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What is FERPA?

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA), also known as the Buckley amendment, is a federal law regarding the privacy of student records and the obligations of the University with regard to release of student records and the access provided to those records.  Specifically, FERPA grants students:

  • The right to inspect and review their education records.
  • The right to request the amendment of education records that the student believes are inaccurate or misleading.  (Note that this process cannot be used to challenge grades.)
  • The right to provide written consent to disclose information from their education records, except under conditions that FERPA permits disclosure without consent.
  • The right to file a complaint concerning an alleged failure of Monmouth University to comply with the requirements of FERPA.  Complaints must be filed with:

Family Policy Compliance Office

U.S. Department of Education

400 Maryland Avenue, SW

Washington, D.C.  20202-4605

What does this mean for parents/guardians?

When the student reaches the age of 18 or begins attending Monmouth University (at any age), FERPA rights transfer from the parent/guardian to the student.  The student has sole “ownership” of his or her Education Record, and payment of a student’s tuition by the parent/guardian does not, by itself, give or entitle the parent/guardian access to the student’s Education Record.

Ordinarily, parents/guardians would obtain information about their student’s education record directly from the student or via access to University systems that the student has granted.  Absent this access, parents/guardians of a financially dependent student, as defined by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), may obtain their child’s records after submitting proof of the student’s dependency status on the parent/guardian’s most recent federal tax form.  Note that without authorized access or documentation of IRS dependency, University officials cannot discuss student-specific information like grades, progress toward degree, financial aid awarded, student loan records, balances due, disciplinary issues, housing status, etc.

FERPA does not apply to applicants who have been admitted to the University but who have not actually begun attendance.

What is an Education Record?

An Education Record is defined as a record that is directly related to a student and maintained by Monmouth University or by a party acting on behalf of the University. Education Records can exist in any medium, including, but not limited to: typed, computer generated, videotape, audiotape, film, microfilm, microfiche, and e-mail, among others.

Where are Education Records located?
Admission Records (current students only)Great Hall, Rm. 208, Office of the RegistrarRegistrar, Office of the Registrar
Advising Records – Freshmen OnlyCenter for Student Success (CSS), Student CenterDirector of Academic Advising
Advising Records – Non-freshmanDepartment/Faculty Office in each DepartmentAcademic Advisor or Department Chair
Cumulative Academic Records (all students)Great Hall, Rm. 208, Office of the RegistrarRegistrar, Office of the Registrar
Disciplinary RecordsStudent Services, Student CenterVice President for Student Life
Financial RecordsBursar’s Office, Great HallBursar
Financial Aid RecordsFinancial Aid Office, Great HallDirector of Financial Aid
Grade LedgersFaculty Offices in each DepartmentIndividual instructors
Health RecordsHealth Center, University PlaceDirector, Health Services
Occasional Records (Student education records not listed here, such as minutes of faculty meetings, copies of correspondence, etc.)The appropriate official will collect such records, direct the student to their location, or otherwise make them available for inspection and review.The University staff who maintains such occasional records.
Placement RecordsCareer Development, Student CenterAssistant Dean for Career Development
Student Employment RecordsOffice of Student Employment, Bey HallAssistant Director of Human Resources for Student Employment
What is not an Education Record?

Education Records do not include:

  • Personal notes or records (including computerized files) that are kept by an individual University employee solely in her or his possession, are used only as a personal memory aid, and are not accessible or revealed to others.
  • Records created and maintained by a law enforcement unit and used only for the purpose of law enforcement.
  • Employment records when employment is not contingent on being a student.   
  • Records created and maintained by a doctor, psychiatrist, psychologist or other professional and used only for treatment of the student and that are not available to anyone other than the persons providing such treatment.
  • Financial records of the student’s parent(s).
  • Records that contain information relating to an individual who no longer is a student at the University and that are not directly related to the individual’s attendance as a student, i.e., alumni records.
  • Confidential letters and statements of recommendation placed in the education records of a student (a) prior to January 1, 1975, as long as they are used only for the purposes for which they were specifically intended.
  • Confidential recommendations regarding admission, application for employment, or receipt of an honor if the student has waived the right of access to such recommendations.
  • Grades on peer-graded papers that have not been collected and recorded.
What information can be released without consent?

FERPA has specifically identified certain information called directory information that may be disclosed without student consent.  A student may, however, restrict the disclosure of Directory Information by submitting the “FERPA – Do Not Disclose e-FORM” which can be accessed from the myMU student portal. The “Do Not Disclose” will remain in place indefinitely unless the student submits a written request to have it removed.  Additionally, non-Directory information can be released without student consent under certain conditions.

What is Directory Information?

Monmouth University has designated the following information as directory information and will release this information, unless the student has submitted a request for nondisclosure:

  • Address
  • Biographical data for public relations purposes
  • Birthdate
  • Birthplace
  • Class level
  • Dates of attendance at Monmouth University
  • Degree candidacy
  • Degree status
  • Height and weight (for student athletes only)
  • Major field of study
  • Most recent previous educational institution attended
  • Official student e-mail address
  • Participation in recognized activities and sports
  • Photographs of the student
  • Registered credits for the current term
  • Student I.D. number
  • Student’s name
  • Telephone number
  • Veteran status
When or to whom can non-Directory Information be released without consent?
  • Monmouth University officials with a legitimate educational interest or business purpose.
  • Officials of another school where the student seeks to enroll.
  • Government officials in connection with the audit and evaluation of federal- and state-supported education programs.  This may include officials of the U.S. Department of Education, the Comptroller General, the Attorney General, the Veterans Administration, and other state and local educational authorities.
  • Persons or organizations providing financial aid to students, or determining financial aid decisions on the condition that the information is necessary to: (a) determine eligibility for the aid, (b) determine the amount of the aid, (c) determine the conditions for the aid, or (d) enforce the terms and conditions of the aid.
  • To persons or organizations conducting research, studies or data collection on behalf of the University for the development of predictive tests, administration of financial aid, or the improvement of instruction.
  • To accrediting organizations carrying out their accrediting functions.
  • To comply with the Solomon Amendment, which requires institutions to release student information to military recruiters for military recruitment purposes only. 
  • To a parent or legal guardian of the student, provided the parent or legal guardian has demonstrated that the student is a dependent for tax purposes, unless there is a court order, law, or legally binding document that specifically revokes this right.
  • To comply with a judicial order or a lawfully issued subpoena.
  • To appropriate officials in connection with an emergency and if necessary to protect the health or safety of others.
  • The final results of any University disciplinary hearing – regardless of outcome – against an alleged perpetrator of a crime of violence or non-forcible sex may be released to the alleged victim of that offense.
  • The final results of a University disciplinary hearing related to a crime of violence or non-forcible sex offense may be released to a third party only if the student who is the alleged perpetrator is found to have violated the school’s rules or policies. The disclosure of the final results only includes: the name of the alleged perpetrator, the violation committed, and any sanction imposed against the alleged perpetrator. The disclosure must not include the name of any other student, including a victim or witness, without the written consent of that other student.
  • To parents/guardians of a student under age 21 when the student has violated laws concerning alcohol or drugs.
  • Under the USA Patriot Act of 2001, the Attorney General may obtain a court order for the release of education records relevant to a terrorism investigation.
How does a student grant (or revoke) access to their Education Record?

A student may restrict the disclosure of Directory Information by submitting the “FERPA – Do Not Disclose e-FORM”.  The student may also elect to grant access to Education Record information such as grades, financial aid records, and/or disciplinary records to specific individuals by completing a “FERPA Waiver Release” form.  Both of these forms are accessible in the Monmouth University student portal, myMU. Students may also elect to grant their parent(s) or another person proxy access to their grade reports and financial aid records using the Self-Service feature of myMU; students can also grant authorized users access to their billing records in the Student Bill & Payment Center.