Notification of rights
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) provides students certain rights with respect to their education records. FERPA is a federal law that is administered by the Department of Education. Some of the rights provided by FERPA are outlined below. The University’s policy regarding FERPA can be viewed online or by contacting the Office of the Registrar, Gammage Building, 928-523-5490.
You should know that there is a difference in definition between “education records” which generally are kept confidential, subject to several exceptions, and “directory information.” Education records include most records which are directly related to a student and are maintained by Northern Arizona University or by a person or authorized agent, including a vendor or contractor acting for Northern Arizona University and includes information or data recorded in any medium, including, but not limited to handwriting, print, tapes, film, microfilm, and microfiche.
Directory information is information that would not generally be considered harmful or an invasion of a student’s privacy if disclosed, and includes a student’s name, address, e-mail address, telephone number, date and place of birth, major field of study, dates of attendance (e.g., semester or year, but not specific daily records of a student’s attendance), enrollment status (e.g., undergraduate or graduate, freshman/ sophomore/ junior/ senior, full-time or part-time), participation in officially recognized activities and sports, weight and height of members of athletic teams, dates of attendance, degrees, honors and awards received, and the most recent previous educational agency or institution attended by the student.
The following rights relate to your education records:
- The right to inspect and review your education records within 45 days of the day the University receives a request for access. You should submit written requests that identify the record(s) you wish to inspect to the Office of the Registrar or appropriate institutional official. The university official will make arrangements for access and notify you of the time and place where the records may be inspected. If the records are not maintained by the university official to whom the request was submitted, that official will advise you of the correct official to whom the request should be addressed.
- The right to request an amendment of your education record(s) that you believe is inaccurate or misleading. You should write the university official responsible for the record, clearly identify the part of the record you want changed, and specify why it is inaccurate or misleading. If the University decides not to amend the record as requested, the University will notify you of the decision and advise you of your right to a hearing regarding the request for amendment. Additional information regarding the hearing procedures will be provided when you are notified of the right to a hearing. You may want to consult with staff in the Office of the Registrar regarding your appeal rights and/or the hearing procedure associated with an appeal.
- The right to consent or to withhold consent disclosures of personally identifiable information contained in your education records, recognizing that FERPA and Northern Arizona University policy authorize certain disclosures without your prior consent. These exceptions are provided below for your review:
- Disclosure to school officials with legitimate educational interests. A school official is defined as a person employed by the university in an administrative, supervisory, academic, or support staff position (including law enforcement unit and health staff); a person or company with whom the University has contracted (such as an attorney, auditor, authorized agent, vendor or contractor who has agreed to abide by the provisions of FERPA regarding covered data, or collection agent); a person serving on the Arizona Board of Regents or the Board’s staff. A school official has a legitimate educational interest when the official needs to review an education record in order to fulfill his or her professional responsibility.
- Disclosure to officials of other schools or school systems in which you seek or intend to enroll, or where you are enrolled in or receive services from the other institution.
- Disclosure to parents of a dependent student of such parents, as defined in Section 152 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, provided that such dependent status is required to be affirmed by your parents in a manner satisfactory to the university prior to release of your records.
- Disclosure to comply with a judicial order, or lawfully issued subpoena, upon condition that the University makes a reasonable effort to notify you of the order or subpoena in advance of compliance therewith.
- The right to file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education concerning alleged failures by the University to comply with the requirements of FERPA. The name and address of the office that administers FERPA is: