice to students provided by CCS is published yearly in the College Catalog and in the college policy database. Student privacy protection under FERPA is effective for any CCS student starting on the first day of class.
The following FERPA rights apply to current and former students:
- The right to inspect and review your education records
- The right to request the amendment of your education records (under certain circumstances)
- The right to provide written consent for disclosure of your education records*
- The right to file a complaint regarding non-compliance with the U.S. Department of Education
*Personally Identifiable Information defined as “Directory Information” may be released without consent, unless a student requests to “withhold” their Directory Information.
The following circumstances are examples of when a student’s records may be released without consent:
- To “school officials” with a “legitimate educational interest”
- Specified officials for institutional audits or college evaluation purposes
- To parties in connection with the student’s Financial Aid
- Accrediting Agencies
- To complete judicial or lawful orders and/or subpoenas
- State and local authorities
Parent/Guardian and Family Information
At the postsecondary level, only the student has rights to inspect and review their educational records. Records may be released to parents/family under the following circumstances:
- Through written consent of the student
- In compliance with a subpoena
- A health or safety emergency that involves the student**
- If the student has violated any law or policy**
**Health/emergency circumstances and law/policy violations are evaluated on a case-by-case basis by the Registrar and/or Dean of Students before a student’s educational records are released.
General Information may be provided to Parents/Guardians, Spouse or other family members in regards to college policies and procedures.
Students are informed of options to release and withhold access to records and may choose to update these options at any time by contacting the Academic Advising & Registration Office.
Information about student education records should be communicated directly between the student and the desired parent/family member.
Acting on a student’s behalf
A spouse, parent, or another third party may not act on behalf of a student except in emergency situations, which require documentation and/or student consent. Clearance must be provided through the Registrar and/or Dean of Students before any actions are taken.
Information for Dual Enrolled High School Students
If a student is attending a postsecondary institution – at any age – the rights under FERPA have transferred to the student. However, in a situation where a student is enrolled in both a high school and a postsecondary institution, the two schools may exchange information on that student. If the student is under 18, the parents still retain the rights under FERPA at the high school and may inspect and review any records sent by the postsecondary institution to the high school.
For more information about FERPA, please review our FERPA Frequently Asked Questions page.
Questions about FERPA and CCS procedures can be directed to:
Registrar, Karen LaDucer
201 E. Kirby
Detroit, MI 48202
FERPA regulation information has been obtained from the U.S Department of Education website.