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Student Records - Privacy and Rights Under FERPA

Student Records

The Registrar's Office maintains permanent academic records on all students who have ever enrolled in the college. All practices and policies dealing with the acquisition, retention and disclosure of information to student records are formulated with respect to the student's right to privacy. No record is kept which will detrimentally discriminate by race, creed, gender or political belief of a student

The Registrar's Office maintains the official transcript and the official documents of each student. In Summer 1995, the department retained information of new students imaged in an electronic documents retrieval system and may be reproduced should the need arise. Transcripts of educational records contain only information about the student's academic status, except that disciplinary action is recorded in cases where it affects the student's eligibility to register. The personal electronic folder may contain the application for admission, immunization record, official transcript(s) from high school or previous college/university, the results of admissions tests, copies of official correspondence concerning the admission status, and other actions taken with respect to the student's academic work or study. These records are available only to members of the staff and faculty of the college who have demonstrated need for such information. Information is made available to other persons only with the expressed written permission of the student

Students have the right to inspect the official transcript of their academic record and personal folder, to request an interpretation and explanation of information contained within these records; to request amendment of educational records that are incorrect or misleading or that violate privacy or other rights; and to request a hearing to amend such records, if necessary.

Notification of Student Rights Under FERPA

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) affords students certain rights with respect to their education records. These rights include:

1)† The right to inspect and review the studentís education records within 45 days of the day the College† receives a request for access.

Students should submit to the Registrar written requests that identify the record(s) they wish to inspect. The Registrar 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 Office of the Registrar, the Registrar shall advise the student of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.

2)† The right to request the amendment of the studentís education records that the student believes to be inaccurate or misleading, or in violation of their right to privacy.† .

Students may ask the College to amend a record they believe is inaccurate or misleading, or in violation of their privacy rights. They should write to the Registrar, clearly identify the part of the record they want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading.

FERPA was not intended to provide a process to be used to question substantive judgments which are correctly recorded.† The rights of challenge are not intended to allow students to contest, for example, a grade in a course because they felt a higher grade should have been assigned.

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

3)† The right to consent to disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in the studentís education records, except to the extent that FERPA authorizes disclosure without consent.

One exception which permits disclosure without consent is disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is a person employed by the University in an administrative, supervisory, academic or research, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit personnel and health staff); a person or company with whom the College has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, or collection agent, or official of the National Student Loan Clearinghouse); a person serving on the Board of Trustees; or a student serving on an official committee, such as a disciplinary or grievance committee, or assisting another school official in performing his or her tasks.

A school official has a legitimate educational interest if the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.

The College may disclose education records in certain other circumstances:

  • to comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena;

  • to appropriate parties in a health or safety emergency;

  • to officials of another school, upon request, in which a student seeks or intends to enroll; in† connection with a student's request for or receipt of financial aid, as necessary to determine the eligibility, amount, or conditions of the financial aid, or to enforce the terms and conditions of the aid;

  • to certain officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, to state and local educational authorities, in connection with certain state or federally supported education programs;

  • to accrediting organizations to carry out their functions;

  • to organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the College;

  • the results of an institutional disciplinary proceeding against the alleged of a crime of violence may be released to the alleged victim of that crime with respect to that crime.†

4)† The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by Georgia Highlands College to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the Office where these complaints should be filed is:

Family Policy Compliance Office
U.S. Department of Education
400 Maryland Ave SW
Washington, DC 20202-4605

†The address for the Registrar is:

Office of the Registrar
Georgia Highlands College

3175 Cedartown Hwy.
Rome, GA 30161

5)† The College designates the following as public or "Directory Information":† The student's name, address, email, telephone number, date of birth, major fields of study, degree sought, expected date of completion of degree requirements and graduation, degrees and awards received, dates of attendance, full or part time enrollment status, the previous educational agency or institution attended, and participation in officially recognized activities and other similar information.

"Directory Information" does not include GPA, Grades, Country of Citizenship, Race/Ethnicity, Gender, or Social Security Number.

6)† Students who wish to request nondisclosure of "Directory Information" should contact the Registrarís Office.† This request must be made in writing and becomes a permanent part of the student's record until the student instructs the College, in writing, to have the request removed.

For more information about FERPA law, go to http://www.ed.gov/offices/OM/fpco/.

Page last updated: February 1, 2017